comme ci, comme ça

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.
Junior Lexiterian
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:41 pm

comme ci, comme ça

Postby brogine » Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:17 pm

I’ve been remembering what must be the perfect appositive epigram. I heard it years ago on Groucho Marx’s TV show You Bet Your Life. It could be German or Yiddish - I believe it would be the same in the two. A woman was responding to Groucho’s inquiry about how things were going.

Unter dem Pferd oder auf dem Pferd.
Under the horse or atop the horse.

Elegant in its simplicity - brief clauses identical but for diametrically opposite prepositions. Which only amplifies the contrast - beneath the hooves of a large (if merely herbivorous) beast, or astride one’s mount, “ . . . the master of my fate,/ . . . the captain of my soul.”

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