Loses Something -- But Not Color -- In Translation: "A Real Boom"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 6 23:51:36 UTC 2008

At 6:53 PM -0400 5/6/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>Doug writes:
>"... fathering seven children _with_ her ..."
><Sigh!> What ever happened to those days of yore when a man fathered a
>child _upon_ a woman? It seems that the more recent term loses a lot
>WRT descriptiveness. :-)

Someone realized it was too missionary-oriented?


>On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 10:24 AM, Doug Harris <cats22 at frontiernet.net> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>   Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>   Poster:       Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
>>   Subject:      Loses Something -- But Not Color -- In Translation:
>>"A Real Boom"
>>   An Associated Press story about Josef Fritzl datelined May 4 from
>>   Austria includes the following paragraph:
>>       Graf said he sometimes met
>>   Fritzl for business dealings, and
>>   the pair would share a beer. "He
>>   told jokes, not always the clean-
>>   est," Graf said. "We laughed loud,
>>   a real boom."
>>   --
>>   Perhaps the phrase "a real boom" is Austrian vernacular. Perhaps it was
>>   simply a turn of phrase employed by this speaker. But it sure doesn't
>>   seem to have an currency in English, at least not the American version.
>>   However, that said, it _is_ an interesting variation on the AE "a real
>>   card" (if anyone says that anymore) or "a real clown" or perhaps "a real
>>   loudmouth".
>>   --
>>   Oh, and for anyone who isn't aware: Fritzl has admitted effectively
>>   kidnapping his daughter a couple of decades ago, keeping her locked
>>   in a basement and fathering seven children with her in the intervening
>>   years. Coincidentally, this is the third such someone-locked-away-for-
>>   years case to have emerged in Austria in the past few years.
>>   dh
>>   ------------------------------------------------------------
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>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>  -Sam'l Clemens
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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