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Is Zirf Slavic?

Alan Labout
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Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 100
What makes you think that Zirf is Slavic?

It's just a hunch that I have
Map: How did you know?! Articles abuse?
Of course not. Hell, even I make mistakes with articles. Actually it has something to do with a certain aura that emanates from his posts: a mixture of philosophical profundity and understatement vaguely concealed by that telltale Slavic modesty.
We also get a clue from his self-described "North-Northeastern" affiliation. I suppose he could be from Sweden....in which case we'd have to kick him out of SU.
So Zirf, don't keep us in suspense. Are you Slavic or not?!?
Alan
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Al: Of course not.
I once was talking to a woman, a complete stranger on the street, and she said I am from Russia after I said 2,5 words. Turned out she teaches English as a Second Language and can tell where people are from by accent. I thought that maybe there are similar patterns in writing too. Typical grammar mistakes, something like this. Kinda "written accent".
What you used can be called "intellectual accent"
So Zirf, don't keep us in suspense. Are you Slavic or not?!?
I abused my power and looked up IP but I cannot disclose this information. Zirf has to disclose his (her? ) nationality him/herself.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Yes, those clumsy "In limit" and "resonance" do point to the Russian origin. Another hint is that Zirf called me "Evgenii". I would think that only a Russian would know this name association. My prediction is that Zirf is a woman (there is a pronounced melody and softness in her voice), and that she is a recent immigrant from Russia. It's harder to tell her current place of living, -- only Zirf herself or Map can reveal the mystery.
Alan Labout
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Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 100
Eugene: My prediction is that Zirf is a woman (there is a pronounced melody and softness in her voice), and that she is a recent immigrant from Russia.
Judging by the following, you might be right....!
У нас с мужем есть маленький сынишка, ему скоро шесть, со мной он говорит по-русски, а с отцом по-испански, и так смешно, что когда я не знаю, как сказать по испански, я, например говорю ему "Виктор, - мы долго решали, как назвать ребенка, и придумали, если будет мальчик, то Виктор, а если девочка, то Мария, потому что имена звучат на обоих языках почти одинаково, - так вот, я говорю ему - Виктор, спроси у папы, куда он подевал новую упаковку презервативов, что мы купили вчера, и расскажи потом мне". А с испанским у меня не очень клеится, только-только в магазинах меня
научились понимать, и все равно, стараюсь ходить туда с Виктором, нас уже все узнают, городок-то небольшой, а в выходные - с мужем, Алехандро,
я его, конечно, Сашей зову, а он так и не понял почему, смешно, мужчины
такие забавные, он у меня инженером в компании по обслуживанию станков
с числовым программным управлением, часто ездит в командировки, я ему
говорила, ну почему у вас главный офис в такой глуши, а он мне что-то
про льготное налогообложение, потому что компания-то с американо-французским капиталом, а это и хорошо - весь этот ужасный кризис нас почти не затронул, а я его уже чуть было не уговорила переезжать в Буенос-Айрес, столица все же, хороши мы бы сейчас были, у него знакомый еще по университету, муж ему еще завидовал, у того свое дело - так все в один день потерял и с 14 этажа выбросился, муж так переживал, до сих пор сам не свой, а на провинции конечно не так сильно отразилось, хотя цены бешено растут, но мы-то в долларах получаем, так что вроде и богаче даже стали, откладывать получается больше - хочу, может быть, к Рождеству в Россию сьездить, всего один раз была с тех пор, как уехала, в 97 на мамины похороны приезжала, да все равно опоздала, а в России совсем уже все незнакомое, очень там все же быстро меняется в последние годы, только хамство и пьянство прежние.
В Айрес мы за шесть лет всего три раза сьездили, там русские есть, даже
православная церковь, но это все уже во втором-третьем поколении, из
первой волны, да дети интернированных немцами, по русски так говорят,
что и не поймешь, ну кроме старушек самых древних, а о чем с ними
говорить? В Бразилии один раз тоже были, я все хотела на карнавал в
Рио, да муж отговорил, хотя странно - ему-то как раз вроде интереснее должно
быть на голых негритянок смотреть, но в Бразилии, конечно, совсем
другая жизнь - гораздо беднее все живут, и негров больше, как-будто одни негры кругом. А у нас, я говорила? - рядом совсем индейская резервация, я
сначала боялась, помню еще по приезде пошли мы с Сашей гулять, поле
сначала, потом лес, хотя какой здесь лес - так одно название, а Саша
говорит - ты знаешь, что мы уже по индейской территории идем, а вот
буквально полчаса от дома, я прямо к нему прижалась, пойдем назад,
лучше, а он смеется, ну а потом уж и я привыкла, в городе их много,
особенно по выходным, очень приветливый народ, лица все же отличаются
сильно, и пьяные все, и мужчины и женщины, но не как наши, никакой
