Random trivia

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
The bullet? either that or a Jet [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
A whip. The crack of a whip is a miniature sonic boom as the tip breaks the sound barrier. And since the whip is thousands of years old, I doubt there's anything earlier.

New question, perhaps easy:
In the Arthurian legends, who is the father of Merlin the wizard?
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Merlyn has no father. Or more accurately, has no earthly father. In "King Arthur and his Knights", the soldiers of Vortigern the Usurper are sent to seek the blood of a child with no human father to sprinkle on the base of a castle he's building to withstand the assault of Ambrosius and Uther. The soldiers seize a child who is cursed as the "son of no man". That is, of course, Merlyn.

Or, if you're a complete nerd like myself and the IronDuke, Merlyn's father is a Roman legate named Picus Britannicus.





....Don't ask questions!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
No new question???

Anyway here's your banana stranger [!--emo&;)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wink.gif\' /][!--endemo--] [!--emo&:nana:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/lambada.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'lambada.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

IronDuke

Ancient Mariner
Which of the following languages are the most closely related, and why?

French
Russian
German
Arabic
Latin
Flemish
Polish
Gaelic
English
Greek
Basque
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I fear that this is a trick question. Let's break that down into language trees:

SLAVIC
Russian
Polish

GERMANIC
German
English
Flaemish

ROMANIC
Latin
French

OTHER
Arabic (Semitic)
Gaelic (Celtic if I'm not mistaken)
Greek (own branch)
Basque (own branch)

It should be noted that, although English is part of the Germanic branch, it is not purely Germanic; there are many Romanic elements in it. Ironically, the same is the case for German.
Now, let's observe which language evolved from which:
The Slavs migrated from eastern Europe/western Asia westwards into Europe. I don't precisely know where and when the Poles first showed up individually, but the Russians showed up under their label at the beginning of the 2nd millenium. I believe the Poles emerged from the same branch as the Russians, but if memory does not fail me, they had been there earlier. I also think that the Polish language is, although from the same branch, at best distantly related to the Russian one.

The Germanic element came to the British isles when the Germanic people of the Angles and Saxons arrived about 200 years after the Romans left. Both these people probably spoke dialects of what is nowadays Old German. Being isolated from each other for so many years, the languages on the British Isles and Germany evolved differently from each other, so the two languages nowadays have fairly little in common.
I don't know very much about Flaemish as a language. I have been in Belgium once and encountered it, but I think it is not too different from Dutch. Dutch and German have pretty much in common, and it's not impossible for a German to understand Dutch, at least when it's being read.
The two languages evolved from a dialect spoken by the Franks, another Germanic people who expanded in modern day France, Germany and BeNeLux. Letzebuergsch, a native language of Luxembourg, is sometimes described as a Frankish dialect.

French probably had its share of Germanic influences from the Franks, but it is mostly a Romanic language, closely related to Latin. The Latin-speakers had the same Indo-European origins as the Germanic-speakers; this carried their language branch as far as Iran, Afghanistan and India. In fact, Persian is more closely related to English than to Arabic.

The Arabs expanded from the Arab penninsula and had virtually no impact from the outside in their early development. Arabic is unique.

Gaelic is a Celtic language. It is related to dialects of Wales, Ireland, the Bretagne and northwestern Spain. The Celts reached these territories before the Germanics could have too much of an impact on them, and by the time the Germanics expanded, they couldn't have anymore impact on the languages.

Greek is pretty much unique, though I remember reading somewhere that it has an Indo-European origin.

Basque is perhaps the oldest and most unique language in all of Europe. No relations there.

So my guess goes for German and Flaemish, but I'm really afraid of a trick there!
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I believe you're correct. Flemish is so similar to German that in WW1, the French used Belgian patriots who spoke Flemish to translate captured radio transmissions and interrogate prisoners.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
[!--QuoteBegin-LooseCannon+Jul 8 2004, 10:20 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(LooseCannon @ Jul 8 2004, 10:20 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] Merlyn has no father.  Or more accurately, has no earthly father. [/quote]
Right ... sort of. Most of the legends imply (and a few state directly) that Merlin's father was the Devil (that's why Merlin has magic powers). However, being baptized at birth "saved" Merlin so that he didn't become the Antichrist, thwarting the Devil's plans for world domination.

