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Thread: Madam, I'm Adam

  1. #1
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    Default Madam, I'm Adam

    At one of my translation classes we came across this strange expression: Madam, I'm Adam.

    The expression is used to show a surprise and a sort of displeasure at the same time.

    So, my question is, have you ever met such a saying before? It sounds to me kind of strange

    Look forward to your replies

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    I have only heard it as an example of a palindrome.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    MMm... That's interesting. I even haven't noticed that this phrase is the same if reading backwards.

    So, I guess there is a mistake in translation then. It's amazing how easy to get lost in such simple things.

    Thank you, tdol, for clearing things up.

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    You're welcome.

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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    The expression is an example of a palindrome.
    I think this is why it seems to be not common.

  6. #6
    AlainK Guest

    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    Quote Originally Posted by jatveiga
    The expression is an example of a palindrome.
    I think this is why it seems to be not common.
    Palindromes seem to be much less frequent in english than in French.
    Georges Pérec made this one, which is a page long:
    http://homepage.urbanet.ch/cruci.com...palindrome.htm
    (Sorry, it's in French, but you can see the idea of it, it sounds like a kind of surrealistic poem, very strange...)
    This chap was a genius: he also wrote a whole book entitled "La disparition", which contains no "e", the most frequent letter in the French language, among other things.
    Lipograms seem to be more frequent in English than palindromes. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipogram:
    "If youth, throughout all history, had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a child can think; and, possibly, do it practically; you wouldn't constantly run across folks today who claim that "a child don't know anything." A child's brain starts functioning at birth; and has, amongst its many infant convolutions, thousands of dormant atoms, into which God has put a mystic possibility for noticing an adults act, and figuring out its purport."

    And it makes sense too!

    Alain

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    A page- try this one: http://www.norvig.com/palindrome.html (OK, it's rubbish, but still worth one visit)
    BTW, someone managed to translate Georges Pérec's book into English, which must have been a killer- how do you avoid 'the'; in French, at least you can stick to feminine singular nouns when you need to specify.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    Thank you for your answer.
    I saw George Perec's palindrome. It is very interesting. One page long!
    Portuguese and French are latin languages but I am unable to understand French, in spite of this, I understood the idea of the palindrome.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Madam, I'm Adam

    Originality of the doubts in the question got lost in palindrome. In reply to the above quote: Ah, Satan sees Natasha. Another palindrome.
    Asesh

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