Here's the French page of an X.500 directory. The France.com site is in English.
French sign language is explained in this old classics-list posting. (BTW, the word is préservatif.) Hmm, it seems I also incorporated the content of that posting into the I dunno entry.
Discovered by Marguerite Perey working at the Curie Institute in 1939, which in other respects was a pretty bad year for France.
Edwin Newman includes the following footnote in the second chapter of his A Civil Tongue (I don't recommend the book):
De Gaulle, by the way, could speak English. When he visited the United States at the end of 1959, I went along, as NBC's Paris correspondent, to help in the coverage. There was a reception at the French Embassy, and as I approached de Gaulle I saw one of his associates nudge him and tell him I was there. He looked down at me and said, ``I am very happy to see you here.'' Whether he spoke in English because he was in Washington and thought it fitting or did not want to provoke me into speaking French, I never knew.
For another anecdote suggesting the limited English proficiency of an American, read the experiences of Walter Matthau a paragraph or two under the Pasteur eponym rubric.
In the movie The Great Race (1965), Professor Fate (played by Jack Lemmon) turns out to have an uncanny resemblance to Prince Hapnik (played by Jack Lemmon). This leads to an extended episode in which the Professor impersonates the Prince. The perfesser's loyal sidekick Max (Peter Falk), innocently working at cross purposes to his boss, disguises himself in the robes of a friar (who will have a terrible headache when he recovers consciousness) and frees fellow racer Leslie Gallant III (Tony Curtis). A general brings the Professor the news.
Professor Fate: Leslie escaped?
General: With a small friar.
Professor Fate: Leslie escaped with a chicken?
The usual simple definition is
(Fr)2 is a ratio of the scale of inertial forces to gravitational forces. (Sometimes the formula given here for (Fr)2 is itself taken as the definition of Fr.)
In open-channel flow, L is the channel depth y, and V is the average flow velocity. Since gy is the squared velocity of smooth shallow waves in a shallow channel, the Froude number is the ratio of the average flow velocity to the velocity of surface (gravity) waves.
More old news you can use, if you're imaginative enough: at the end of the movie ``Animal House,'' the subsequent history of the major characters is given (lettered in front of them as they are seen in the parade/riot episode). ROTC officer Doug Niedermeyer of Omega House is described as ``killed in Vietnam by his own troops.'' This movie, filmed in 1978, was the third directed by John Landis. In his segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), some soldiers are overheard discussing ``fragging Niedermeyer.''
If you must use Framemaker to write up your research, then switch to a research field in which there are no equations.
Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ``giving women the franchise'' meant amending a government's constitution so women would have the right to vote.
A McDonald's franchise is the right to operate a business under the McDonald's trademark. Such a franchise is granted to individual entrepreneurs subject to a variety of contractual obligations. Read about it in this article in Startup Journal. (The article is from 1999 -- about the last time I ate there.) Becoming a McDonald's franchisee is a lot like joining the army, except that you have to put a half a million dollars up front, you have a good chance to get richer, and there's no shooting in most of the stores. Okay, two out of three. The US armed forces operate over a hundred different training schools. McDonald's operates Hamburger University (on the campus of company headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., near Chicago). You can finish faster and it's ``tuition-free'' (after the $45,000 fee you pay at signing), but the selectivity in some years is tighter than Harvard University's.
Generally speaking (i.e., not just fast-food restaurants) a franchise may be granted on more or less exclusive terms (i.e., with a commitment that similar or nearby franchises will not be granted). An exclusive retail franchise is thus a kind of monopoly (not considered a restraint of trade if other companies can compete). This sense of the term is extended to include anyone who has some sort of monopoly. Thus, one might say that for a few years, Meg Ryan owned the romantic comedy franchise.
For a while, Kevin Costner was to baseball movies what Meg Ryan was to romantic comedies. He starred in Bull Durham (1988), Field of Dreams (1989), and For Love of the Game (1999). Yes, there were other baseball movies in that period. Yes, Costner also made some movies in that period that I'd rather not get into.
