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Nu, who's calling prunes "dried plums"?

Sunsweet, for example:
http://www.sunsweet.com/gifts.cfm?price=0%2C5
The page cited seems to use both "prunes" and "dried plums" for plain prunes, but prunes with another fruit flavor added are called only "dried plums".
(Aside: I've had their Orange Essence Dried Plums. Very weird. Smell like oranges and taste like prunes. I liked them a lot, though.)

-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
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Another dictionary described the use of "pingouin" to refer to penguins as "abusif", so I guess some people do use it that way.

Is "abusif" a faux ami?

Apparently. The (oldish) bilingual that I use glosses it 'irregular, improper, contrary to rule or usage; excessive'.

Brian
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
There's no system or tendency to it, and it goes in both directions, regardless of the pair of languages. In ... non-technical speech. French breaks owls down into two categories, "hibou" and "chouette," where ordinary English makes no distinction at all.

In French, paper clips and trombones are both "trombones". Go figure.
There's no system or tendency to it, and it goes ... and "chouette," where ordinary English makes no distinction at all.

It's a similar owl story in Spanish, where they distingiush between lechuzas* (barn owls) and *buhos (all other owls). They ... they're just "passed-it plums", while any wardrobe or cupboard (i.e. a storage space with a door) is just an armario.

Early and late fig crops remind me of early and late rains, which have different words in Biblical Hebrew (yore and malkosh, resp. Or irresp. I forget which).
And, of course, there are 3,434,254,367,834 words for 'snow' in Eskimo. (J/k.)
Michael Hamm Since mid-September of 2003, AM, Math, Wash. U. St. Louis I've been erasing too much UBE. (Email Removed) Of a reply, then, if you have been cheated, http://math.wustl.edu/~msh210/ Likely your mail's by mistake been deleted.
I've noticed that English tends to have separate nouns for ... "raisins" ans "raisims secs." Is there any reason for this?

There's no system or tendency to it, and it goes in both directions, regardless of the pair of languages. In ... non-technical speech. French breaks owls down into two categories, "hibou" and "chouette," where ordinary English makes no distinction at all.

Intuitively I do think that English uses separate terms more often where German prefers compounds, although there are for sure some example to the contrary between those two languages, too. I suspect the English preference for short (optimally one-syllable) words as a culprit. That's just a hypothesis, as I haven't got around to a quantitative analysis.

Oliver C.
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I've noticed that English tends to have separate nouns for ... "raisins" ans "raisims secs." Is there any reason for this?

I don't know the answer to your question, but I do have one observation to make on the subject: English or ... attempt is going to be made to rename them in light of the renaming of American prunes as "dried plums."

If they're the ones I'm thinking of, they are salted and spiced as well a totally different experience from prunes, which the American market at least seems to like sweet and un-dry.
Ross Clark
There's no system or tendency to it, and it goes ... of distinguishing emperor penguins from the others in non-technical speech.

I doubt that any two French speakers will agree with this. My 1950s Petit Larousse says that "pingouin" refers to ... believe that colloquial French would have a special word for one species of penguin. Where did you get this from?

I couldn't possibly tell you, but I seem to have been wrong. Hmm. And there's a character on fr.lettres.langue.francaise whose moniker is "Nestor le pingouin". Now I have to change my mental image of him.

Harlan Messinger
Remove the first dot from my e-mail address.
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I've noticed that English tends to have separate nouns for ... "raisins" ans "raisims secs." Is there any reason for this?

There's no system or tendency to it, and it goes in both directions, regardless of the pair of languages. In ... non-technical speech. French breaks owls down into two categories, "hibou" and "chouette," where ordinary English makes no distinction at all.

There's a curious situation with the French words "chameau" and "dromadaire." If you use the word "chameau" when referring to a dromedary (an Arabian camel), French people will tend to correct you. "Chameau," they insist, is the two-humped camel (the Bactrian camel). However, the word "chameau" is traditionally used in French translations of the Bible when the camel in question would presumably have been the dromedary, as in Matthew 19:24 (Louis Segond translation): "Je vous le dis encore, il est plus facile à un chameau de passer par le trou d'une aiguille qu'à un riche d'entrer dans le royaume de Dieu." In the King James (Authorized) Version, "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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Is "abusif" a faux ami?

Apparently. The (oldish) bilingual that I use glosses it 'irregular, improper, contrary to rule or usage; excessive'.

None of which would seem to apply to naming antarctic birds!
Peter T. Daniels (Email Removed)
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