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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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ExtraLean
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 Message 841 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 3:15pm | IP Logged 
I had read will-he, nill-he for the first time recently: so I give you

this as a bit of a guide to, explanation of the history of willy-nilly.
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Iversen
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 Message 842 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 4:12pm | IP Logged 
Fasulye wrote:
DE: Es sind ... "Schlagwörter", "Aufschlagwörter" gibt es nicht. Ich verstehe das Wort "willy-nilly" überhaupt nicht.


Igitt! ich habe ganz einfach das Dänisches Wort 'opslagsord' übergesetzt und war zu faul das Ergebnis nachzuschlagen, - ich habe "Stichwörter" gemeint wie auf der Hinterseite meiner Langenscheidt Wörterbücher, und das habe ich jetzt überall geschrieben.   

Recht wrote:

Willy-nilly describes something that is rather thoughtlessly or carelessly done, often
on a whim. That's what it means in America at least :)


Also in my book, though with the added, historically documented aspect of using pressure and even force at a whim (cfr. ExtraLeans's link).

If the Swedes just decided per law to turn all agriculture into ecological farming overnight, as suggested by some fanatical ecologists, then it would be a thoughtless and careless decision, and such decisions are typically executed in a willy-nilly fashion.

I am not against ecological farming as such because it generally is a good thing to cut down on the use of poison and let animals jump happily around in the fields. But not everything is going to go smoothly, you need to educate farmers, you must get general acceptance for the inevitable price hikes and so on, so good conscience comes at a price. Apart from that I shan't comment more on this subject here to avoid turning this into a political discussion.



Edited by Iversen on 08 May 2009 at 5:53pm

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Recht
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 Message 843 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 

Recht wrote:

Willy-nilly describes something that is rather thoughtlessly or carelessly done, often
on a whim. That's what it means in America at least :)


Apart from that I shan't comment more on this subject here to avoid turning this into
a political discussion.

[/QUOTE]

Aren't political discussions some of the best and most important, though?
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Iversen
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 Message 844 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 5:28pm | IP Logged 
I have now concluded my current series of word counts with Dutch, Russian and English. I also had a short peep into an Esperanto-Danish dictionary, but the first words I saw were "enkarcegi", "enkarnigi" and "enkarnigo". I understand them, of course, but only because I know their roots from other languages plus Zamenhof's list of allaowed derivational suffixes. But with my very limited exposure to Esperanto I'm fairly sure that I haven't ever seen these words in an Esperantean kontext so I feel that it somehow would be cheating to count them. And most of my Esperanto wordstock would have the same characteristics, so I had to leave that language out of the competition. Maybe later.

Most of my remarks about German and Swedish also are valid for Dutch, so I will just give the results. I used "Hollandsk-Dansk Ordbog" from Gyldendal, which ostensibly has 45.000 headwords (='opslagsord' =Stichwörter, - se, I have learnt it!). I actually checked this number (which I just have found on the internet), and it seems to be correct, - my estimate turned out to be 44.500 words. Of those I know around 51% or 22.600 head words, which is fairly good for a language that I couldn't understand in its spoken form just two years ago.

I used two dictionaries for my Russian wordcount. First Gyldendal "Russisk-Dansk Ordbog", which has 39.000 headwords (and a bewildering array of quaint expressions, which constitute a far larger problem for me than the headwords themselves). I found that I knew 37% of these, i.e. 14.400 words. Then I turned to the pocket bidirectional Langenscheidt which for once gives the number for headwords: 70.000, i.e. around 35.000 in the Russian section. Because most books in this series count "Stichwörter und Wendungen" I made a control check and found 27.000 words, - but then I have ignored words combinations and some aberrant spellings and irregular forms, - myth basically confirmed. Among these 27.000 I knew 40% = 10.800 words, which is OK. My problem with Russian is not the size of my vocabulary, but lack of exposure, especially to spoken Russian, and the idiomatics.

And then last, but not least, English - our official international commontalk. To start with I brought forth my Webster Unabridged monster, which has 2129 pages net - and heaven knows how many words. My estimates say something like 165.900, but as usual I exclude word combinations even though these are a fundamental part of any English vocabulary. I have however counted both known one-word head words and known word combinations, insofar their meaning was impossible to guess. I got 51.600 one-word headwords, which a fairly reliable number, plus 5.600 combinations - but I could easily have included some more of these. The 51.600 are 31% of 165.900, and it is definitely more than the 35.000 I remember from my last count.

But Webster is too heavy and unwieldy to use, so I put it back on the shelf and proceeded to count words in my copy of the Oxford Advanced (from 1976, God bless the soul of A.S.Hornby), where I to my dismay found that I knew most of the words. So I resorted to the same technique as in the case of Danish: I counted all words and noted down those that I didn't know. There are officially 50.000 headwords, but as usual I only considered single words, and I estimate the number of those to around 30.000. Of those I estimate that I don't know 8%, so my estimated word count tumbles down from the skies to a mere 27.600 words. But still enough to know the word "willy-nilly".