In Bull Durham, he plays Crash Davis, a veteran minor-league catcher. He's coaching ``Nuke'' (up-and-coming young pitching sensation Ebby Calvin LaLoosh) on the fine points of what to do when he makes it to the bigs (called ``the show'' in this show). On a bus trip...
Crash : It's time to work on your interviews.
Nuke: My interviews? What do I gotta do?
Crash: You're gonna have to learn your clichés. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends. Write this down: ``We gotta play it one day at a time.''
Nuke: Got to play... it's pretty boring.
Crash: 'Course it's boring, that's the point. Write it down.
A later scene shows him after he has made it to the bigs, reciting the same clichés to a reporter, who is busily taking notes.
For another example, see the entry HE for Hessen/Hesse.
The word frass was borrowed from German in the mid-nineteenth century by English-speaking entomologists. (At the time, it was also written frasz, the sz indicating that an unvoiced ess sound is preceded by a metrically long vowel. Technically, a double ess shortens the vowel, and a single ess would imply voicing of the ess if inflection put a vowel after it. In modern orthography this is all taken care of by using the old Fraktur s-z ligature and regarding it as a single letter, so the word is written Fraß.) The German noun is related to a verb fressen. Fressen is the animal version of essen, `to eat.' It corresponds to one sense of the English verb feed. Where in English, we would say that a farmer feeds the cow and the cow feeds on grain, in German one would say equivalently that ein Bauer füttert die Kuh und die Kuh frisst Korn. (Fressen undergoes a stem change to become frisst in the third-person singular. The past-tense root is fraß.)
The OED's earliest cited English use of the word frass is from The Entomologist's Companion by H.T. Stainton (London: J. Van Voorst, 2/e 1854). (The second seems to be the only edition that any research library owns.) Stainton wrote:
The half-eaten leaves attest but too surely that some devourer is near. These indications of the presence of a larva are expressed in the German language by the single word frass, and we may, without impropriety, use the same word for the purpose of expressing the immediate effect of the larva's jaws, and the more indirect effect of the excrementitious matter ejected by the larva.
In English the word has (also, if the word is appropriate) come to be used in reference to the refuse left behind by boring insects, such as the sawdust generated by beetles burrowing into a tree. Boring insects are interesting! (Or your house.) Kill them! I'm inclined to take Stainton's word, but the acception of Fraß that he gives has escaped the notice of all general lexicographers of German from the Grimms on down, so far as I can tell.
The closest most dictionaries come directly to the English-speaking entomologists' sense is to define Fraß as the food eaten by predators. However, Fraß has also been used to describe slovenly eaters -- humans who eat like animals. From there it is not much of a stretch to have Fraß mean the mess that a messily-eating insect makes.
The Spanish word fresa (discussed at fruta) has nothing to do with fressen. I figured I'd mention that first and get it out of the way. The verb fressen is cognate with the English fret. The current common sense of the verb fret was originally expressed by phrases like ``fret oneself'' -- i.e., to eat oneself up with worry. Shakespeare uses the word both reflexively and intransitively (with the same sense, iiuc). He also uses the transitive verb in the sense of ``provide with frets'' (like a guitar), always figuratively (``...yon grey Lines, That fret the Clouds, are Messengers of Day'' -- Julius Caesar). He rather plays with the word, tangling its different meanings. The clearest instance of a pun is in this from Hamlet to Guildensterne:
Why looke you now, how vnworthy a thing you make of me: you would play vpon mee; you would seeme to know my stops: you would pluck out the heart of my Mysterie; you would sound mee from my lowest Note, to the top of my Compasse: and there is much Musicke, excellent Voice, in this little Organe, yet cannot you make it. Why do you thinke, that I am easier to bee plaid on, then a Pipe? Call me what Instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play vpon me. God blesse you Sir.
