--- John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Indeed, we might (as Mark Rosenfelder suggests at
> use the
> same character for
> the -cuit in both circuit and biscuit (perhaps a
> derivative of "kit"),
> though there's of course no real connection between
> them.

I took a look. I like the direction that is going in,
but disagree that phonetics play any role whatsoever
in a yingzi-type experiment. We could conduct an
experiment here, if we like - substituting some
elementary English words with Chinese.  Learning their
meaning alone is valid - which is the reason for the
direction I'm pushing - namely rethinking the
charachter designs, that people like Mark can play
with them.

> But what a weird word, "icicle"!  "Ice" + OE _gicel_
> 'icicle'.
> "Ice icicle."

Not weird at all: Ici(Icy="of ice")-cle (Barnacle,

> Chinese has picked up quite a number of unanalyzable
> multisyllabic words,
> though, from _hudie_ 'butterfly' and _bu'ershuwike_
> 'Bolshevik', which
> are loans, to _mamahuhu_ 'so-so' and _dongxi_
> 'thing', which are
> written "horse-horse-tiger-tiger" and "east-west"
> respectively, but
> these are puns, not true etymologies.

Yes. They are local (colloquial) idioms, and in the
case of dongxi-loan charachters mess things up.
Its interesting to think about idioms, though, and
which ones are the most universal.

Steven Cooney (moving to new software this

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!