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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:25 am 
Smeric
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"Sky" and "sea" are words that often have poetic synonyms in languages. For a conlang of mine, I came up with a poetic word for "the sky at night full of stars", and yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find Mandarin actually has a word for this: 星空 xīngkōng (literally "star-sky"). (Note that 空 kōng by itself is typically an adjective meaning "empty", with nounal "sky" as a secondary meaning. I've mosty seen 空 kōng as part of compounds when meaning 'sky'. The normal words for "sky" are 天 tiān and the compound 天空 tiānkōng.)

What are some poetic synonyms for "sky" and "sea" that you know? If you can provide any commentary on the words, that would be even better.



English of course has "the heavens". And I think I've seen "the deep" used for the sea, but obviously rather specifically the underwater parts of the oceans, without including the surface.

(Apparently, "the firmament" is a word in English. Has anybody seen it in poetry? Also, I'm not an avid reader of English poetry, but I've sometimes seen the sky getting called "the aether" in some contexts—any comments on this one?)



Spanish similarly has the plural los cielos, which has biblical connotations (unlike English "the heavens", as far as I can tell), possibly because in Spanish "the Kingdom of Heaven" is translated as el reino de los cielos. El firmamento is another synonym, largely poetic.

The usual Spanish poetic word for "the sea" is la mar, which is the common word for the sea but with the opposite gender (normally the word is masculine: el mar). There are also a couple other synonyms for the sea, more poetic and much less widely understood by native speakers, both borrowed straight from Latin (which borrowed them from Greek): piélago and ponto. I find piélago very interesting because it has the e > ie sound change, typical of words that evolved naturally from Latin into the language—could it be it used to be a more common word in the past? Latin pelagus was poetic only in Classical Latin proper, but it is commonly found in prose in the periods afterward!



Latin poetry used the Greek borrowings aether (aetheris/aetheros, hic) and aethra (aethrae, haec) for the sky. It also had the poetic expression sub dīvō/dīvum 'under the sky', using a nominalization of the adjective dīvus 'divine'. For the sea, it commonly used a word that usually meant 'even surface', aequor (aequoris, hoc)... besides the Greek borrowings pelagus (pelagī, hoc(!)) and pontus (pontī, hic).

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:39 am 
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Serafín wrote:
English of course has "the heavens". And I think I've seen "the deep" used for the sea, but obviously rather specifically the underwater parts of the oceans, without including the surface.

(Apparently, "the firmament" is a word in English. Has anybody seen it in poetry? Also, I'm not an avid reader of English poetry, but I've sometimes seen the sky getting called "the aether" in some contexts—any comments on this one?)


Yes, 'firmament' is perfectly fine, albeit very old-fashioned, word. Often juxtaposed with 'fundament' (the earth). And it does appear in poetry, yes. Famously, shakespeare - have you not watched Withnail and I!?

Aether is more... well, the aether. In insubstantial substance filling the voids betweent things. The air, or space. I still hear it quite often - digital communications in particular are said to be travelling through (or sometimes lost in) the aether. It's also used in the sense of intellectual or moral atmosphere - a thought or a rumour can be in the aether.

"Heaven" and "the heavens" are both used for the sky, as well as for paradise. They do, as in Spanish (you say) have biblical and dramatic connotations, though the expression "the heavens opened" for "it rained heavily" is a commonplace idiom. There are also a range of poetic extensions of these names - the vault of heaven, the dome of heaven, the arch of heaven, etc.
Shelley: "the secret strength of things / which governs thought, and to the infinite dome / of heaven is as a law, inhabits thee."
Teasdale: "up the dome of heaven / like a great hill / I watch them marching / stately and still" (talking of stars)
Frost: "Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells / Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— / Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away / You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen."
John Ridge (a Californian poet, writing about Mount Shasta): "...to catch the dazzling beams that fall / In showers of splendor round that crystal cone / And roll in floods of far magnificence / Away from that lone, vast reflector in / The dome of Heaven."
Chesterton: "The blow that breaks my brow to-night shall break the dome of heaven. / The skies I saw, the trees I saw after no eyes shall see, / To-night I die the death of God; the stars shall die with me"
Milton: "the sudden blaze / far round illumined Hell: highly they raged / against the highest, and fierce with grasped arms / clashed on their sounding shields the din of war / hurling defiance toward the vault of heaven"
Genesis: "let there be lights in the vault of heaven, to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals... let the waters team with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth within the vault of heaven"
Kipling: "Would you call a friend from half across the world? / If you'll let us have his name and town and state / You shall see and hear your crackling question hurled / Across the arch of heaven while you wait."
Thompson: "the stars, those islanded and burning peaks / vomiting golden lava; every wind / whose fountain o'er the arch of heaven breaks / and falls back whence it rose"
etc.