A herald from the defeated enemy approaches King Henry V at the field of Agincourt and makes this speech:
No great King:
I come to thee for charitable License,
That we may wander ore this bloody field,
To booke our dead, and then to bury them,
To sort our Nobles from our common men.
For many of our Princes (woe the while)
Lye drown'd and soak'd in mercenary blood:
So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbes
In blood of Princes, and with wounded steeds
Fret fet-locke deepe in gore, and with wilde rage
Yerke out their armed heeles at their dead masters,
Killing them twice. O giue vs leaue great King,
To view the field in safety, and dispose
Of their dead bodies.
Here fret seems to function as a past participle meaning ``bound, tied.'' That sense, already archaic in the bard's time, is appropriately close to the Old French freter, and properly means to bind with a hoop or ring. It is the origin of the guitar-fret sense.
Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice contains an explanation of its title: ``Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.'' (What if you go into a coma?) Yet the title can't help but remind one (and suffer by the comparison) of some -- let's call them immortal -- words from ``Julius Caesar'':
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
I only wonder if Fleming also had in mind the dead knights killed twice. Anyway, let's get back to fretting.
King Lear, in Act I, Sc. 4, unforgettably, curses his evil daughter Gonerill:
Heare Nature, heare deere Goddesse, heare:
Suspend thy purpose, if thou did'st intend
To make this Creature fruitfull:
Into her Wombe conuey stirrility,
Drie vp in her the Organs of increase,
And from her derogate body, neuer spring
A Babe to honor her. If she must teeme,
Create her childe of Spleene, that it may liue
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her.
Let it stampe wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With cadent Teares fret Channels in her cheekes,
Turne all her Mothers paines, and benefits
To laughter, and contempt: That she may feele,
How sharper then a Serpents tooth it is,
To haue a thanklesse-Childe. Away, away.
Here fret can have the sense of ``abrade.'' This is close to the (originally Germanic) eating sense, but is considered distinct and probably is ultimately from the Latin fricare, `rub.' And I haven't even mentioned the ``carve'' extension of the ``abrade'' meaning, to say nothing of the lace-and-ornamentation-related meanings! The truth is, this one set of letters has enough meanings and spells enough etymologically distinct words that just to write ``fret'' is to pun. See its entry too. (Amazingly, fricare is not supposed to be the source of the English word frig.)
Almost -- cut my hair! It happened just the other day.
Don't be givin' in an inch; let your freak flag fly. Odds are fifty-fifty you have your grandfather's X chromosome anyway, in which case you'll go bald iff he did.
While many are aware that Newton's particulate theory of light included a concept of ``fits'' to explain interference phenomena, the sense of the word ``fit'' in his explanation is probably misunderstood more often than not. He did not mean that some path length of traveling light ``fit'' a particular length, as we understand wavelength fits within interference structures. Rather, he meant that at certain distances, the particle of light would experience an abrupt event, like a fit. A later generation of physicists, attempting to explain another phenomenon associated with wave interference, coined the term ``quantum jump.''
``Soft recovery'' may be specified, in which case low-voltage characteristics are recovered to within a tolerance called the ``soft factor'' (0.8 is typical).
Redundantly, this is typically called a ``FRED Diode.''
But that wasn't my point. King ended his speech with these words:
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ``Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!''
In the spiritual, the freedom the singer refers to is the freedom of the grave. Most of the versions of the spiritual that are available on the web differ from the version quoted by Dr. King. If you want to track down different versions, include the string ``King Jesus'' so your search isn't swamped with texts of King's speech. But that wasn't my point either.
Ernest (``Fritz'') Hollings (D-SC) was 70 years old when he won election in 1992 to his sixth term in the US Senate. He evidently didn't expect to run again, and at the victory celebration on election night he exclaimed.
I don't have to get elected to a bloomin' thing. And I don't have to do things that are politically correct. The hell with everybody. I'm free at last.