The Arthurian legends are actually a bit of a mess - they were rewritten many times by many authors over several centuries, and every author inserted some different ideas. Merlin's Satanic ancestry was one of the oldest concepts in the legends, but became less important to later authors.

--------

Oglethorpe: We are here for world domination!

Frylock: World domination?? You guys couldn't take over a damn bowl of Jell-O.

Emory: Uh, is that an important place or something?
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Pretty much, SMX. I've read the older legends, but I've concentrated on the 20th Century works more than those. Mostly cause I did a project on them for Celtic Civ.
 

StrangerInAStrangeLand

Ancient Mariner
In 1902 in the French West Indies, a man named Mr. Cyparis was in prison awaiting trial for drunkenness. He was detained longer than was expected, was neglected, and was even left without food or water. However, when he was released, he was grateful to have been put in prison. Why?
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
He had a place to stay for a while? as for King Arthur, anybody watching the movie? the hollywood thread seems rather lonely [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

syl

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-Perun+Jul 9 2004, 02:20 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Perun @ Jul 9 2004, 02:20 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]I fear that this is a trick question. Let's break that down into language trees:

SLAVIC
Russian
Polish

GERMANIC
German
English
Flaemish

ROMANIC
Latin
French

OTHER
Arabic (Semitic)
Gaelic (Celtic if I'm not mistaken)
Greek (own branch)
Basque (own branch)

It should be noted that, although English is part of the Germanic branch, it is not purely Germanic; there are many Romanic elements in it. Ironically, the same is the case for German.
Now, let's observe which language evolved from which:
The Slavs migrated from eastern Europe/western Asia westwards into Europe. I don't precisely know where and when the Poles first showed up individually, but the Russians showed up under their label at the beginning of the 2nd millenium. I believe the Poles emerged from the same branch as the Russians, but if memory does not fail me, they had been there earlier. I also think that the Polish language is, although from the same branch, at best distantly related to the Russian one.

The Germanic element came to the British isles when the Germanic people of the Angles and Saxons arrived about 200 years after the Romans left. Both these people probably spoke dialects of what is nowadays Old German. Being isolated from each other for so many years, the languages on the British Isles and Germany evolved differently from each other, so the two languages nowadays have fairly little in common.
I don't know very much about Flaemish as a language. I have been in Belgium once and encountered it, but I think it is not too different from Dutch. Dutch and German have pretty much in common, and it's not impossible for a German to understand Dutch, at least when it's being read.
The two languages evolved from a dialect spoken by the Franks, another Germanic people who expanded in modern day France, Germany and BeNeLux. Letzebuergsch, a native language of Luxembourg, is sometimes described as a Frankish dialect.

French probably had its share of Germanic influences from the Franks, but it is mostly a Romanic language, closely related to Latin. The Latin-speakers had the same Indo-European origins as the Germanic-speakers; this carried their language branch as far as Iran, Afghanistan and India. In fact, Persian is more closely related to English than to Arabic.

The Arabs expanded from the Arab penninsula and had virtually no impact from the outside in their early development. Arabic is unique.

Gaelic is a Celtic language. It is related to dialects of Wales, Ireland, the Bretagne and northwestern Spain. The Celts reached these territories before the Germanics could have too much of an impact on them, and by the time the Germanics expanded, they couldn't have anymore impact on the languages.

Greek is pretty much unique, though I remember reading somewhere that it has an Indo-European origin.

Basque is perhaps the oldest and most unique language in all of Europe. No relations there.

So my guess goes for German and Flaemish, but I'm really afraid of a trick there![/quote]
Greek IS an Indo-European language, related to Romanic, Germanic, Celtic, Baltic , Slavic languages, most of languages in India and Persian.

Arabic has no relation with Indo-european languages but is related to other languages in the world like Hebrew, Maltese, old Egyptian.

