20 May 2009

Neal Stephenson

I'm reading my first Neal Stephenson novel. Walker suggested I start with Snow Crash. I still don't know why he chose that one to be first. Maybe he thought it was the most accessible? Knowing a little bit about his other works, to me it seems I'd enjoy some of his other works more. But I don't know. I like Snow Crash just fine.

Oh wait! I think he said he recommended it because of it's linguistics theme. Jaja. Of course.

Mmmm I kind of have a good eye for typos and grammatical mistakes in text. Now, the edition I got of this book has to be at least the 5th, so I figured this couldn't possibly be a typo. I trust Stephenson enough to give him the benefit of the doubt--I'm assuming this was intentional.

On page xx, the line break makes the word "metaphoric" into "met-aphoric." I thought this was a mistake, because I thought the syllabic breakdown was me-ta-pho-ric. So then I wondered what he meant by it.

Met- and meta- are Greek prefixes meaning "after," "beyond," "behind," etc. And pherein is the Greek root word for "to carry." Hence, metapherein meaning to carry past... as in a metaphor carrying meaning past it's literal one.

I wondered and wondered what Stephenson was trying to accentuate. I really stretched my span of plausibility for this one particular sentence. Jaja. I wanted to blag about my findings.

BUT then I looked "metaphoric" up in a dictionary only to discover the correct syllable breakdown is met-a-phor-ic. ...which makes a lot of sense, considering the word breakdown I already knew.

Fail. Mmm I'm going to attribute my original idea for the syllabic breakdown to my extensive experience with French and liaisons--whereby if a syllable begins with a vowel and is preceded by a consonant, the consonant sound gets slided into the following syllable. Syllables don't start with vowel sounds in French. Which must have been what I was thinking !

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