Off topic: do you know the origin of a "red herring"?
Thread poster: RHELLER

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 11:18
French to English
+ ...
Jan 23, 2005

NOt sure where to post this - perhaps we could start a new forum on "idioms and expressions".

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/text7-5-2004-56268.asp

So many translators work from English. I thought this might be interesting.


 

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 13:18
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
I enjoyed it, Rita :-) Jan 23, 2005

And although I knew the origin of the red herring and other tings red in the article, the link to 'pessimism' leads to an article about Murphy's law, whose origin I did not know, and I was surprised to learn it dates only to 1949.

Nancy


 

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 11:18
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I hope the instructions weren't translated :-) Jan 23, 2005

just joking!

"Now it so happened that there were two ways in which each sensor could be attached and one of the technicians somehow managed to install all 16 the wrong way around."

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/2-23-2004-50883.asp

there are some funny examples on the following page


 

Bruce Popp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:18
French to English
Murphy was an optimist Jan 23, 2005

Hi,

Murphy's exhortation was to find all the ways that something could possibly go wrong, and prevent them from happening.

This is of course impossible, which is why he was an optimist.

Donald Rumsfeld got 15 minutes of fame recently for saying that "there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns." This is, a serious engineering truth. Known unknowns are things like noise. You know that it will be there, but the details are unknown -- it is noise after all. Unknown unknowns on the other hand are totally unexpected. Goedel's Completeness Theorem assures that they will be there, no matter what Murphy tries to do to find them.

And the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns are exactly why Murphy can't possibly find all the things that could go wrong.

Bruce


 

Lietta Warren-Granato  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:18
Italian to English
+ ...
a literal anwer Jan 23, 2005

I know the origins of the expression "red herring": in Scotland the traditional way to smoke fish is by hanging the fish in small huts, with a slow fire under them. The fish (different types) is hung on metal hooks and a small fire with different aromatic woods is slowly let to burn underneath; when the fish falls to the ground, is ready for eating. "The red herring" (a type of fish)is the first to fall to the ground as it cooks faster than the other types: this way when the fisherman sees a red herring he thinks that all the fish is smoked and ready, when in fact it's not true. It may sound boring, but this is the oigin of the expression, as reported by a BBC documentary some time ago.

 

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 11:18
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
here is a slightly different version Jan 24, 2005

"Red herring" first appeared in the literal "smoked fish" sense around 1420, but the figurative "phony issue or false clue" sense didn't appear until around 1884.

http://www.word-detective.com/042601.html


 

Laura Vinti  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:18
German to Italian
+ ...
Thank you!! Jan 24, 2005

Thank you Rita for sharing this.
I found the Word Detective site interesting and entertaining and bookmarked it - Thanks!


 

giogi
Local time: 18:18
Logical fallacy.. Jan 24, 2005

Rita Heller wrote:

NOt sure where to post this - perhaps we could start a new forum on "idioms and expressions".

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/text7-5-2004-56268.asp

So many translators work from English. I thought this might be interesting.

The name of this fallacy comes from the sport of fox hunting in which a dried, smoked herring, which is red in color, is dragged across the trail of the fox to throw the hounds off the scent. Thus, a "red herring" argument is one which distracts the audience from the issue in question through the introduction of some irrelevancy. This frequently occurs during debates when there is an at least implicit topic, yet it is easy to lose track of it. By extension, it applies to any argument in which the premisses are logically irrelevant to the conclusion.
In Philosophy, also known as Ignoratio Elenchi ("ignorance of refutation")
Cheers Rita!
Giovanna





[Edited at 2005-01-24 11:51]


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

do you know the origin of a "red herring"?

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search