Fritz Hollings was a colorful character, but these remarks were somewhat at variance with the pieties he normally expressed during campaigns. I recall that there was a particularly saccharine bit in an interview he gave during his unsuccessful campaign to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 1984; he explained that he first got the idea of going into politics when he saw the good that government could do. (I can't find that interview now. You'll just have to take my word.) But I don't mean to disparage Hollings any more than King. The former also did his part for civil rights; his leadership as governor of South Carolina between 1958 and 1963 insured the peaceful integration of that state's schools.
Hollings decided to run again in 1998, and footage of him speaking the words quoted above was aired by his opponent's campaign. He won again and served out his seventh term. But that wasn't my point. Come to think of it, I didn't have any particular point; I just felt like bringing together a couple of striking instances of the head term.
Evidently selected by the Coca Cola book expert for the joint-marketed pleasure of the kind of people who drink Diet Coke. They guess things about my reading preferences that I never suspected. I also find that they increase the structural integrity of the packaging-cost-optimized 24-packs. When you slip your hand in the carry slot, try to pull the excerpt toward your palm and use it to distribute the force you exert on the inside of the box.
FWIW, the domain for the Detroit Free Press (Detroit's leading fishwrap) is <freep.com>.
Not what you expected, huh? Beginning to regret that two-hour call to your cousin in Rangoon, now, eh?
Back when Mr. Coulter, my high school electronics teacher, was in the Signal Corps in 'Nam (.vn), arranging connections to call oneself around the world was entertainment.
I have learned
To spell hors d'oeuvres
Which still grates on
Some people's n'oeuvres.
If you aspire to this, or to an even higher level of French language competence, then you may find useful the English French Bridge (not to be confused with the Chunnel) as well as the ARTFL French-English Dictionary Form.
It's neither true nor very well known, but you read it here first: 97.22 per cent of the world's literate population is fluent in French, but virtually no one uses the language for fear of having his or her accent ridiculed by a native speaker. For more on shame-related language behavior, see the Polish, Belgium (.be), Broken English, and Denmark (.dk) entries. Heck, read the whole glossary (this could take a while).
This website offers to conjugate your French verb. Trust the French to come up with something kinky like that. Incidentally, some of the best French dictionaries are available free on line (TLFi, Littré).
I wasn't reading newspapers much in 1969 -- I only learned about this because Robert brought the news item in for show-and-tell or some similar class assignment during the 68-69 school year. Anyway, either it was clear that the woman had used dog food as a spread for her husband's sandwich, or we all or at least I just assumed that. It's been a few decades, and Rob says he's hazy on the details, but he'll let me know if he remembers anything. The fact that the wife hadn't eaten any of the meat herself might stand as evidence for the dog-specific food hypothesis, it seems to me. Eventually, a neighbor's kid admitted to killing the dog by dropping an iron on its head from a window.
I was originally reminded of this story when I ran across a web page of somebody's (Jay Cross's, I think) trip to Nice, France. At the bottom of the page there is this:
Since it's illegal to import food into the U.S., I can't imagine how this happened, but somehow my dogs tried French dog food for the first time last night and absolutely loved it! Latte, who has some doggie eating disorder, gobbled down his rabbit and ran over to lick Smokey's bowl. This morning, they both dug into their agneau vigorously.
Well, he did mention earlier that he'd bought 87 euros' worth of ``truffles, mustard, honey, and special salt.'' The hardest work in looking for truffles is keeping the animal (one uses a pig or a dog to sniff them out) from devouring the truffles as soon as they're dug up. That, in turn, reminds me of the beginning of Gulag Archipelago. The relevant facts are mentioned at the bima entry.
