Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Because all languages borrow from each other. We have a surprising number of French phrases we use quite regularly, such as en masse (synonym of en bloc), en suite, a la carte, cafe, Bon voyage, etc.
     
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    "All together" originally came from other languages too. English is an evolved and evolving language.
     
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    carte blanche = do as you wish?
    Referring to political leader?
     
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. It literally translates to “white (or blank) paper”.
    If it was used in reference to a political leader, then yes. E.g. his party may give him carte blanche to secure a win in the election, meaning that he could do as he wanted in order to win the election.
    But it can be used in any context when you are basically giving someone liberty to do as they see fit, although it is usually with an end goal in mind.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Compare with "blank check". A blank check implies unlimited funding whereas carte blanche may include a broader range of powers.
     
  9. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure if you remember cheques but it is also possible to physically give someone a signed and dated blank cheque and allow them to fill in the amount

    Cheques are becoming a thing of the past...
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I still have some.

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  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    megalomania = crazy for power?
    Mega = very big
    lomania is what?
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, not quite. It is having delusions of being far more powerful than you are, or being far greater. It is often accompanied by a desire for ever more power, though.
    Not quite. The etymology is from the Greek word megalos (from which we get the prefix “mega-”) meaning large, exaggerated, and mania meaning madness.
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Hobson's Choice = you can only choose one?
    Is this an idiom?
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not quite - it is where only one thing is offered, with taking nothing being the alternative.
    It apparently comes from the 16/17th century, where a guy named Hobson, who owned a stable and rented out horses, would offer customers either the horse in the nearest stall or no horse at all. His was a "take it or leave it" offer.
    Yes.
     

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