Thanks for clearing this up. You must admit it is not obvious to a
nenophyte in these matters. I really liked it to be 3 miles long anyway.
Google's translator doesn't know this either. Anyway I am glad that Garmt
made the same observation I did so I don't feel so bad.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Arthur B. Evans" <aevans2~at~tds.net>
To: "Jules Verne Forum" <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2006 7:16 PM
Subject: Re: Cetacean a mile wide and 3 miles long
> The question is indeed one of language. Rick, Bill, and the others are
> correct. There is no ambiguity. This phrase can NOT be read in two ways.
> In French, "mille" means "a thousand" (**and it NEVER takes an article**),
> and "un mille" means "a (nautical) mile" (it NEVER means "a thousand").
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Norm Wolcott" <nwolcott2ster~at~gmail.com>
> To: "Jules Verne Forum" <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>
> Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2006 6:36 PM
> Subject: Re: Cetacean a mile wide and 3 miles long
> > Garmt, that was my original confusion. What I thought was obvioius to
> > Forum was apparently not so. What I was attempting to say was that there
> > were two ways of translating the sentence:
> > "who gave it a width of a (a. thousand, b. mile) and a length of three
> > thousands; implied, b. miles:implied). One can pick either a or b but
> > a
> > and b. Therefore the question of a width of a thousand feet and a length
> > of
> > 3 feet cannot arise.
> > You can read the sentence two ways. When a word has two meanings, there
> > may
> > be a question of which is the one intended. A length of 3000 feet and a
> > width of 1000 feet would still be much larger than the "timid estimates
> > 200 feet in length". The measurement of the "Shannon" giving 650 feet
> > still much less than 3000 feet, thus fitting in with the numerical
> > interpretation of 1000x3000 feet.
> > I think the question is one of culture not language. In English if one
> > asked
> > "How many miles is it from New York to Chicago?", the answer could
> > reasonably be "About a thousand". We have no trouble understanding that
> > the
> > thousand refers to miles. French being more precise might require an
> > explicit statement "cerque d'un mille milles" An answer of "cerque
> > mille" in French culture is perhaps to be literally interpreted as
> > a
> > mile", and not "about a thousand miles".
> > Not being an expert on French culture, I am unable to express an
> > Is
> > it possible ethat Verne was being purposely vague here, offering the
> > reader
> > a choice of reasonable and unreasonble interpretations?
> > nwolcott2~at~post.harvard.edu
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Garmt de Vries" <G.deVries~at~phys.uu.nl>
> > To: "Jules Verne Forum" <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:22 AM
> > Subject: Re: Cetacean a mile wide and 3 miles long
> > On Tue, 11 Apr 2006, rick1walter~at~comcast.net wrote:
> >> Norm--
> >> You finish saying: <I come to the conclusion that Verne was talking
> >> "feet"
> >> not "miles" in the paragraph.>
> >> By this logic, your cetacean is a thousand feet wide and three feet
> >> Surely not.
> > You could also read it as:
> >> rejetant les évaluations timides qui assignaient à cet objet une
> >> longueur de deux cents pieds et en repoussant les opinions exagérées
> >> qui le disaient large d'un mille et long de trois
> > "a length of 200 feet" ... "one thousand [feet] wide and three
> > long"
> > But I would say that Verne really means 1x3 miles.
> > Garmt.
Received on Fri 14 Apr 2006 - 08:23:45 IDT