агрессии никогда от них не видела, а с одной пожилой индеанкой даже
познакомились, она возле рынка заварку для мате продает по воскресеньям,
ну точно как у нас старушки с семечками, я главное думала мате здесь
запрещен как наркотик, но продают на каждом углу, хотя честно скажу - в
супермаркетах не встречала, только на рынках, и случайно так с ней
разговорились, я по-испански плохо и она тоже, вот и разговорились, у
нее оказывается сын тоже инженер в Монтевидео, так что не такие они
отсталые, ну зато остальные четверо детей здесь, в резервации, и еще
дочь в Айресе, но о ней она говорить не любит, кривится вся, я так
поняла чем-то нехорошим занимается, так эта бабуля меня к себе домой
все зовет, я пока не рискую, хотя, конечно, интересно, да и ерунда это все,
что мы
Здесь письмо обрывается.
At this point the letter breaks off....
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Translation according to Altavista:
with the husband is small son, to it soon six, to me he speaks in Russian, and with the father in Spanish, and so it is ridiculous that when 4 I do not know, how to say on Spanish, 4, for example I tell it "Victor, we for long decided how to name child, and they devised, if there is boy, then Victor, but if girl, then Mary, because names sound in both languages almost equally, then here, I tell it - Victor, ask in dad, where it concealed the new packing of prezervativov, that we purchased yesterday, and describe then to me". But greatly it is not glued with the Spanish in me, just barely in the stores they learned to understand me, and nevertheless, I try to walk there with Victor, us already all recognize, town- that of small, but into the output - with the husband, Alekhandro, 4 his, of course, Sasha to call, and he so did not understand why, it is ridiculous, man such amusing, it in me by engineer in the company for servicing of machine tools with the numerical programmed control, frequently it drives into the missions, 4 it it told, well why in you main office in this wilderness, but it to me something about the privilege taxation, because company- that with American- French capital, but this and good - this entire terrible crisis us barely affected, and 4 it already only it was it did not persuade cross into Buyenos-Ayres, the capital nevertheless, we were now good, in it familiar even on the university, husband still envied to it, its matter - so everything during one day lost and from 14 floors was rejected in that, husband thus survived, until now, not his itself, and certainly so strongly it was not reflected in province, although the prices madly grow, we- that in the dollars we obtain, so that like and richer even they became, to put aside it is more - I want perhaps to Christmas into Russia to s'ezdit', only one time it was since then, as it left, burials it arrived into 97 to maminy, yes nevertheless was late, and in Russia entirely already entire unknown, very there nevertheless rapidly it changes in recent years, only caddishness and alcoholism previous. In Ayres we in six years only three times of s'ezdili, there Russian are, even orthodox church, but this all already in the second- third generation, from the first wave, yes the children internirovannykh by Germans, on they do Russian so indicate that also you will not understand, well except the old ladies of the ancient, but about which with them to speak? In Brazil one time they were also, 4 everything wanted to the carnival in Rio, yes husband dissuaded, although is strange - it- that exactly like more interesting must be at the naked Negroes to look, in Brazil, of course, entirely another life - much poorer all live, and negroes it is more, as- as if some negroes around. But, I did speak? - next entirely Indian reservation, I first feared, remember even on the arrival send we from Sasha to go for a walk, field first, then forest, although what here forest - so one name, and Sasha speaks - you know that we already along the Indian territory go, and here literally half-hour from the house, 4 directly against it it were forced, let us go back, it is better, and it laughs, well and then already even 4 privykla, in their city is much, especially on the output, very affable people, the persons nevertheless differs strongly, and drunk everyone, and man and woman, not as our, no aggression from them it saw never, and even they were introduced to one elderly of indeankoy, it near the market welding for mat sells on Sundays, well accurately as old lady with the seeds, 4 main thing she thought mat is here forbidden as narcotic, but they sell at each angle, although honestly I will say - in the supermarkets it did not meet, only on the markets, and randomly so with it they chatted, 4 it is in Spanish bad and it also, here and chatted, in it occurs the son also engineer in Montevideo, so that not such they backward, well then the rest of four children here, in the reservation, and another daughter in Ayrese, it does not love to speak about it, get crooked entire, 4 so she understood by something it is occupied by bad, so this babulya me to itself home all calls, 4 thus far I do not risk, although, of course, it is interesting, yes even nonsense this all that we Here letter breaks itself.


