lexical query

Lynne Murphy m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK
Mon Sep 3 15:01:47 UTC 2007

Can't a spell be either a blessing or a curse?


--On Sunday, September 2, 2007 9:07 am -0700 "Arnold M. Zwicky"
<zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:

> an old friend came to me yesterday with a language question
> (apparently, it was Ask-A-Linguist Day at the Palo Alto Farmers'
> Market): is there a language with a word referring to something that
> is both a blessing and a curse?
> (obviously, "blessing" and "curse" will require some cultural
> translation.)
> everybody seems to think that yiddish must be such a language, but no
> one has yet come up with a relevant lexical item.
> any nominations from the floor?
> arnold

Dr M Lynne Murphy
Senior Lecturer and Head of Department
Linguistics and English Language
Arts B135
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN

phone: +44-(0)1273-678844

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

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