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Re: Definition of idiom

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2006 22:00:55 +0000
Message-ID: <e2a28a920603051400s1dcc6154l@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

On 05/03/06, Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu> wrote:
How about


group of words whose meaning cannot be deduced from the meaning of the
individual words and where you can't change the wording very much without
losing the intended meaning.

Example 1: "kicking the bucket" means dying. But you can't change it to
"kicking the buckets"  or  "kicking the tub" or "booting the bucket" or
"knocking over the bucket" without losing its meaning (unless someone
converts it back into "kicking the bucket" in their head).

 Example 2: "spilling the beans" means revealing a secret.  However "knocking
 over the beans" or "spilling the vegetables" does not mean the same thing
 (unless someone translates it back into "spilling the beans").

 Example 3: The phrase in Japanese <span lang="jp"> さじを投げる(どうするこ
 literally translates into "he threw a spoon". But it means that there was
 nothing he could do and finally he gave up.

 Example 4: The Dutch phrase
  <span lang="nl">Hij ging met de kippen op stok</span> literally translates
 into "He went to roost with the chickens".  But it means that he went to bed


I like that proposal. How about changing "group of words" to "a phrase"?

Best regards,


Supplement your vitamins
Received on Sunday, 5 March 2006 22:01:03 UTC

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