[Thompson incidentally, in his most famous poem, has a striking but unusual expression: "drop yon blue bosom-veil of the sky / and show me the breasts of tenderness" (speaking to Nature)]

Stevens' "Of Heaven Considered as a Tomb" is essentially a pun on the "vault" of heaven, where "vault" has also come to mean "crypt" and hence "tomb".

If you're really interested in these poetic expressions, however, you might want to read anglo-saxon poetry, in which "kenning", formulaic replacement by poetic synonyms, was central. Most famous is the idiomatic expression "the whale road", meaning the sea - it's not part of modern colloquial English, but it's still referenced and alluded to. It's also the whale way, the sail road, and the swan road.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:54 pm 
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The Hebrew word for sky, shamayim, is etymologically the word for there (sham) plus a no-longer-productive dual suffix; the word takes plural agreement as a result (as do inherently dual nouns like pants, glasses, and scissors). There is no poetic term like heavens or firmament. The Hebrew word for heaven in the religious sense is literally the Garden of Eden, "gan eden."

At sea, the situation is more like English. People do say "the abyss" and "the depths," both of which are to my understanding calques from English.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:55 am 
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Alon wrote:
The Hebrew word for sky, shamayim, is etymologically the word for there (sham) plus a no-longer-productive dual suffix
No, it isn’t. The word šām “there” is descended from Proto-Semitic *θamm- (cf. Arabic ṯamma and Aramaic tām), while šāmayim “sky” is reconstructed as *šamāy- (cf. Arab. samā’ and Aram. šəmayyā). The explanation you give is a folk-etymology.

Also, I’m fairly certain that calling the sea “the abyss” is a calque from Hebrew into English, since it appears in the Book of Genesis well before it was ever attested in English. (Though I have no idea if it’s attested in pre-Christian English.)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:00 am 
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For the sea, there's also the old expression "the main", literally meaning "strength". As in Tennyson, "and the little Revenge herself went down in the island crags / to be lost evermore in the main."
This is particularly famous in the fixed expression, "the azure main", a quote from Thomson's "Rule, Britannia": "when Britain first, at Heaven's command / arose from out the azure main..."

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:05 am 
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Salmoneus wrote:
For the sea, there's also the old expression "the main", literally meaning "strength". As in Tennyson, "and the little Revenge herself went down in the island crags / to be lost evermore in the main."
This is particularly famous in the fixed expression, "the azure main", a quote from Thomson's "Rule, Britannia": "when Britain first, at Heaven's command / arose from out the azure main..."

I actually didn't know it was a general expression; I was only familiar with it from the fixed expression "the Spanish Main."

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:18 pm 
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Another in English is "welkin." Although it's perhaps more archaic than poetic these days.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:10 pm 
Sanci
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Astraios wrote:
Alon wrote:
The Hebrew word for sky, shamayim, is etymologically the word for there (sham) plus a no-longer-productive dual suffix
No, it isn’t. The word šām “there” is descended from Proto-Semitic *θamm- (cf. Arabic ṯamma and Aramaic tām), while šāmayim “sky” is reconstructed as *šamāy- (cf. Arab. samā’ and Aram. šəmayyā). The explanation you give is a folk-etymology.


Mea culpa.