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Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Alan, who sent you this exercise in atrocious punctuation?
But Thomas saved me from despair. Last days I am suffering from inability to share two wonderful pieces of poetry -- both about a suicide. It would be so unfair if only those who know Russian could enjoy it, and I wasn't sure in my abilities to translate poetry. But Altavista works in its own genre! And quite appropriate one. I only changed a few words.
Владислав Ходасевич:
Было на улице полутемно.
Стукнуло где-то под крышей окно.
Свет промелькнул, занавеска взвилась,
Быстрая тень со стены сорвалась, -
Счастлив, кто падает вниз головой:
Мир для него хоть на миг - а иной.

It was semi-dark on the street.
Window knocked somewhere under the roof.
Light flashed, curtain was raised,
rapid shadow from the wall was torn away.
Happy is who falls downward by the head:
World looks diffrently for him -- if even for a moment.
Макс Мартов:
Бросив взгляд последний вниз,
Снявши тапочки,
Я на проводе повис
Вместо лампочки.
Да не держит, е-мое,
Обрывается,
Вот поэтому житье
Продолжается.

After throwing the last view downward,
after removing slippers,
I hung myself on the wire instead of the lamp.
Yes the wire does not hold, it breaks itself,
therefore life continues.
Alan Labout
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 100
Map: Alan, who sent you this exercise in atrocious punctuation?
It's just a little something that I thought Zirf might have written about herself if she really were a recent emigrant from Russia....
Last days I am suffering from inability to share two wonderful pieces of poetry -- both about a suicide.
Reminds me of a strange phrase that I accidentally created back in the days when I dreamt in Russian: "Golovoi v pokoi..." I understand that it has no meaning, and yet it does, doesn't it...?
[ December 08, 2003: Message edited by: Alan Labout ]
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I'm flattered a lot by the friendly interest to my humble person.

There were three suppositions: 1 - zirf is Slavic; 2 - zirf is female; 3 - zirf is recent immigrant from Russia.
One of it is true.
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1746
    
    2
Can humans play too?
(1)
It was half-dark outside.
Somewhere under the roof a window clattered.
A light flashed and the curtain flung open.
A quick shadow tore across the wall.
Happy is the person falling head first.
The world looks different, even if only for a moment.
(2)
After casting my last glance downward,
And taking off my slippers,
I hung myself on the wire,
Where the lightbulb goes.
But it didn't hold -- dammit.
Tore away.
Therefore life,
Continues.
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1746
    
    2
Map, how about put this one into Russian
R�sum�
by Dorothy Parker
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
Alan Labout
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 100
Originally posted by <zirf>:
There were three suppositions: 1 - zirf is Slavic; 2 - zirf is female; 3 - zirf is recent immigrant from Russia.
One of it is true.


