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A Terrible Hebrewism - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
November 7th, 2004
02:03 pm

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A Terrible Hebrewism
In a lit. theory article I'm reading, written in English by an Israeli scholar:
"...incongruities whose explanation generates and canalizes interest."
[shudder]

Current Mood: happy
Current Music: Mendelssohn -- Lieder ohne Wörte [Barenboim]

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From:iod
Date:November 7th, 2004 12:28 pm (UTC)
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good god, don't they have editors?!
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From:themoniker
Date:November 7th, 2004 12:37 pm (UTC)
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The sad thing is that it's a round-trip problem. The English term he's trying to use is "channel" (the verb), as in "generates and channels interest" (channels where, I wonder). "Channel" is translated into Hebrew as "לתעל", and translated back as "canalize".
Suzie (seriously, I will try not to bring her up every comment. She's just part of my world of associations), being at least tri-lingual, is familiar with "canalization" as an adjective referring to sewage systems, so (I hope) would avoid such a mistake, because she knows (through German, I think) that the word stinks.
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From:passacaglio
Date:November 7th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Maybe he ment "Canibalizes interest".
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From:goliard
Date:November 9th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
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You know, it would never have occurred to me the writer wasn't a native English speaker - I'd merely have assumed he/she was a competent speaker of academese... I could pull any number of examples of such obscure and unidiomatic wording out of the articles assigned in my core anthro courses, most of which are by native speakers.
And the worst part it, it seems to rub off on you.
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