By the way, I just realized that there is actually a poetic expression for sky: kipat hashamayim, "dome of the sky." (Kipa is of course also the word used for yarmulke, and occasionally for physical domes, like the Iron Dome rocket defense system.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:59 am 
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It should probably be pointed out that historically these expressions like 'dome of the sky' and so forth may have been verbose, but they weren't metaphorical. The sky was believed to be a solid dome or vault.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:04 pm 
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Salmoneus wrote:
It should probably be pointed out that historically these expressions like 'dome of the sky' and so forth may have been verbose, but they weren't metaphorical. The sky was believed to be a solid dome or vault.


That's still a metaphor. Or if you prefer, the belief is metaphorical: the sky is like this solid thing here.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:58 pm 
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There's also the Old English and Old Norse kennings like hwæl-rad and hron-rad "whale road" along with others like "swan road", "sail way", "whale way", etc. all meaning the sea or ocean. For the sky, I can't think of any but a brief search yielded Ymis-hauss "Ymir's skull" for sky from ON.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Salmoneus wrote:
[Thompson incidentally, in his most famous poem, has a striking but unusual expression: "drop yon blue bosom-veil of the sky / and show me the breasts of tenderness" (speaking to Nature)]

*poet voice* nature / is the hottest bitch of all / she got / tree titties

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:23 pm 
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Nortaneous wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
[Thompson incidentally, in his most famous poem, has a striking but unusual expression: "drop yon blue bosom-veil of the sky / and show me the breasts of tenderness" (speaking to Nature)]

*poet voice* nature / is the hottest bitch of all / she got / tree titties

All of this is reminding me of random examples of Indian poetry, including movie songs, and also of Ovid.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:22 am 
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zompist wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
It should probably be pointed out that historically these expressions like 'dome of the sky' and so forth may have been verbose, but they weren't metaphorical. The sky was believed to be a solid dome or vault.


That's still a metaphor. Or if you prefer, the belief is metaphorical: the sky is like this solid thing here.


That's pretty much the definition of what isn't a metaphor. There is no second meaning, no non-literalness, no simile. It's looking at a table and saying "that is a table" - that's not a metaphor. Likewise, believing that the sky is literally a transparent crystal dome or sphere is not a metaphor. You don't become metaphorical simply by virtue of being wrong.

EDIT: it's also worth pointing out in passing that any time you say one thing is like another, by definition that's not a metaphor, that's a simile. But we've had this argument before, and I guess i'm not going to penetrate the "duuude, everything is like, like, a metaphor, you know, man?" shield today.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Salmoneus wrote:
zompist wrote:
That's still a metaphor. Or if you prefer, the belief is metaphorical: the sky is like this solid thing here.


That's pretty much the definition of what isn't a metaphor. There is no second meaning, no non-literalness, no simile. It's looking at a table and saying "that is a table" - that's not a metaphor. Likewise, believing that the sky is literally a transparent crystal dome or sphere is not a metaphor. You don't become metaphorical simply by virtue of being wrong.

EDIT: it's also worth pointing out in passing that any time you say one thing is like another, by definition that's not a metaphor, that's a simile. But we've had this argument before, and I guess i'm not going to penetrate the "duuude, everything is like, like, a metaphor, you know, man?" shield today.


True, I'm not going to give up linguistics because it contradicts your grammar school English teacher. I'm using metaphor as a term from cognitive linguistics; simile doesn't have a similar status.

The point is not that metaphors are "wrong". The point is that we can't do much thinking about the world without using them. Once you start looking, yes, you do see them all over. Heck, you just created one yourself: linguists are hippies! Great, now you have a way of dismissing linguistics without reading anything or countering its arguments— you just invoke the image of long hair and bongs.

Look out at the sky; what do you see? A big blue expanse, or a big starry one. We can name the thing, but that doesn't allow us to do much with the concept. But if we identify it with a house (domus > duomo > dome), we can apply our knowledge of houses. We can reason that the sky is solid, that it is made of something, that its shape matches a particular architectural element, perhaps that it has some form of support, that it has a builder.

They did not look at the sky and directly sense all these things, as you can directly sense the properties of a table— because they couldn't, since they are not there. They got them from somewhere— namely, their experience with actual architecture, applied to the sky to make it more understandable. (And, I'd add, their experience with glass.)