Which means...
1) Zirf is a non-Slavic woman who is either living happily in her country or immigrated from some country other than Russia.
2) Zirf is a male Slav who has not immigrated from Russia.
3) Zirf is a recent immigrant from Russia who is not Slavic, perhaps Georgian or Azerbaijani.
Whatever the case, Zirf, we love you.
The only question is whether you still qualify for membership in our Slavic Union since you only met one of these criteria. (Map, for example, meets all three ) I personally think we need to be open-minded here, and can't afford to be insular. I mean, Pluta's in, for godsakes, and he doesn't meet [/i]any[/i] criteria...!
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Alan Labout:
The only question is whether you still qualify for membership in our Slavic Union since you only met one of these criteria.
I only met one criteria. I think you have to be at least part slavic to be a member. Nothing else matters.
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1385
Mapraputa Is: I once was talking to a woman, a complete stranger on the street, and she said I am from Russia after I said 2,5 words. Turned out she teaches English as a Second Language and can tell where people are from by accent. I thought that maybe there are similar patterns in writing too. Typical grammar mistakes, something like this. Kinda "written accent".
What you used can be called "intellectual accent"

Funny, but I would never have guessed that "Mapraputa" was Russian; I would have guessed Indian. (Indian-Indian, not woo-woo Indian).
If one looked at the script of a Rocky and Bulwinkle cartoon and then looked at the dialogue of Boris and Natasha, I think one could tell they were really Russian. But the script probably has not just grammatical errors and speech patterns, but also mispellings to suggest accent. Correcting those mispellings would make it much more difficult to tell.
It's sort of like trying to guess that someone is Native American because they avoided nominative case personal pronouns (e.g. "I", "he" and "she") and the use of articles ("a", "the"). Tarzan was the same way, and he was British (raised in Africa). Unless they threw in some "Ugh!"s and "How!"s, or added "'um" as a suffix to verbs, I don't see how one could tell.

[ December 08, 2003: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Tom: I only met one criteria. I think you have to be at least part slavic to be a member. Nothing else matters.
I do not know if Alan is at least part Slavic (other then by spending his formative years in a Slavic country) and I doubt Howard Kushner is ethnically Slavic, but all his grandparents came for Russia... You see, definitions are a tricky business.
And speaking about definitions, what is the difference between Slavic and Slavonic? Maybe "Slavonic" refers to medieval version of all Slavic, like in "Old Church Slavonic" language?
Howard Kushner
author
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Joined: Sep 19, 2003
Posts: 361
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I doubt Howard Kushner is ethnically Slavic, but all his grandparents came for Russia... You see, definitions are a tricky business.

I resemble that remark! I have been boasting to all my friends and family about my new found membership in the Slavic Union, and I have increased my potato intake ten-fold. My grandparents fled Russia around the time of the Bolshevic revolution. Can you blame them? Being born in U.S.A. (Washington, DC) circa 1950, I consider myself half Slavic and half Native American.
I am insanely curious now, what are the criteria for membership in the Slavic Union and when will we be issuing membership cards. Shall I design it myself?
Lastly, I would like to introduce myself to Zirf. Howdy! Now, I would guess that Zirf is either Slavic or Teutonic. If Zirf is Slavic then Zirf is male and not recently immigrated from Russia. If Zirf is Teutonic, then Zirf is female and not recently immigrated from Russia.
I am taking a semi-wild-ass guess (SWAG) that Zirf is a Slavic male, not recently immigrated from Russia. Did I guess right?


