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zomgmouse
693629.  Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:56 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:


Hans Mof wrote:
Are there actually English tmeses other than (expletive) infixations?


Not very many, certainly. There are a handful of jocular but non-expletive examples - "edumacation" is not uncommon, for instance, and I've occasionally heard verbs jocularly used in the manner of a German separable verb. (I recall the Prof once - slightly pointedly - using "up-to-sum" after a colleague had used the dreadful "in upsum". He was probably joking, but you never quite knew with him.)

Wikipedia also cites Ned Flanders' "diddly" and "a-whole-nother".

 
Persica
693682.  Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:07 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
Are there actually English tmeses other than (expletive) infixations?


May I, with all due modesty, refer you back to my earlier post post 692232 wherein I quoted the OED's examples?

To which, I add:

It is used for effect in advertising: an Australian soft drink claimed it was spark-a-lark-a-lark-a-ling.

In 'pop' music it was not unusual for (usually meaningless) syllables to be added to the middle of words - an art which I believe Mr Snoop Dog has used to take swear words and added syllables or words: shiznit.

It abounds in chemistry: eg fructose -> fructofuranose, fructopyranose; and source-based naming of copolymers (an infix is inserted which depends on what is known about the arrangement of the constitutional units).

Some use hesitation to tmetic effect: "She is Miss Taken".

Tmesis does not just apply to words with infixes but can be applied to phrases. Feminists practised it quite a lot by taking the knife to gendered language and adding words to make the phrases gender inclusive and to make the political point that women have been historically marginalised or excluded. For example, "Men - and women - are born and remain free and equal in rights."

Tired phrases may be refreshed by the use of tmesis, or emphasis added, or some comic effect achieved: "caught in the headlights" -> "Is Jeremy Clarkson caught in the Top Gear headlights?"; "I was there for three years, three long years", "Land of no hope and no glory".

And Qi begins with a familiar greeting which is tmetic: "Good evening and welcome ..." becomes "Good evening, good evening, good evening (etc) and welcome ..."

P.

 
Hans Mof
693814.  Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:06 am Reply with quote

Okay, maybe I haven't been all too clear, maybe it's because I'm German and differentiate between tmesis and infixation. A-lark-a-lark-a-ling is still a jocular infixation.

Men - and women - are born... is not tmetic at all, it's a simple paranthesis. And our dearest Fry's Good evening, good evening, good evening is nothing more than repetition. In both examples no word has been split.

What I want from a tmesis is a use not based on jest. Is that too much? ;)

As far as I'm aware this is only possible in languages with separable verbs: German, Dutch, Magyar.

e.g.
Harry soll den Wagen vorfahren.
Harry, fahr schon mal den Wagen vor.

(Harry, get the car!)

Edit:
Keeping in mind that phrasal verbs are related to separable verbs in other languages one might regard this as a tmesis:

Switch off the light.
Switch the light off.

 
Persica
693846.  Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:38 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
In both examples no word has been split.


Even on your rather narrow definition, the chemistry compounds to which I referred seem to satisfy the test. Do they not? oops Don't they?

P.

 
zomgmouse
693847.  Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:39 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
Edit:
Keeping in mind that phrasal verbs are related to separable verbs in other languages one might regard this as a tmesis:

Switch off the light.
Switch the light off.

Split infinitives are considered tmeses? Interesting if true.

 
Hans Mof
693852.  Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:44 am Reply with quote

Persica wrote:
Hans Mof wrote:
In both examples no word has been split.


Even on your rather narrow definition, the chemistry compounds to which I referred seem to satisfy the test. Do they not? oops Don't they?

P.


My knowledge of chemistry and Classical languages isn't sufficient to comment on that. ;)

 
Persica
693877.  Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:32 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
My knowledge of chemistry and Classical languages isn't sufficient to comment on that.


Then allow me to quote the classics ...

"You turn me every which way but loose"

:P

 

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