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08/06/2003: finally...

Since this afternoon I've been looking for a word, not continuously, but the word's absence has been nagging at me. I just couldn't recall it. It has been very frustrating. The only word that would come to my mind was a colloquialism, an expression that roughly means the same, but in a broader sense, and I certainly couldn't write that one down in the context I wanted to use the word. I've never heard or seen it anywhere but in an informal context, and quite frankly it looks rather ridiculous when you write it down, but what I was looking for -- that much I knew -- was a foreign word, something with Greek or Latin roots.

I wanted an adjective describing expressions that have two parts/words saying the same thing, one of which would be redundant or used for rhetorical emphasis, i.e. I was looking for "tautologisch" (tautological in English). But for the life of me I couldn't remember that frelling word. All I could think was "that foreign word you can use for 'doppelt gemoppelt' when you're talking about rhetoric and word choice."

Eventually it occured to me that English certainly would use the same foreign word, and it might just turn up when I put "doppelt gemoppelt" in an online dictionary. And indeed it did. I could have saved myself some annoyance, if I had had this simple idea earlier, not to mention that instead of tossing and turning I might have fallen asleep at a reasonable hour instead of thinking about Harry Potter questions and turning on the computer again to distract myself (see the previous entry). At least when I saw the translation I had a moment of fun when I imagined some hapless person using the rather highbrow "tautological" for some of the more everyday examples of "doppelt gemoppelt" as (strangely) "tautological" is the only translation given.

Posted by RatC @ 04:29 AM CET
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