uniting two old threads... (p.s.)

Chris F. Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Fri May 26 15:42:09 UTC 2006

On Fri, 2006-05-26 at 11:08 -0400, Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 11:01 AM -0400 5/26/06, Laurence Horn wrote:
> >1)  What was it we were going to call the "Nabisco", "Gestapo",
> >"Comintern" type formations, which are to syllables what acronyms are
> >to letters?  Here's another one...
> >
> >2)  For those who fondly remember our "mullet" thread:  I just
> >learned that the usual appellation for it in German is "Vokuhila",
> >also sometimes spelled "VokuHila" or "VoKuHiLa" < vorne kurz hinter
> >lang (= front short back long).  An obvious instance of...whatever
> >the answer to the question (1) is.
> >
> P.S.
> OK, it's not quite initial syllables in this case, but more like
> first CV.  Also, that should be "hinten", not "hinter".

I thought I knew what a mullet is, but tried to look up "Vokuhila" in
Wikipedia. Unsuccessfully. Until I realised that "vorne kurz, hinten
lang" was the solution, and not a pronunciation guide. Well, thanks for
teaching me how this awful hair style is called in my native language.

(BTW, the variant _Nackenspoiler_ is _much_ better, because visually
obvious, to my mind. _Nacken_ = _neck_.)

To save my honour: I tried to resolve the "Voku" part as
"Volkskunst" ("art for the people", roughly). I'd been familiar with
"VoKü" (Volxküche, as they prefer to spell it in the lefty scene -- a
sort of communal, shared neighbourhood cooking get-together.)

This type of syllable-wise shortening is very common in German. See also
_Adidas_ and _Eduscho_, both of course from proper names.

For another English example, see _Nanowrimo_.

Chris Waigl

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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