Similarly, the French once used the term lettre anglais. It might have helped me to have remembered that during the adventure I am surprised to realize I have not foisted on this glossary yet. Anyway, the relevant point was that after biking 25 kilometers uphill in the rain to Condom just so I could say that I had bought some there, I whipped my moisture-engorged French-English pocket dictionary out of my pocket and discovered that the critical vocable wasn't there. You cannot imagine my chagrin. It's a bit gauche to use sign language for this particular item, and in Condom even an English-speaker might have had some difficulty ``getting it'' if I had said I wanted to buy a condom.
A tight, impermeable barrier of protective amnesia has enveloped the main thrust of that experiment in social intercourse, but I do remember that I got what I was after. In case you ever find yourself in a similarly sticky situation, the word is préservatif. It's Präservativ or Kondom in German. That's what the farmer thought I was. German, that is. I met the farmer when I encountered a meadow full of curious cows where my map said a road should be. I was lost. All reference works failed me that day. After we got the nationality issues squared away, I finally got to use sign language. For example, here is how the farmer communicated ``You are very far from Chateau de Bonas'':
(English borrowed forms of Caesar at least three times. The current form, which has sometimes been written Cesar, apparently takes its pronunciation from French and its spelling from Latin.)
As languages in Iberia evolved, somewhat in parallel, the sound associated with ç evolved as well. By the seventeenth century, the old system of three voiced and three unvoiced sibilants had collapsed. There remained only three unvoiced sibilants, and more than enough letters to represent them. In Spanish as in French and Italian, c is no longer marked when it is soft before an e or i. Instead, c is simply regarded as having a different sound when followed by either of those vowels, and marked only when the sound is exceptional. Like Italian, Spanish has a trick to force a hard sound (a qu spelling is used). The role of the ç comes in the complementary case, when the c is soft. In Italian, one simply inserts an i after the c, and in Spanish one replaces the c with a z. (In Aragonese, the letter z had represented the voiced sound dz corresponding to the unvoiced ts represented by ç.) In French, one uses a ç for a soft c not followed by e or i, as in aperçu, façade, français, François, garçon, leçon, and Provençal.
(In New Castilian, the principal modern dialect of Spain, the pronunciations of ce, ci, and z evolved further in a less usual way: the s sound became an unvoiced th sound. The reason is not certain, but it is presumed to have something to do with Basque, which had no voiced sibilants. Basques made up perhaps as much as a third of the Christian forces in the Reconquista.)
In 2006, during the doubtless not-entirely-orchestrated international furor over satirical Mohammed cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, Tehran bakers got also got into the, uh, rechristening act. It turns out that they had also traditionally used a term that translates literally as ``Danish pastry.'' Sweet, flaky danishes were, in fact, a large part of their stock, baked fresh daily. By mid-February, these were being sold as ``roses of the prophet Mohammed.'' The name change was ordered by the confectioners' union on February 16, 2006. (You remember the legend of the origin of the croissant, right? Good.)
The Fannie Farmer Cookbook was apparently behindhand: the 1918 edition did not list French toast, but did have a recipe for German toast. Note that the recipe called for stale bread. One of the Wonders of modern baking, so-called, is that bread comes mushy and ready-to-German-or-French-toast straight from the store. It's the greatest thing since, actually since before, sliced bread. (Yuck.)
The 11th edition of the book (don't ask me ``which book?''), published in 1965, gave a recipe for French toast and not German toast. I haven't checked when the name change took place.
In the US, French toast is mostly a breakfast food. In pre-WWII Germany (Breslau, to be precise) my mother knew this as a lunch food. Cooked slices were served in a stack (like pancakes), with layers of marmalade between the slices. It was called arme Ritter, `poor knight.' The implication was probably that this was the best sort of food an indigent knight could afford. Farmer's specification of stale bread begins to make more sense. It seems like a few delicacies arose from ingenious efforts to make the best of a lean larder. Pizza was originally a stereotypical poor-people's food in southern Italy, so-I-understand. I wonder if the New Orleans version of the submarine or hero or hoagie sandwich, the ``Po' Boy,'' was not originally thought of as a way to use bread to extend a small amount of filling.
