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Semitically speaking

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Semitically speaking

Postby Garzo » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:04 am

What do you call someone who studies Semitic languages?

Joke answers are acceptable: would I try to stop you?

However, a colleague wrote Semitist in a paper, and now we can't decide whether it's right or wrong. I think I would have written Semiticist. Then we'd decided to settle on Shemi until we could deal with the English! Then, of course, I don't think that it should be capitalised, should it?

:?:

Gaarzuu.
"Poetry is that which gets lost in translation" — Robert Frost
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Postby tcward » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:06 am

Semitophile? Not exactly the same meaning, I know... but it could have multiple roles, I guess.

-Tim
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Postby Flaminius » Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:14 am

I go for a more clipped "semist" after chemist.

As the Etymoline quote below shows, the chem- part is of disputed origin. The suffix -ist seems to have no problem with going hand in hand with the root.

alchemy
1362, from O.Fr. alkemie, from M.L. alkimia, from Arabic al-kimiya, from Gk. khemeioa (found c.300 C.E. in a decree of Diocletian against "the old writings of the Egyptians"), all meaning "alchemy." Perhaps from an old name for Egypt (Khemia, lit. "land of black earth," found in Plutarch), or from Gk. khymatos "that which is poured out," from khein "to pour," related to khymos "juice, sap." The word seems to have elements of both origins.
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Postby Garzo » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:32 pm

I like Semist -- thanks, Flam!

It would probably ring the wrong bell in the hearts of most readers -- not that the bell is wrong, you see, but that it rings at wrongness -- it rings in the heart because I think that's where we know things are wrong -- so this bell is ringing wrongness. However, it's only a different pitch, and I like your timbre!

-- Garzong!
"Poetry is that which gets lost in translation" — Robert Frost
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Postby Flaminius » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:53 am

Garzo is sometimes very recondite. After five weeks I am still wondering what he meant with the above comment.
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Re: Semitically speaking

Postby anders » Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:27 am

Garzo wrote:What do you call someone who studies Semitic languages? ... However, a colleague wrote Semitist in a paper, and now we can't decide whether it's right or wrong. I think I would have written Semiticist. Then we'd decided to settle on Shemi until we could deal with the English! ...

If you don't like semitist, would semitologist be very wrong? In Swedish, we've got arabist and hebraist. A semitist is defined as a person who is knowledgeable about Semitic languages or Semitic culture.[/i]
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Postby Garzo » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:03 pm

Flam, I think my comment was designed not to make sense, or at least be a little cryptic. Sometimes, you see, some things just sound wrong. This doesn't mean that they ar wrong, but it's an instintual bell that rings in one's heart that, rather than going dong like the bell of a monastery on some remote Japanese mountain with a windy path covered in cherry blossom, rings wrong. Of course that is not to say that it's the wrong bell: it's the right bell, but it rings wrongness! Am I loosing it again? Then, however, I thought that this simply might be a tuning problem. Do you know the way that sometimes a very familiar word suddenly just sounds all wrong, and then a wrong word sounds completely right? Well, maybe I'm just a little odd like that. For a moment, I just loose my lexical tuning, and maybe that's something we should do more often -- where wrong words become right, and right words become wrong.

After all that, Anders, I've forgotten what you said, but I remember thinking that it's good. Ah yes: semitist is the right word, but I went instinctually for semiticist. Now I know what taking the long way round feels like!

-- Garzo.
"Poetry is that which gets lost in translation" — Robert Frost
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:24 pm

Garzo, I may be senescent today (:)) as I completely understood both your wonderfully put point and your explanation.

Katy
I AM glad that I recognize that I'm a little goofy today, I feel I'm a bit ahead of the game that way.
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Postby tcward » Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:16 pm

Garzo, loved the post... Katy, loved the punctuation you provided with your comment.

You all (not just Garzo and Katy) keep me coming back for more.

-Tim
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Postby Spiff » Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:59 am

tcward wrote:You all (not just Garzo and Katy) keep me coming back for more.

-Tim


The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Tim Ward has asked for more!'

There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.

'For MORE!' said Mr. Limbkins. 'Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had read the posts allotted by the dietary?'

'He did, sir,' replied Bumble.

'That boy will be hung,' said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. 'I know that boy will be hung.'
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Postby tcward » Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:19 pm

Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in The Agora, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befall a human being, I do mean to say that in this particular instance, it was the best thing for Tim Ward that could by possibility have occurred.

-Tim
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:58 pm

Spiff wrote: . . .
'That boy will be hung,' said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. 'I know that boy will be hung.'


That reminds of of Cleavon Little's reply as Sheriff Bart (there's another bad pun in there!) in Blazing Saddles, when he returns unexpectedly after being sentenced to death . . . :lol:
Regards//Larry

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