Print

Print


Donald J. HARLOW wrote:
 
> Je 08:03 ptm 5/30/99 +0200, Kjell skribis (responde al mi):
>
> >>"megahit" = (if I am not mistaken) a million records sold.
> >>
> >More than I knew. My English is limited. I just thought it was a very big
> >hit. You'll always learn something new. Interesting. Tanks a lot!
> >
> Actually, I'm not totally sure that it means that a million records have
> been sold. But the term is certainly supposed to give that impression. In
> modern English, as a prefix (and it isn't used in any other way), "mega-"
> definitely means "one million". (In technicalese, incidentally, I believe
> this is "international" -- at least in W. Europe.)
 
I disagree, it may very well have the technicalese meaning 'one million" but
in everyday words, to me, it just means "to a very large degree" "extremely
large (amount)" in colloquial American, I've heard it used in the meaning
"extremely" as in
 
"She was mega-unfrinedly"
 
A mega-store has no direct connection with million either (AFAIK) I also agree
with Kjell that a megahit is just an extremely big hit (somewhat less to many
times more than a million copies sold depending on the part of the world,
field of music etc etc).
 
I certainly don't define mega-bucks as a million dollars (and would be
surprised to find many native speakers do).
 
This does indicate just how two different native speakers of the "same"
language (even the "same" dialect - Standard American) understand words and
how different idiolects can be.
 
This is also an example of how most approaches to IAL's can break down in
practice. Etymologies are fine for working backwards, they don't project into
the future very well though.
 
This doesn't mean that "international words" don't have a place in an IAL (far
from it) it _does_ mean that their presence alone can guarantee any kind of
automatic understanding. One of the mottos of any IALer (regardless of pet
language) should be "communication is negotiation"
 
amik
mikefarris