Your repeated mentions of "beliefs" and "wrongness" suggest that perhaps you think that the important thing about a metaphor is that it's "wrong". But it's not, at least to linguists. It's an essential tool of thought— we can hardly get through a sentence without using several metaphors, though most of them are dead ones. The medievals couldn't have a belief that the sky was a dome without using a metaphor; the metaphor is part of what gives the belief actual content, what makes it a belief.

If you still want to maintain that there's no metaphoricity, consider this situation: a medieval child hears the word "dome" and wants to know what it is. He asks his father, who points to the sky and says "That's a dome." It's hard to believe that the child now understands what a dome is and can correctly use the word. Yet the same procedure with a table will pretty much work.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:19 pm 
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zompist wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
zompist wrote:
That's still a metaphor. Or if you prefer, the belief is metaphorical: the sky is like this solid thing here.


That's pretty much the definition of what isn't a metaphor. There is no second meaning, no non-literalness, no simile. It's looking at a table and saying "that is a table" - that's not a metaphor. Likewise, believing that the sky is literally a transparent crystal dome or sphere is not a metaphor. You don't become metaphorical simply by virtue of being wrong.

EDIT: it's also worth pointing out in passing that any time you say one thing is like another, by definition that's not a metaphor, that's a simile. But we've had this argument before, and I guess i'm not going to penetrate the "duuude, everything is like, like, a metaphor, you know, man?" shield today.


True, I'm not going to give up linguistics because it contradicts your grammar school English teacher. I'm using metaphor as a term from cognitive linguistics; simile doesn't have a similar status.

The point is not that metaphors are "wrong". The point is that we can't do much thinking about the world without using them. Once you start looking, yes, you do see them all over. Heck, you just created one yourself: linguists are hippies! Great, now you have a way of dismissing linguistics without reading anything or countering its arguments— you just invoke the image of long hair and bongs.

Look out at the sky; what do you see? A big blue expanse, or a big starry one. We can name the thing, but that doesn't allow us to do much with the concept. But if we identify it with a house (domus > duomo > dome), we can apply our knowledge of houses. We can reason that the sky is solid, that it is made of something, that its shape matches a particular architectural element, perhaps that it has some form of support, that it has a builder.

They did not look at the sky and directly sense all these things, as you can directly sense the properties of a table— because they couldn't, since they are not there. They got them from somewhere— namely, their experience with actual architecture, applied to the sky to make it more understandable. (And, I'd add, their experience with glass.)

Your repeated mentions of "beliefs" and "wrongness" suggest that perhaps you think that the important thing about a metaphor is that it's "wrong". But it's not, at least to linguists. It's an essential tool of thought— we can hardly get through a sentence without using several metaphors, though most of them are dead ones. The medievals couldn't have a belief that the sky was a dome without using a metaphor; the metaphor is part of what gives the belief actual content, what makes it a belief.

If you still want to maintain that there's no metaphoricity, consider this situation: a medieval child hears the word "dome" and wants to know what it is. He asks his father, who points to the sky and says "That's a dome." It's hard to believe that the child now understands what a dome is and can correctly use the word. Yet the same procedure with a table will pretty much work.


You're confusing the meaning of 'metaphor' with that of 'analogy'. Analogy is already a perfectly good word (though even the idea that science works by analogies is somewhat suspect when you really examine it), and metaphor is a perfectly good word, and I see no reason to use one when we should use the other. That's not a matter of "grammar school English teachers". It's being able to converse in the language effectively, being able to read books and understand them. Read any papers on the concept of metaphor and, in my experience, they use the word in the traditional sense. Sure, it has also been adopted as a term of art (originating in a metaphor) in some linguistic papers. But we should not confuse jargon meanings with normal meanings - particularly as linguists are not the appropriate people to ask address these questions about philosophical concepts, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of science and so on, toward. Saying that everything is a metaphor may make for a striking, memorable expression in a pop science book, but it's not very useful if you take it literally - it lumps together things that are distinct from one another.

In the case of how science comes to conclusions about things not directly observed - yes, it reasons by analogy. That doesn't make its conclusions metaphorical. And indeed, this distinction you make between direct empirical evidence and indirect analogy or "metaphor" does not really hold up when you start actually thinking about empiricism in more detail. But these are rather larger concepts than are feasible to go into here.