My grandmother had a comfortable childhood, and money didn't really become tight until after WWI, and particularly after the Nuremburg laws took away the men's livelihoods, so I always wondered a little where she learned the following trick. When butter starts to go rancid, you can beat it with water. Whip it long and well enough, and the chemicals that are the source of the foul odor apparently dissolve into the water. (Not surprising, since butter is nonpolar, and smelly butyric compounds should prefer the polar solvent of water.) You pour out the water, and the rest of the butter is fit for hungry human consumption.
Let me make some points for the benefit of the punctilious: No, it's not really my idea of ``toast'' either, but the word ``fries'' was evidently taken. ``Toast'' here, as usually, is uncountable. So you might prepare just one slice of French toast, although that would leave a lot of egg batter left over. But that doesn't invalidate the plural ``bread slices soaked...'' in my definition.
(Whatever the origin, at least the French do know this dish. They call it pain perdu.)
In the Francophone town of Madawaska, Maine, just across the St. John River from Quebec, the dish is known as Canadian toast.
I guess if you keep it cool it's more likely to stay fresh, but it's occasionally handy to have distinct words. Conversely, in English ``hot'' means both caliente and picante.
I figured I ought to put that business about fretting a guitar in an entry where you (assuming that you are not Jimi) would have a decent chance of finding it, since a lot of dictionaries don't seem to have noticed the newer verb sense. Most of our information about fret is a few paragraphs into the frass entry.
French Fries could come in handy for the contra dancers. They're addicts. They only come off the floor for urgent hygiene and carbo-loading.
In 2006, Frisco, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas, made news by firing an elementary school teacher for an event that occurred when she took a class of fifth-graders on a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. The trip had been approved by the principal, and the 89 students were accompanied by 5 teachers, at least 12 parents, and a museum docent, but the hammer fell on Ms. McGee, the art teacher who planned the event.
Incidentally, in addition to the well-known French and English word that is the head term of this entry, French has and English also had from it the word frison, meaning `Frisian.' Spanish has this as frisón, which sounds pretty much like the French etymon, except that the final n in Spanish is pronounced as a consonant /n/ rather than as a nasalization of the final vowel.
See, for example, R. Trebino, K. W. DeLong, D. N. Fittinghoff, J. N. Sweetser, M. A. Krumbügel, B. A. Richman, and D. J. Kane, ``Measuring ultrashort laser pulses in the time-frequency domain using frequency-resolved optical gating,'' Rev. Sci. Instr., vol. 68, pp. 3277-3295, 1997.
A first-year student in a four-year educational institution.
This reminds me that Greg, down the hall, was explaining the other day how he was forced to use Windoze 95 for his experimental work, since otherwise he'd have to write a lot of his drivers and other code from scratch. A good, honest Unix man, Greg said that using Win95 is like dancing with a transvestite. [Gloss/translation for idiots: ``It's not the real thing, and it doesn't give the same pleasure, even though it bears a superficial resemblance.''] I found this remark particularly amusing because I had just returned from a friend's orthodox Jewish wedding. I didn't notice any transvestites there, but I did dance with men. (I know, I know, my distaff readership is thinking ``I dance with men all the time.'' It was a first for me, okay?) If you want to learn more about kinky orthodox Jewish weddings, rent Bird at your local video place; it was directed by Clint Eastwood, the film director. You've probably heard of Clint Eastwood the actor. It's actually the same person.
The ``Royal Society'' is short for a long version of the name that is never used anymore: ``The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge.''
The fairy tale of Cinderella (Aschenputtel) begins as her mother, sick and sensing that the end is near, calls Cinderella to her bedside and says ``Liebes Kind, bleib fromm und gut, so wird dir der liebe Gott immer beistehen, und ich will vom Himmel auf dich herabblicken und will um dich sein.'' [`Dear child, remain pious and good, and the dear Lord will always stand beside you, and from heaven I will watch over you and be with you.']
