Hannu Tommola Hannu.Tommola at UTA.FI
Tue Jun 24 20:52:25 UTC 2008

Dear Crackers,

1) Swedish: I am not a native speaker but it seems to me that a rather  
usual context to “spräcka” a vase implies that the vase gets not only  
“partially fractured” but the parts will be “completely separate”.

2) In Finnish, consider common etymology of

“särö” (noun) ‘crack’ (Grm Sprung, Swd spricka)
“särk-e-ä” causative ‘break’ (cf. “särk-y-ä” intr. ‘break’)

NB: Lönnrot’s classical Finnish-Swedish dictionary from 19th century  
gives a causative derivative “särö-ttä-ä” glossed as ‘spjelka sönder’  
(contemporary “spjälka” ‘to split’, possibly a finlandism)

3) I wonder if it is not quite normal to blame on somebody who  
‘cracked’ something for having ‘broken’ it. In most cases that  
something will be useless, anyway. - To take the case of "ice": if I  
go to a lake in winter, I can't think of a purpose why I should just  
'crack' the ice; instead, if I, for example, go fishing, I'll break it  
to make a hole in it.

I assume this explains also code cracking, because it's hardly  
anything else as breaking the code. I'm not surprised if most  
languages do not, in everyday language, lexicalize something so  
specialized which can always be explicated in discourse (I wouldn't be  
surprised to find out that specialists use as technical terms  
something like Finn. “särö-ttä-ä” or "särö-y-ttä-ä" for a special  
purpose; the intransitives "särö-y-tyä" and "särö-i-llä" are attested).


P.S. And Viktor Elšík's nut-cracking does'nt lead anywhere, if you  
don't break them...
Hannu Tommola, Professor of Russian Language (Translation Theory and Practice)
School of Modern Languages and Translation Studies
FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
Phone: +358-(0)3-3551 6102

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