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Thread: German A-levels

  1. #1
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    German A-levels

    Is it possible to use the expression "the messer becomes the messee"?
    thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: German A-levels

    Well. -er and -ee are productive suffixes, so it's common to neologize with them, especially paired like this, to suggest active/passive. So it's possible; I wouldn't say it's advisable though, as it's not clear whether your 'messer' messes something up, or 'messes with' something, or 'makes a mess' (either of something, or just produces clutter) - so your 'active' neologism will be ambiguous and as a result your 'passive' neologism will be obscure (to the extent of being nearly meaningless). Another reason for avoiding this neologism is that 'Messrs' (pronounced in English as /'mesəz/) means 'gentlemen' (as a form of address).

    b

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