Discussion in 'English Only' started by hailesuper, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. hailesuper New Member

    What is mismoplass?

    Now, people could sort of feel as though something were being drained out of them, so they
    said, “This must be some sort of an effluvia—an ectoplasm which hurdy-gurdies on the
    ... And it’s all very technical and you couldn’t possibly understand it, but we
    understand because we are . . . Well, we don’t even like to talk about it; we have to sort of
    protect the mystery.”

    From THE THEORY BEHIND THETA AND MEST Lecture given on 12 June 51
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2018
  2. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    I do like the use of hurdy-gurdy as a verb.:)
    I am not at all sure the author knows what a hurdy-gurdy is, but at least it gives us a clue as to what to make of the rest of the piece.

    Mismoplass isn't a word. Google returns 6 hits, of which the only one in English is your link. You'll have to do your best to work out what it means from the context.
  3. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I can't access your link, hailesuper.

    But it looks like a made-up word to me.

  4. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    I'm not clear whether I'm lucky or not but I can access your link, Hailesuper.

    The lecturer is producing a parody of what people say to themselves when they encounter some of the ideas he is proposing; he is evoking their mystification by using words redolent
    of vagueness (effluvia, ectoplasm) before producing a made-up and incomplete word (mismoplass...) for the place on which these vague ideas ruminate.

    Please note that we are concerned here not with mismoplass, but with mismoplass...; the three dots suggest that there is more of the same to follow.

    The rest seems to be about Scientology, a type of thought upon which I am willfully ignorant.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    To me, it all seems to be about Scientology.

    In common with all "private language1", religious language has its own vocabulary which expresses nebulous ideas and concepts. As Scientology is an "invented religion" its practitioners have also invented words and have adopted new meaning for old words. This is a psychological trick to bind the members closer together.

    mismoplass, has been invented for a purpose and, in the words of Lewis Carroll, it means exactly what the speaker wants it to mean. :D

    1 See the Stanford University website: Private Language (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  6. hailesuper New Member

    Hi Jack, hurdy-gurdy as a verb means "to radiate/emanate" in the concentric round shape. The only word I can't get is "mismoplass". This sentence in general means the aura same as the ectoplasm from the "mismoplass"
  7. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    Do you have a reference for that? Someone might well use 'hurdy-gurdy' to mean such a thing, but that does not mean 'hurdy-gurdy' actually has that meaning, outside the person's imagination.
    The Oxford English Dictionary only lists 'hurdy-gurdy' as a noun.
  8. hailesuper New Member

    Hi PaulQ, This sentence was quoted in the lecture
    Hi Jack, the author made Noun a Verb based on its operation. As explained about the hurdygurdy "an early instrument played by turning a crank so that a wheel striking strings in turn caused music. Used in the lecture in reference to the automatic character of the instrument."
  9. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    If the person explained what they meant than that is fine, but don't expect it to be understood by anyone else.
    As an aside, the wheel doesn't strike strings in a hurdy-gurdy; it is rosined and vibrates them in the same way as a bow, such as with a violin.

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