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Not!

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In spoken English, you'll sometimes hear sentences like the following:

    I had a great day at the office today... not.

    This use of "not" is most common among children/adolescents, I think (it might be on the way out even among these groups), but adults will occasionally use "not" in this way as well.

    More recently, I've heard people use complete sentences negating what they've just said, pronounced with an exaggerated falling intonation:

    My cousin took a trip to Antarctica last year. (He didn't.)
    I've started running 40 miles a day. (I haven't.)

    The higher tone is generally on the pronoun (he, I, etc.), and the low tone on the negated verb.

    In your language, if someone made a sarcastic statement like the above (I had a great day at the office...), do you have a short expression like "Not!" that can be used to clarify / emphasize that it's sarcasm?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  2. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Hi, Gavril. It is definitely used in colloquial Polish, not necessarily in a sarcastic sense. Some people use it in Lithuanian as we well, but it might be a calque from Polish, which happens a lot. In Russian it is replaced with pravda. I don't think the negative particle is used in such contexts. It is just a request for confirmation of whatever one said. It is a nice day, isn't it. Ładny dzień, nie. Ciepło tu, nie? It is not used sarcastically in Polish and can be replced with prawda or nie prawda-- right (literally truth) in more formal Polish.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  3. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    In Hungarian we do not use "not" like that.
     
  4. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Hello! We do something similar in Cantonese, with the "punchline" being "... and that'd be weird!" Using your example:

    O5
    gam1jat6 hai2 o1fi4s hou2hoi1sam1 ... zi3 kei4 aa3!
    I had a great day at the office today... it'd be weird [if that were the case]!
    -->it'd have been a wonder if I'd had a great day at the office today!
     
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In Russian we do not use "not" like that.
    Incorrect. We do not have any similar expression with "pravda?"
     
  6. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    We do not use "not" in such a way, but we do have ways of achieving the same effect, mostly colloquial I'd say. In Bosnian, often the word kurac :)warn: "dick") is used to negate sentences in such a way (and some others).

    I had a great day at the office today... not.
    Super mi je bilo danas na poslu...al' u kurcu. (..."but in a/the dick")
    Kurac mi je super danas bilo na poslu.
     
  7. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Hello! So how can one achieve the same effect in Russian, I wonder?
     
  8. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    I guess only by context and intonation. If it is cold and pouring rain and one says sarcastically "прекрасная сегодня
    погодка!" (the weather is great today!), you would not need a "not".

    Often diminutive/endearment suffix is used to emphasize the sarcasm (погод
    ка vs. погода for weather).
     
  9. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    Similar structure in Greek, though we replace kurac :)warn: "dick") with «αρχίδια» [ar'çiðʝa] :)warn: "bollocks, balls"):

    Great day at work today...not
    «Αρχίδια μέρα στη δουλειά σήμερα»
    [ar'çiðʝa 'mera sti ðu'ʎa 'simera]
    "bollocks day at work today"
     
  10. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    @Rusita: Thanks! @Apmoy: Is it okay to put αρχίδια at the end of the sentence? Since the English saying is supposed to be a kind of joke, the "punchline" has to come at the end, negating the whole thing said beforehand.
     
  11. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    Haha, yes you could actually put «αρχίδια» at the end, it even sounds funnier:
    «Ωραία μέρα στη δουλειά σήμερα...αρχίδια»
    [o're.a 'mera sti ðu'ʎa 'simera...ar'çiðʝa]
    "Great day at work today...bollocks"
     

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