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17 April 2004 @ 14:35
Do you suffer from bleaching, semantic or otherwise?  

Mark Liberman's attempt at quantifying American suffering and enjoyment reminds me (and, unless you had a deprived childhood, should remind you, too) of Astrid Lindgren's brilliant response to the misuse of the verb suffer:

In the show window was a large jar of freckle salve, and beside the jar was a sign which read: DO YOU SUFFER FROM FRECKLES?

"What does the sign say?" asked Pippi. She couldn't read very well because she didn't want to go to school as other children did.

"It says, 'Do you suffer from freckles?'" said Annika.

"Does it indeed?" said Pippi thoughtfully. "Well, a civil question deserves a civil answer. Let's go in."

She opened the door and entered the shop, closely followed by Tommy and Annika. An elderly lady stood back of the counter. Pippi went right up to her. "No!" she said decidedly.

"What is it you want?" asked the lady.

"No," said Pippi once more.

"I don't understand what you mean," said the lady.

"No, I don't suffer from freckles," said Pippi.

Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, "But my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!"

"I know it," said Pippi, "but I don't suffer from them. I love them. Good morning."

This just in: Canadians are a hell of a lot happier than Americans. Mark reports 52,000 ghits for "Americans suffer from" and only 852 for "Americans enjoy," giving an American suffering:enjoyment ratio of about 61:1. But I got 2,050 ghits for "Canadians suffer from" against 4,730 for "Canadians enjoy," for a Canadian ratio of about 10:23. By my calculations, this makes Americans about 140 times as unhappy as Canadians.

Of course, Mark's results include all the more general North American joys (103) and sorrows (369) that we share with our neighbours to the south, and, for that matter, those of South Americans, Central Americans, and Latin Americans (which turn out to be few enough not to interfere much with his calculations).

Nuværende humør: nostalgicnostalgic
Maegetandgot on 10. Maj, 2004 01:38 (UTC)
May I steal this pippi wisdom and put it on no_pity LJ? or link to it?