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On Fri, 27 Oct 2000, Yoon Ha Lee wrote:

> <wry look>  I've never understood the terminology myself.  I'm trying to
> remember if diminutives are usually longer or shorter with "English"
> names but I think they can go either way.

The term "diminutive" refers to the size of the *referent*, not the
size of the *word*.  Often size is used metaphorically, either
positively ("Stevie" < "little Steve") or negatively ("princeling"
< "prince of insignificant realm").

--
John Cowan                                   [log in to unmask]
One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore
        --Douglas Hofstadter