[lit-ideas] Re: "Much brains", "many brains"

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 21:01:42 -0500

So you weren't asking.  You just wanted to show off.  I see how this game is
played.  Can anyone tell me which refrigerant goes in a freezer?

Mike Geary
Memphis


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 8:36 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] "Much brains", "many brains"


>
>
> In a message dated 9/17/2004 9:08:56 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
>
> >> Since when, and why, is  'brain' used in  plural?
> >Dunno.
>
>
>
> Well, the OED says 'brains' started to be used in the plural (i.e.
'brains',
> not 'brain') after the sixteenth century. I wondered if this was  related
to
> some scientific discovery (e.g. that the brain is composed of _two_
> hemispheres? -- the right and the left).
>
>
> >2. Does this apply too  to  another part of the body.
> >In the plural?  I don't think  so.
>
> Well, there's 'breast', 'breasts', as per my other e-mail to the list.
> Apparently an Indo-European dual, applied literally to females and
figurative  'to
> lower animals'. In Latin, it was always singular: _pectum_, regardless of
> gender (neuter, in fact).
>
>
> >Could you please justify the use of the plural  of 'brain'  as a form of
> praise
> >when normal people are supposed to have _one_   brain.
>
> >I don't need to justify the English language.
>
> Is that because you won't -- or you can't? I think 'brains' is actually
> _not_ a plural, but (as per my syntactic variations), a 'mass noun', as
'sugar',
> or, indeed, 'blood' -- to stick to body.
>
> Interestingly,  a page at
>
>
_http://www.expatvillage.com/started/becoming/standard_page_BL.cfm?ObjectId=
98
> &CFID=1988865&CFTOKEN=75276582_
>
(http://www.expatvillage.com/started/becoming/standard_page_BL.cfm?ObjectId=
98&CFID=1988865&CFTOKEN=75276582)
>
> which gives the English for different 'Argentine cut'(s) of meat
>
> gives
>
> sesos -- as 'brains' (of the cow), as they are eaten -- a derivation from
> Latin _sensu_.
>
> Cheers,
>
> JL
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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