Basque is unique in Europe but there are now evidences that it's related to caucasian and na-dene ( a family of languages of the native americans)

Flemish is a germanic language. Flemish is part of the branch called Low-germanic ( I hope this is the correct name) and German is part of the High-Germanic branch. So those two languages evolved from a common mother language ( old-Germanic) like French evolved from Latin.

Therefore Flemish and German should be considered like "brother and sister" languages and Latin and French like "mother and daughter" languages which I think makes them more closely related.

But then I' m waiting for Iron Duke answer
 

IronDuke

Ancient Mariner
Wow....and I thought I was the only one with a passion for linguistics!

First of all, I'd like to make a correction to Perun's post.
[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Gaelic is a Celtic language. It is related to dialects of Wales, Ireland, the Bretagne and northwestern Spain. The Celts reached these territories before the Germanics could have too much of an impact on them, and by the time the Germanics expanded, they couldn't have anymore impact on the languages[/quote]

I think you mean Northwestern France (Britanny), rather than Spain. I'll attribute that to a brain fart!
Point of interest - the Celtic peoples once occupied most of Northwestern Europe, before the Romans and later Germanic migrations pushed them to the fringes of the continent (Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland). The Celtic language spoken in Britanny, France is the result of a migration of Celtic peoples from Britain between 400-500 AD, when the Roman Empire was falling apart.
Due to massive migrations in the mid-1800's, a Celtic language is now spoken (as a second language) by many in my home, Nova Scotia (Lat "New Scotland").

Now, syl, to correct you [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Basque is unique in Europe but there are now evidences that it's related to caucasian and na-dene ( a family of languages of the native americans)[/quote]
Last I read, the supposed link between basque and a proto-Caucasian language was still being investigated; although it appears promising, nothing has yet been satisfactorily proven.
As for the relation to a New World language, this is just false. It is the fabrication of conspiracy theorists like Erik von Daniken (Chariots of the Gods, Gods from Outer Space, etc.)


NOW! As for the answer to my question, I was looking for the three which are most closely related, and you're both right!

German, English, and Flemish are quite similar in structure and form, all sharing a common ancestor.French and Latin are daughter and mother. Russian and Polish are both Slavic, and the other languages belong to their own groups!


Interestingly, Flemish is the closest linguistic relative to modern English, both in terms of grammar and vocabularly.

And I'm done.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Interesting choice of languages. From what I gather Most MODERN versions of the languages ALL languages but mostly English a but a mish mash of all others. Like here in the US. Most academic english is latinized or the words come from french. (Enamored, penultimate, tranquile to name a few) Plus, Don't most modern Western languages come from latin and greek roots? Latin gave birth to Italian, portuguese, french, spanish and... others hehe. Then what was discussed above German has very little left from its Germanic ancestor and it just happens to hold the same name. But the point is isn't it easier to jus say Latin, Germanic, Slavic and Other? and yes I'm bored.
 

syl

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-IronDuke+Jul 10 2004, 02:33 AM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(IronDuke @ Jul 10 2004, 02:33 AM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Now, syl, to correct you [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

Last I read, the supposed link between basque and a proto-Caucasian language was still being investigated; although it appears promising, nothing has yet been satisfactorily proven.
As for the relation to a New World language, this is just false. It is the fabrication of conspiracy theorists like Erik von Daniken (Chariots of the Gods, Gods from Outer Space, etc.)


[/quote]
Well it's also an interesting theory developped by several linguists like Starostine and Nikolaiev, John Bengtson and the most famous of them Joseph Greenberg and I don't think they have based their work on Gods from outer Space.
But this is still much discussed.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]I think you mean Northwestern France (Britanny), rather than Spain.[/quote]

My mistake- I was mistaken Galician for a Celtic language, considering the fact that there is a Celtic heritage there.

Anyway, let me post a question then.

Name the differences between Persia and Iran -what are the (rough) differences in the words, the geography, the history and ethnology?
 

StrangerInAStrangeLand

Ancient Mariner
I believe I already had a question posted, Perun. But no one seems to be giving any answers (my questions are too hard for all of you [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--] ).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The prison was one of the few structures made of stone. When he was in prison, the volcano erupted, destroying everything around. I think he was then the only survivor.

Next question, see above.
 
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