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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Mon Jun 29th, 2009 6:26pm Post subject: Thesis Attn: Fry experts
Hellow!
Need your advice. Linguists' opinions are of extreme interest.
I'm going to make a research. It will be devoted to problems of translation and/or international communication. When brooding on a thesis it came on me like a revelation that I don't want to write about Swift or Wodehouse or Waugh. By that time I was reading The Stars' Tennis Balls. Why not St. Fry then? The question is that I don't know what aspect to choose. Phraseology? Then what aspect of it? Pragmatic aspect of translation realias (nationally biased units)? Not very interesting, not many of them. Lexical transformations? ...? ...? What? M?

* Deeply sorry for my bad English.

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exoskeleton


Member

Posted Mon Jun 29th, 2009 10:41pm Post subject: Thesis Attn: Fry experts
don't worry about your English a bit!

I don't know much about linguistics at all, and before this year I couldn't have even told you what it is! I've never taken a course in anything remotely similar. Anyway, your topic seems very interesting and pertinent in a world the loves throwing around information so much!

here is information I can offer you, and perhaps you can find something about it:

I've read The Liar, The Hippopotamus, Moab is my Washpot, Making History, and a few dozen essays in Paperweight by Stephen Fry. I have not yet read The Stars' Tennis Balls, unfortunately.
I think most interesting aspect of his writing is the word choice. Fry often uses words that I need to look up in a dictionary, and I am a native English speaker (albeit one from the United States.) In both The Hippopotamus and Making History, when the characters are by a body of water in the woods, he uses the words "pong" and "midges" to create the setting, and I wasn't previously familiar with those terms. I also noticed an affection for the word "footling" which shows up in both The Liar and The Hippopotamus. I've never seen it anywhere else before, and no one I've asked (because I do care about these things) seems to know the definition.
His character Professor Trefusis, who appears in The Liar, and who "wrote" many of the essays in Paperweight, likes to speak very obtusely, using very vibrant language and metaphors to do so. Trefusis says things like "Of all the solecisms, gaffes, floaters, blunders, and bowel-shatterlingly frightful bloomers possible to make, I am fully persuaded that overdressing heads the field by a comfortable furlong." What's interesting to me about that sentence that he has so much fun listing words that are essentially synonyms; it would be really difficult to to differentiate a gaffe from a floater. Actually, I didn't know what a floater was, and I had to look it up to see that it meant a mistake. According to the website I found, It's old British slang, and how I was I supposed to know that? I still liked the sentence though! Then, Trefusis doesn't just think something he's fully persuaded (by himself, I guess) that overdressing is bad and uses some sort of racing metaphor to express just how bad it is. I personally enjoy this convoluted method of expression.

anyway, that all may have been entirely useless, but if even one point in there helps, then it wasn't a waste of time. If I need to be clearer anywhere, don't hesitate to ask.

I hope writing your thesis will be interesting and relatively painless!

edit: I was feeling really weird about analyzing a sentence so deeply...I just wanted to try to help.

sockdolager.

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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Tue Jun 30th, 2009 12:42pm Post subject: Thesis Attn: Fry experts
exoskeleton, thank you very much, your opinion is of great help to me. May I recite it when trying to explain to my boss why I've chosen such an untypical author? With reference that you are a native speaker?

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exoskeleton


Member

Posted Tue Jun 30th, 2009 9:37pm Post subject: Thesis Attn: Fry experts
exoskeleton, thank you very much, your opinion is of great help to me. May I recite it when trying to explain to my boss why I've chosen such an untypical author? With reference that you are a native speaker?

you're welcome, and yes, you're welcome to reference what I've written here when explaining.

sockdolager.

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