There are other definitions. One, ``a primly sedate person,'' seems to be the target of the backronym above. The range of dictionary definitions, and the fact that none of them really corresponds to my own experience of how the word is used, suggests that the meaning has been evolving.
In my experience since, say, 1970, frumpy is something akin to slovenly, and the rarer word frump simply designates someone, usually female, who is frumpy. To be more precise, to appear frumpy is to be cheaply dressed in unflattering clothes, which may dowdy but need not be. Frumpiness does not necessarily imply unfashionableness. I imagine a chubby girl in multiple layers of thin pastel-colored polyester. Some of the layers may be slightly torn. Where's the shopping cart? The lexicographic consensus suggests that my sense of the word is unusual (used only in the region where I have been living -- New York, Arizona, and various points between) or else new. It seems to me, however, that this new or nonstandard meaning conforms more closely to the putative original Dutch sense than most of the other meanings it is claimed to have had in English.
I did know a retired math professor who acted in what I think were off-off-Broadway-and-never-going-there-either stage productions. Also, when I was a professor at UB, I attended a political indoctrination camp (falsely advertised as a short course in pedagogical technique) where one of the celebrated instructors was a former actor who taught in the Biology department. But I didn't regard him as a turncoat for knowingly participating in that travesty, because I didn't think it probable that he was ever really a scholar.
Those two were cases of men who both acted and taught. Until today, however, I had never encountered an admission by an academic that he had wanted to be an actor but wound up teaching instead. So it may be rare, so I'm writing an entry for it. I found it in Sick From Freedom (OUP, 2012), by Jim Downs. His acknowledgments begin thus:
This book has a long history that can be traced to the University of Pennsylvania and the fateful semester when I opted to abandon my childhood dream of becoming an actor and instead decided to become an academic.
Incidentally, the book's subtitle is ``African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction.'' As the author explains (p. 4), the
...high rates of illness and mortality during the Civil War resulted from various factors, including the unsanitary conditions of army camps, polluted waterways, unburied bodies of animals and soldiers, overcrowding, dislocation, and the medical profession's uncertainty about how to respond to the massive epidemics that plagued the South.... Disease and sickness had a more devastating and fatal effects [sic] on emancipated slaves than on soldiers, since ex-slaves often lacked the basic necessities to survive. Emancipation liberated bondspeople from slavery, but they often lacked clean clothing, adequate shelter, proper food, and access to medicine in their escape toward Union lines. Many freed slaves died once they secured refuge behind Union camps. Even after the war ended, they continually struggled to survive in a region torn apart by disease and destruction.
Fruit bats tend to be pretty weak echolocators and to have very good eyes; they're diurnal, not nocturnal like most bats. Echolocation is probably not the smartest way to hunt for fruit anyway.
In February 1994, scientists reporting from Malaysia in the journal Nature wrote that they had found a mammal species, the Dayak fruit bat, in which the males lactate. According to Dr. Charles Francis, ``[The bats] looked like perfectly good males with large testes, but from the other end I could see they also had well-developed breasts.'' The only other male mammals to lactate have been a few specially-bred goats and sheep, which produced milk in extremely small quantities. [New York Times, 2-24-94.]
Although men do not lactate, they are susceptible to breast cancer (the rates are much lower than for women).
The Talmud (at Shabbat 53b) tells the story of a poor man whose wife had died, leaving him with a hungry nursling. A miracle happened: his breasts grew so that he could suckle the child. There's an argument about whether this meant that he was a great man or an unworthy man (the rabbis were of two minds about how cool miracles are), but no discussion of why he got breasts instead of his wife's survival as a miracle.