And finally I used my Gyldendal Engelsk-Dansk. Officially it has 115.000 headwords, but my estimate of single headwords went as low as 48.000, and there is no way that compound headwords could account for the rest. I made a test count on the most extreme page in my sample: 90 headwords, out of which 26 were compound (and almost other pages has a far lower number of compound headwords). Those 115.000 must be headwords AND expressions. Nevermind, I counted 499 single headwords and missed 8% = 39 words, so my personal estimate is a total of 43.500 known words with this dictionary. It's OK, I couldn't expect more as a non-native speaker.



Edited by Iversen on 08 May 2009 at 7:40pm

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Iversen
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 Message 845 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 8:00pm | IP Logged 


"(offic)": offical headword numbers, the rest are estimated by me. I have tried to exclude combinations of two or more words, which lowers the count for Romance languages and English, while the other Germanic languages, Greek and Russian are less affected by this decision, which I had to take in order to avoid opening a Pandora's box of idiomatic expressions, which in most dictionaries aren't separated unequivocally from 'word-like' expressions.   


Edited by Iversen on 08 May 2009 at 10:55pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 846 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 8:18pm | IP Logged 
NL: Dat ziet er keurig uit, zo'n Excel-tabel met alle woordentellingen. Dat herinnert mij een beetje aan mijn teenager-tijd. Toen had ik van alle landen, waarvan ik toen al postzegels verzamelde, alle postzegels geteld, en daarvan omvangrijke statistieken gemaakt, die ik steeds weer geactualiseerd had. Op volwassen leeftijd was ik toen met al die tellingen gestopt, en sindsdien heb ik ook geen behoefte meer in telprojecten gehad. Dus het tellen van mijn Turkse woordenschat zal ik op kleine schaal wel doen, maar meer hoef ik dan voor mezelf niet te weten.

Fasulye-Babylonia

Edited by Fasulye on 08 May 2009 at 8:29pm

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 Message 847 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 9:36pm | IP Logged 
FR: Iversen, je le trouve interessant de voir, quels dictionaires tu utilises. Moi, j'ai aussi Le Robert micro pour le français et Oxford Advanced pour l'anglais.

DE: Mathematisch wäre es inkorrekt, die einzelnen Prozentzahlen für die verschiedenen Sprachen miteinander zu vergleichen, da die jeweilige Anzahl der Gesamtlexeme völlig unterschiedlich ist. Es wäre nur aussagekräftig, wenn du nach einem bestimmten Zeitraum für die gleiche Sprache mit dem gleichen Wörterbuch nochmal eine Prozentzahl ermitteln würdest. Du hast halt nie für alle Sprachen Wörterbücher zur Verfügung, die die gleiche Gesamtzahl an Lexemen besitzen. Wenn das so wäre, dann wäre solches Zahlenmaterial erst richtig interessant.

Fasulye-Babylonia

DE: In meinem Fall wäre das aussagekräftig, denn ich habe 4 Langenscheidt Wörterbücher mit der Basissprache Deutsch für Englisch, Spanisch, Französisch und Italienisch von fast gleichem Lexemumfang. Nur leider habe ich absolut keinen Spaß an den ganzen Zählungen und Berechnungen, sonst könnte ich für die 4 Sprachen ganz gute Vergleichszahlen ermitteln. Aber wenn's keinen Spaß macht, dann bringt's nichts.

Hast du Italienisch vergessen zu zählen???

Edited by Fasulye on 08 May 2009 at 10:00pm

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Iversen
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 Message 848 of 3959
08 May 2009 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
Fasulye wrote:

Hast du Italienisch vergessen zu zählen???


Ja - ich werde sofort eine Zählung für Italienisch machen.

Davor möchte ich aber sagen, daß ich immer betont habe, daß Wörterzählungen nur aussagekräftig sind, wenn man gleichzeitig sage, wie groß das Wörterbuch ist in dem man die Wörter gezählt hat - und für Leute die ihre Entwicklung folgen möchten, ist es wichtig alle Zählungen in demselben Wörterbuch zu machen.

Hier habe ich aber versucht alle meine Sprachen zu vergleichen, und darum habe ich auch den Anteil der bekannten Wörtern angegeben und dabei auch versucht, eine einheitliche definition von 'Stichwort' zu durchsetzen. Die Gedanke dahinter ist, daß wenn ich z.B. 40% von alle Einzelwörter in einem mittelgrossen Deutschen Wörterbuch kenne un gleichseitig auch 40% in einem vergleichbaren Swedischen Wörterbuch, dann wäre ich 'gleich gut' in beiden Sprachen. So einfach ist es aber nicht, weil die Verteilung von Einzelhauptwörter, multiplen Hauptwörter und idiomatische Ausdrücke nich die selbe in alle Sprachen ist, - ideal sollte ich darum auch diese Prozentsatzen angeben - was absolut nicht einfach zu machen ist.

Und jetz muß ich ein Bissel schuften!


Edited by Iversen on 09 May 2009 at 12:45am



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