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Theater of the absurd

 

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  #1  
Old June 30, 2017, 11:13 AM
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Theater of the absurd

Is teatro de lo absurdo the term best understood or is astracán the better term.
Theater of the absurd was a famed genre of theater made popular by Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", but it has taken on other meanings referring to
absurd events of big proportion.
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  #2  
Old June 30, 2017, 11:28 AM
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"Teatro del absurdo" seems to be the correct term here.

"Astracanada" is a term from Spain which seems to match the Argentine late "sainete", "comedia bufa" and the gender "revisteril". The dictionary tells it's also called "astracán", but for us it only means a fine kind of fur, and the city of Astrakhan.
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Old July 09, 2017, 04:08 PM
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Alec, minor point, but one which often catches out non-native speakers of English: the verb tell always needs a direct and an indirect object. If you don't have an indirect object, use a different verb (e.g. say).
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Old July 09, 2017, 05:22 PM
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Good point! I've never realized that. Thanks. Is it acceptable when the person who is told has been mentioned earlier? I've seen lots of cases like "She would not tell where she had been raised" or "... and she would not tell a single lie unless she had to" (examples taken from COCA)
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Old July 09, 2017, 06:28 PM
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We tell lies (never say them). An indirect object is implied.
In the case of 'She would not say ...' or 'She would not tell ...', both could be interchangeable, but the former implies that a response to a question was expected, where the latter does not (she could have volunteered the information without being asked where she was raised).
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Old July 10, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
Good point! I've never realized that. Thanks. Is it acceptable when the person who is told has been mentioned earlier? I've seen lots of cases like "She would not tell where she had been raised" or "... and she would not tell a single lie unless she had to" (examples taken from COCA)
I think a good substitution might help clarify some points about say/tell:

"She would not tell where she had been raised" =
  • She would not reveal (to other people, to anyone else) where she had been raised.
  • She would not explain (to other people, to anyone else) where she had been raised.

Here's another difference: "Say" implies just having words come out of your mouth. It is a pretty neutral word. On the other hand, "told" can have the sense of an order or a directive, and it always takes an object.

I said not to put the cheese on your head.
I TOLD YOU not to put the cheese on your head.

In the first example, the tone here is much milder. It could be someone recounting a conversation, as in, "Well, this afternoon, when I was talking to Bob, I said not to put the cheese on his head, but he thought he would do it anyway." In the second example, the tone is much more authoritative, as if said by a parent or boss, as in, "Bob, you know the company policy and you chose to violate it again. I TOLD YOU not to put the cheese on your head, and I really mean it."
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Old July 10, 2017, 09:47 AM
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Thanks, all of you. I had it roughly right, now it's fine tuned. I think I was lost in a literal translation as my intention was to say "el diccionario cuenta que" instead of "dice que", meaning it's not to be taken very seriously. Maybe I should've used "the dictionary suggests/mentions...", which I would have used if I had thought in a more "native" way, instead of "the dictionary tells..." (certainly, not "the dictionary says..." in my example).

How come you double your knowledge in a foreign language and your doubts wind up fourfold?
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Old July 10, 2017, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
How come you double your knowledge in a foreign language and your doubts wind up fourfold?
Only fourfold? Could be worse. I remember that when I learnt the present subjunctive I went from being confident that I knew my verb endings to being unsure which verbs ended in -ar, -er, and -ir. It took me about a year to get back to where I had previously been in my knowledge of the present indicative.
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