The Latin word fructus was always masculine, and normally fourth-declension, a/k/a u-stem, though it was also sometimes declined as a second-declension noun. (This is a natural confusion, since -us is the standard nominative ending of masculine second-declension nouns.) In the general collapse of genders and declensions that characterized the transition from classical Latin through Vulgar Latin to Romance and in particular to Spanish, fructus did the usual thing, which was to keep its male gender and take its standard form from the Latin ablative fructu. In the usual way, the final -u became -o, yielding fruto. The c needn't have disappeared (cf. actor, auctor [original Sp. word that became autor], lector, tractor, etc.); I suppose this is why Corominas y Pascual refer to fruto as a ``descendiente semiculto'' [`half-cultured descendant'] of fructus. Given the agricultural associations, the comment looks like a pun.
The Oxford Latin Dictionary lists fructa (a feminine, first-declension version of fructus) as an apparent by-form, giving an eighth-century A.D. example which suggests the form was used for stylistic reasons without any real distinction in meaning (``fructam et fructum (dixerunt antiqui)'' [contrary to the quote, there doesn't seem to be an earlier example extant]. All that is what the lawyers might call ``due diligence.'' That being duly done and said, the feminine form in Spanish (fruta), attested since at least the thirteenth century, is probably an independent development.
Fruta and fruto
divide up the semantic domain covered by the single English word `fruit.' The male term fruto is the more general or abstract (including the senses of `product, achievement'), while the female term fruta tends to refer to `edible fruit,' though not all edible fruit. The difficulty of articulating the semantic ranges a little more precisely is dragging out the completion of this entry.
While it is not so common for the main senses of a common noun in English to be translated into two different Spanish nouns (the reverse is more the pattern), when it does happen, this sort of gender divergence is often the mechanism. For another example, branch in more and less abstract senses may be ramo and rama, resp. For a fruit-related set of examples, see the entry on gender of fruit and trees.
is the augmentative form of fruto (i.e., un frutón is `a big fruit'). However, the word is also used for a Chilean fruit that is similar to the strawberry, but larger, sourer, and more yellowish when ripe.
The words to be discussed are fruto, fruta, frutal, frutero/a, fruticola, and frutilla. That makes this a pretty ambitious entry, so let me get a few things out of the way quickly and approximately.
is a diminutive form of fruta, and is applied regionally to different edible and nonedible fruit (and also to the plants these come from). In the Argentine dialect in particular (of particular interest to me because it is, sowieso, my native dialect), frutilla is the usual word for `strawberry' and strawberry plant. (There is a European evergreen called a strawberry tree in English and a madroño in Spanish, which yields a small fruit that may be used for jams. If not pruned it can grow like a shrub, but that doesn't make it a strawberry bush, which is the name of an American ornamental. The latter yields berries that are poisonous to humans. These ripen, in clusters of up to five berries, within capsules that look like strawberries -- that's the origin of the common name. The name of the plant genus is Euonymus -- `good name.' This is sheer coincidence. Pliny the Elder explained that the flowering of the euonymus presaged pestilence -- makes sense, since it happened every year. The name is a euphemism, like Eumenides [`graces'] for the Furies.)
is the usual word for strawberry outside Argentina. (It's from the Latin fraga, via French fraise.) The Mexicans are among those who call strawberry fresa, and they also have an expression ``la gente fresa'' meaning `the in crowd' or some other privileged group. There happens to be another word fresa meaning `milling tool' or `dental drill,' from fresar `to grind, mill,' from the Vulgar Latin fresare, from the classical Latin frendere (participle fresum). The Latin words have similar meanings to the Spanish one; I didn't want to get side-tracked (no, never!) but I figured I should mention this since I don't know which word the Mexican expression is based on. Depending on your attitude, it could be either or both.
Somewhere up there, I probably should have pointed out that strawberries are not, from the strictly botanically correct point of view, fruit.
and (the phrase the word implies) árbol frutal mean `fruit tree.' Finally something straightforward! Either that or I'm getting tired.
is usually someone who sells fruit, unless that someone is female, in which case she's a frutera. Let's stop here for now.
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