kidattypewriter

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Replacing Less Complicated Words With More Complicated Ones

Check out this big-ass German compound-noun I learnt in high school:

MEERWASSERHALLENWELLENSCHWIMMENBAD

It means something like hot water swim bath. But that's nothing compared to this big-ass German compound noun:

DONAUDAMPFSCHIFFAHRTSELEKTRIZITAETENHAUPTBETRIEBSWERKBAUUNTERBEAMTENGESELLSCHAFT

Apparently it means something like, "the club for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services."

Not that I'm a genius in the German-language or anything - I don't accidentally write posts in German while drunk, for instance - but I reckon those Germans have got it right. It's about time English got some more compound nouns of its own ...

Glass = Drinkthing

Knife =
Cutthing

Once we get the basics of compound nouns, we can start working putting concepts together:

Fork = Eatthingthatgoeswithcutthing

Spoon = Othereatthingthatgoeswithcutthing

Sound beautiful, don't they? There are no end of everyday items that these nouns can be applied to. Transport items, for instance:

Car = Itemthatgoesvroom

Road = Longflatstonyobjectthatitemthatgoesvroomgoesvroomon

Or things of nature:

Tree = Woodthingwithleafystuff

Bird = Thingthatlivesinwoodthingwithleafystuff

Clothes:

Hat = Roundclothingitemforupperbodypart

Shops:

Market = Largeplaceforexchangingmoneywithgoodsand/orservices

And the body:

Head = Upperbodypart

Hand = Bodypartattheendofanotherbodypart

Once you get all this worked out, you can turn quite short, dull things like poems into impressively long and incomprehensible works of art. Thus:

I put my hat upon my head
And went into the Strand
And there I met another man
Whose hat was in his hand.

(Dr Johnson)

This becomes this:

I put my roundclothingitemforupperbodypart upon myupperbodypart
And went into the largeplaceforexchangingmoneywithgoodsand/orservices
And there I met another collectionofseveralbodyparts
Whose roundclothingitemforupperbodypart was in his bodypartattheendofanotherbodypart

Or this brief quatrain:

One day I saw a bird
Sitting in a tree
And that little tiny bird
Was looking back at me.

Becomes this epic of personal experience:

One day I saw a thingthatlivesinleafystuff
Up in a woodthingwithleafystuff
And that little tiny thingthatlivesinleafystuff
Was looking back at me.*

*(I'm still working on a compound noun for this one. It's a toughie.)
Wonderful, no?

No?

UPDATE - What's that - this post was boring? Oh, go and look up swear words in the dictionary then. Some people are never amused!

6 comments:

kathrynoh said...

Have you been smoking the wacky baccy Tim? Please say yes cos I'd hate to think you think this stuff without it.

beautifulatrocities said...

Well. Even better than Esperanto. I'm sure this will catch on, Tim

beautifulatrocities said...

Now I remember what it reminds me of: Entish

TimT said...

Waccybaccyless, I'm afraid, Kathryn.

BA - "If a things worth saying, it's worth taking a long time to say" - from that Ent guy. I forget what his name was. I was actually going to use that quote somewhere in this piece. That quote pretty much summarises Tolkien's style.

Mike said...

hehehe funny stuff

ms rachy said...

Gesundheitswiederherstellungszusammenmischungsverhaeltniskundiger

[One who knows the mixture ratio of a concoction that is sure to
restore health]

One o' my faves!!

Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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