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The F series

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mckeonj
174588.  Tue May 15, 2007 10:59 am Reply with quote

May we include the letter 'ff', as in ffoulkes?
I understood that this usage arose from printers using a doubled lower case letter if they ran out of upper case, but I fully expect that to be a nice bit of General Ignorance.
I like the idea of the series being hosted by Mr Stephen ffry.

 
Jenny
174767.  Tue May 15, 2007 8:54 pm Reply with quote

grizzly wrote:
Perhaps we should wait for the BBC to commission the next series first?


Oh ye of little faith!

 
Sergei
174778.  Tue May 15, 2007 11:44 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
May we include the letter 'ff', as in ffoulkes?
I understood that this usage arose from printers using a doubled lower case letter if they ran out of upper case, but I fully expect that to be a nice bit of General Ignorance.
I like the idea of the series being hosted by Mr Stephen ffry.

Sounds like a legend to me. Why would it only appear in family names, and only with ones beginning with F?

My guess - and this is purely a guess - is that one aristocratic family adopted the spelling to differentiate themselves from a family with the same name (or from despised relatives), and others with names beginning with F copied the fashion. I wonder who did use it first.

Two of Galway's fourteen "tribes" (mediaeval ruling merchant families) used it: ffrench and ffont. I believe both were of Norman descent. In later writing the names revert to a normal F, or even to Ff.

 
grimwig
174871.  Wed May 16, 2007 6:37 am Reply with quote

Fakes might make a good episode, touching on forgeries, impersonations, replicas and people like the Tichborne Claimant and their ilk.

Similiarly Fools- jesters i was thinking

 
Spud McLaren
622881.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:56 pm Reply with quote

grimwig wrote:
Fakes might make a good episode, touching on forgeries, impersonations, replicas and people like the Tichborne Claimant and their ilk....

OK, I haven't checked this recently, but I'm sure ilk has a very specific and restricted use, meaning "of the clan of the same name", or something similar - as in "Sir Robert MacDonald of that ilk". It is specifically used in connection with Scottish clans, and isn't a general term for "people in the same category".

 
CB27
622888.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:16 pm Reply with quote

ilk in Scotland has that meaning, but the word in English has been used to mean "of the same" for quite some time.

 
Spud McLaren
622907.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:27 pm Reply with quote

Established useage by a foreign country isn't necessarily correct usage.

 
Spud McLaren
622909.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:33 pm Reply with quote

One of the definitions I found -
"This is a Scots word, meaning 'same', used when the name of a property is the same as that of its owner: the Knockwinnocks of that ilk are the Knockwinnock family who own or live at Knockwinnock. It is often used to mean 'of the same name or family' or 'of the same type': The Davises are a family of engineers, and one of that ilk designs oil tankers; Barbara Cartland and her ilk (other writers of romantic fiction). Strictly speaking this is incorrect, and some Scots object to it quite strongly. "
(http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/english/data/d0082233.html).

So my earlier post wasn't quite accurate either, as the word is tied to landed property rather than clan name.

 
thedrew
622911.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:56 pm Reply with quote

Spud, I fear you head might explode if you went to Mexico and left your car at "el parking."

 
Spud McLaren
622932.  Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:12 am Reply with quote

OK, I know next-to-nowt about Mexico. Is "el parking" not indicative of a place where you can park your car?

 
thedrew
623135.  Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:20 pm Reply with quote

Yes it is. And it is both bad Spanish and bad English to refer to a parking lot as "un parking" but it's a borrowed word, and has taken on a different meaning south of the border from whence it was derived. In Spain such use would be deplored as "un aparcamiento" is a perfectly fine Spanish word for parking lot.

Crossing the Atlantic we confuse what is and is not a "biscuit" which comes up far more often than "ilk." I can only imagine there are many differences between Scottish English and the English of England.

 
Spud McLaren
623164.  Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:30 pm Reply with quote

Say what you like, to me it's like wearing a tartan you're not entitled to wear.

 
thedrew
623187.  Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:58 pm Reply with quote

I'm going to the Seaside Highland Games here in California this weekend. I'll be sure to respect your definition while there.

 
Spud McLaren
623649.  Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:10 pm Reply with quote

thedrew wrote:
Yes it is. And it is both bad Spanish and bad English to refer to a parking lot as "un parking" but it's a borrowed word, and has taken on a different meaning south of the border from whence it was derived. In Spain such use would be deplored as "un aparcamiento" is a perfectly fine Spanish word for parking lot.


Ah! Light dawns where no sun shines. Now I see what you're getting at, and sadly it points up the old saying, "two nations divided by a single language". You seem to be saying that in the US you'd have a sign saying "parking lot"; whereas in England we wouldn't bother, we'd have a sign just saying "parking" - in a way, an abbreviation for "parking allowed here". Correct me if I'm wrong, but in Spanish I think you have to precede a noun with either a definite or indefinite article, as you have to do in French (thus, "le camping"). Yes, yes, I see what you mean now...

...don't I?

Have a great time at the Games!

 
thedrew
623717.  Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:55 pm Reply with quote

Yes, I think you see my point. "le camping" is a better reference as it is one we're all more likely to be aware of.

Though, to be clear, our signs simply say "parking" too. I assume that's where the Mexican usage originates.

 

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