[If you point at a red panda and say "that is a panda", a child will not learn from that alone how to use the word 'panda', but the red panda is a panda. If there is a block of glass with such perfect optical properties that it is entirely invisible from a certain angle, and you point at it and tell the child "that is glass", the child does not learn how to use the word "glass". But nonetheless, it does not become 'metaphorical' to call glass glass just because the glass is flawless and does not perceptably refract along a given axis. Fortunately, we learn words in more complicated words than just pointing and naming. (Given that you were recently referencing Wittgenstein, I'd have hoped that you'd have read his comments on ostensive definition)]

[The analogy, or in this case actually allusion, which is another word that is not synonymous with metaphor, wasn't specifically to hippies, but more to stoned people and/or teenagers, who are easily impressed by a single, sweeping proclamation that pretends to profundity, but in fact provides no actual revelation. In this case "allusions, comparisons, hypotheses, analogical reasoning... they're all metaphors!" - it pretends to be profound by uniting disparate concepts, but the unity happens only because of the tautology that if we redefine 'metaphor' in a new way, to include all these other things, then we can use 'metaphor' to refer indiscriminately to any of these things. But of course this is sophistry - the conclusion only follows from our choice to redefine the words, and since the conclusion is only a matter of definitions, it has no concrete significance. Calling deduction 'metaphor' does not tell us anything new about either deduction or metaphor. All it does is encourage us to fail to distinguish between significantly different phenomena. And "Juliet is the sun" and "the sun is hot and bright and fire is hot and bright therefore the sun might be made of fire" are indeed two significantly different phenomena - both interesting, and both employing analogy, but very different from one another. One is called metaphor, the other is called deduction. Similarly, "the sky is blue like water and water comes from it so maybe it is made of water; and there is no water immediately above us, so perhaps we are separated from the water by a dome of clear substance like glass or crystal that keeps most of the water from falling onto us" is an example of deduction. Whereas for a modern poet to refer to the dome of heaven is metaphor - they do not believe there is actually a dome. Thompson is used metaphor just as much when he talks of the arch of heaven as when he talks of "the arches of the years" - but when he, for instance, suggests that God exists, he is not being metaphorical. Because there is no duality there. The essence of metaphor is its ironic duality - the fact that there are at least two meanings (or more accurately, one literal meaning, and the suggestion of an underspecified second meaning that it is left open, but that is not the literal meaning). Indeed, the literal meaning need not be false - something can be both metaphorically and literally true. But the truth of the literal meaning is incidental to the function of the utterance, in the case of a metaphor. If you take "Juliet is the sun" literally, you not only believe something that is false, but more importantly you do not understand the significance of why Romeo says that - you do not get one of those meanings. But if someone tells you that the waters of the heavens are held back by an invisible barrier, and you believe them, then you are not missing anything (whether it is true or false). There is no second meaning, the words there are just meant in their literal, direct sense. Being able to tell the difference between metaphor and literal fact-claims is very important, and i don't think that pretending that they are the same is particularly helpful in any way]


EDIT: look, this is about the fifth time we've had this argument. It's pretty clear, after all these years, that nothing I could say could even shake the certainty of this mantra for you. So how about we let the topic return to what it was originally (if you're OK with letting people temporarily believe in poetic words)?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:01 am 
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Salmoneus wrote:
You're confusing the meaning of 'metaphor' with that of 'analogy'. Analogy is already a perfectly good word (though even the idea that science works by analogies is somewhat suspect when you really examine it), and metaphor is a perfectly good word, and I see no reason to use one when we should use the other. That's not a matter of "grammar school English teachers". It's being able to converse in the language effectively, being able to read books and understand them. Read any papers on the concept of metaphor and, in my experience, they use the word in the traditional sense. Sure, it has also been adopted as a term of art (originating in a metaphor) in some linguistic papers. But we should not confuse jargon meanings with normal meanings - particularly as linguists are not the appropriate people to ask address these questions about philosophical concepts, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of science and so on, toward.