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Howard Kushner:
I am insanely curious now, what are the criteria for membership in the Slavic Union and when will we be issuing membership cards. Shall I design it myself?
As to the former, I am half Czech and half Swedish, born in NY. You have to go back to the 1800's to find a direct relative of mine not born in the US. So I think membership is based on Map's whim. As to the second, membership cards are not required but feel free to make one for yourself.
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
It's not a "whim"!
It's a very complicated, highly intuitive, hard-to-formalize process. Al calls it "hunch".
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Frank: Funny, but I would never have guessed that "Mapraputa" was Russian; I would have guessed Indian. (Indian-Indian, not woo-woo Indian).
That's what I thought when invented this name too. That Americans will think it's a weird Indian name, and Indians will think it's some stupid sounding American name. Actually, this is "Margarita" written in English letters that look close to their Russian analogs.
If one looked at the script of a Rocky and Bulwinkle cartoon and then looked at the dialogue of Boris and Natasha, I think one could tell they were really Russian.
One thing that certainly could help in foreigners identification is spelling of celebrities names. I often do not know what the English variant of some well-known writer or scientist name is, and I rely on Google's "Did you mean..." feature. When I look at the results Google found preserving my original spelling, if all those results for some mysterious reason belong to Russian sites, I know I misspelled the name.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Map, how about put this one into Russian
R�sum�
by Dorothy Parker
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

This is a challenge that prevents me from sleeping all last days (in case I need something that prevents me from sleeping). But first I have to make sure I understood the text.
"Guns aren't lawful" -- what it means? Guns *are* lawful in this country, aren't they? So what's the point?
"Nooses give" -- give what???
"You might as well live" -- I will not ask about this one, because I need to meditate on it, and I do not believe anybody can explain it to me until I grog it myself....
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
"Guns aren't lawful" - in many states one needs a license. And it is usually against the law to fire a gun within a city except at a target range.
"nooses give" - 2 a : to yield to physical force or strain b : to collapse from the application of force or pressure. In other words, the noose can slip allowing the person to survive the hanging attempt.
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Dorothy Parker lived in New York (pronounced Noooo Yawk City), which is one of the few places in the US where a jury will jail you for defending yourself and your property with a gun.
I live in a country, the UK, which imposes worse penalties on people with the chutzpah to defend themself than they do on the criminals. It's an interesting POV.....
If attacked, die....


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
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Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1746
    
    2
Guns aren't lawful
In addition to what Thomas and Alfred have said, I would also suspect that for someone like Parker (New York intellectual elite -- what time period -- 30s? 40s?) a gun might be difficult to procure. So in the context of the poem, it gets struck from the list of possible means of suicide.
"Nooses give" -- give what???
Well, it was the ne derzhit and obryvaetsia in your original that made me think of "nooses give" and the Parker in general.
Asking "give what?" here is like asking "why the sia at the end of obryvaetsia?"
Petli obryvaiutsia -- just might be our translation.
Sure "to give" is a quintessentially transitive verb:
to give someone something
to give something to someone
but it also is intransitive (the bare "to give") with the meaning Thomas Paul cites.
Nooses give.
The chair gave under his weight.
This is a typical "middle voice" construction in English. In Russian, middle voice constructions usually take -sia/s' (yes, I know there are a whole bunch of other constructions in Russian that take -sia/s').
Although more complicated tenses are possible with the middle voice in English:
Pencils are always breaking.
Dams have been bursting as long as humans have been building them.
the simple present and simple past are by far the most common (nooses give, the noose gave).
"You might as well live" -- I will not ask about this one, because I need to meditate on it, and I do not believe anybody can explain it to me until I grog it myself....
Well, the poem's called "resume." Think of it as a summing up -- either of life or of voluntary means of ending life. Parker proposes seven different ways of committing suicide, and rejects each of them in turn because they're unpleasant, difficult, likely to fail, etc.
At first glance it seems positive -- the person's going to live after all. But on the other hand -- if the only reason to live is that all the means of ending life voluntary are prohibitively objectionable, then that's not much of a life. But there's some ironic understatement too -- are dampness and awful smell *really* prohibitively objectionable for someone *seriously* contemplating suicide.
Pochemu by ne zhit'-to?
 
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