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Definition of idiom 2

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2006 16:10:43 -0600
To: "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004f01c640a1$a5936350$ee8cfea9@NC6000BAK>

Good suggestion.
That makes the proposal


phrase 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

Received on Sunday, 5 March 2006 22:10:51 UTC

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