One, this was a language question in the language section of a conlanging board. Linguistics is always in order here.

Second, it's OK to say you haven't read something and you hope to get to it some day. To pretend that you know what it is and how it relates to other fields is less OK. Maybe you'd be slightly more interested if you learned that Lakoff co-wrote one of his books with a philosopher?

Also, really, the bit about ostensive definitions shows that you aren't reading with any intent of understanding what is said, so I do agree that the discussion is over.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:31 am 
Avisaru
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Zaarin wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
For the sea, there's also the old expression "the main", literally meaning "strength". As in Tennyson, "and the little Revenge herself went down in the island crags / to be lost evermore in the main."
This is particularly famous in the fixed expression, "the azure main", a quote from Thomson's "Rule, Britannia": "when Britain first, at Heaven's command / arose from out the azure main..."

I actually didn't know it was a general expression; I was only familiar with it from the fixed expression "the Spanish Main."


Actually while "main" is indeed an archaic reference to the ocean, the "Spanish Main" is short for the mainland and means the Caribbean coast, not the water.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:23 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:21 pm 
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Serafín wrote:
The usual Spanish poetic word for "the sea" is la mar, which is the common word for the sea but with the opposite gender (normally the word is masculine: el mar).


I've noticed a similar phenomenon in english referring to the ocean as poetically feminine, such as "the sea is a harsh mistress".

Sometimes sky and waters will be plural:

Quote:
He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. Psalms 18:11 (KJV)


I guess "waters" refer to the distinct seas and oceans, and "skies" as the different weather and cloud patterns of different areas of the world, but outside of poetic/biblical context I've never see them plural.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:35 pm 
Smeric
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Abi wrote:
outside of poetic/biblical context I've never see them plural.

Really? I have. In particular, weather men are always talking about "clear skies" and such (in the US, at least. I'm not sure whether this happens in other Anglophone countries, too, or to what extent).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:18 pm 
Smeric
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finlay wrote:
what about Davy Jones' locker?

I think that's more euphemistic than poetic.

Vijay wrote:
Abi wrote:
outside of poetic/biblical context I've never see them plural.

Really? I have. In particular, weather men are always talking about "clear skies" and such (in the US, at least. I'm not sure whether this happens in other Anglophone countries, too, or to what extent).

Skies, yes, but I can't say I've heard "waters" used outside the Bible or poetry.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:59 pm 
Smeric
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Zaarin wrote:
Vijay wrote:
Abi wrote:
outside of poetic/biblical context I've never see them plural.

Really? I have. In particular, weather men are always talking about "clear skies" and such (in the US, at least. I'm not sure whether this happens in other Anglophone countries, too, or to what extent).

Skies, yes, but I can't say I've heard "waters" used outside the Bible or poetry.

Not even "muddy waters" or "cloudy waters"? Maybe a bit of a stretch compared to "clear skies," but both of those strike me as common enough that I thought to see whether Google produced any non-Biblical and non-poetic results. It does seem to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:15 pm 
Smeric
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finlay wrote:
what about Davy Jones' locker?

I watched too many cartoons as a child so I thought that meant like, "hell" or something in sailor talk. Does it really just mean the sea?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:02 am 
Smeric
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Vijay wrote:
Zaarin wrote:
Vijay wrote:
Abi wrote:
outside of poetic/biblical context I've never see them plural.

Really? I have. In particular, weather men are always talking about "clear skies" and such (in the US, at least. I'm not sure whether this happens in other Anglophone countries, too, or to what extent).

Skies, yes, but I can't say I've heard "waters" used outside the Bible or poetry.

Not even "muddy waters" or "cloudy waters"? Maybe a bit of a stretch compared to "clear skies," but both of those strike me as common enough that I thought to see whether Google produced any non-Biblical and non-poetic results. It does seem to.

Maybe, but I'd still expect "muddy water" unless "muddy waters" is being used metaphorically for an issue that isn't clear.

thetha wrote:
finlay wrote:
what about Davy Jones' locker?

I watched too many cartoons as a child so I thought that meant like, "hell" or something in sailor talk. Does it really just mean the sea?

Yes, it's a euphemism for a scene.

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