(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » 30 Sep 2019 15:59

Khemehekis wrote:
21 Sep 2019 03:28
sangi39 wrote:
21 Sep 2019 02:37
I can't find anything through Google (any attempt I make at a search always tries to correct to Welsh "dydd", meaning "day"), but is this a thing in Finnish?
In The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker says that to people living through the Great Vowel Shift, it must have sounded "like that strange surfer dialect" in which "dude" sounds something like [dɪːuːd].

Native Finnish words don't begin with [d], so "dyyd" is almost certainly something borrowed -- I'd say it's quite likely "dude".
Keep in mind the standard American English /u/ is already quite front, perhaps closer to [ʉ] than to [.u]. It's possible the Finns took in [ʉ] as /y/ here, no need for diphthongization (which Finnish has as ⟨iu⟩ [iu̯].)

Edit: Dang BBCode
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 01 Oct 2019 02:13

Ælfwine wrote:
30 Sep 2019 15:59
Keep in mind the standard American English /u/ is already quite front, perhaps closer to [ʉ] than to [.u]. It's possible the Finns took in [ʉ] as /y/ here, no need for diphthongization (which Finnish has as ⟨iu⟩ [iu̯].)
Yeah, especially since Finnish /y/ isn't actually a full-blown [y] but rather [y̠~ʉ̟], at least for most people even if there's the "UGH NO THAT'S A SWEDISH PRONUNCIATION" crowd that insist it's an [y] all the way even though Swedish /y/ is even more centralised so it makes no sense. I'd say the long /yː/ tends to be slightly more front (but still not a full-blown [y] if [y] is taken to be as front as [i​], though) but that may just be an illusion. Anyway, personally I've definitely seen/heard duud more than dyyd; most famously there's Duudsonit (the Dudesons). Maybe the reason both exist is that the American dude vowel is between Finnish /uː/ and /yː/, as in it's clearly long but neither clearly back nor clearly front.

Or maybe I'm propagating my speech impediments again... which have never resulted in misunderstandings or even been pointed out and are shared by other people, but are 100% certainly still speech impediments because they're not 100% uniform pronunciations by the magical One Letter - One Sound formula. In case it's not obvious, I'm just trying to be funny again. But that doesn't mean it's not true, though...
Ælfwine wrote:
30 Sep 2019 15:59
Edit: Dang BBCode
You almost certainly already know this, but the zero-width space exists.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » 01 Oct 2019 03:02

Vlürch wrote:
01 Oct 2019 02:13
Ælfwine wrote:
30 Sep 2019 15:59
Keep in mind the standard American English /u/ is already quite front, perhaps closer to [ʉ] than to [.u]. It's possible the Finns took in [ʉ] as /y/ here, no need for diphthongization (which Finnish has as ⟨iu⟩ [iu̯].)
Yeah, especially since Finnish /y/ isn't actually a full-blown [y] but rather [y̠~ʉ̟], at least for most people even if there's the "UGH NO THAT'S A SWEDISH PRONUNCIATION" crowd that insist it's an [y] all the way even though Swedish /y/ is even more centralised so it makes no sense. I'd say the long /yː/ tends to be slightly more front (but still not a full-blown [y] if [y] is taken to be as front as [i​], though) but that may just be an illusion. Anyway, personally I've definitely seen/heard duud more than dyyd; most famously there's Duudsonit (the Dudesons). Maybe the reason both exist is that the American dude vowel is between Finnish /uː/ and /yː/, as in it's clearly long but neither clearly back nor clearly front.

Or maybe I'm propagating my speech impediments again... which have never resulted in misunderstandings or even been pointed out and are shared by other people, but are 100% certainly still speech impediments because they're not 100% uniform pronunciations by the magical One Letter - One Sound formula. In case it's not obvious, I'm just trying to be funny again. But that doesn't mean it's not true, though...
Ælfwine wrote:
30 Sep 2019 15:59
Edit: Dang BBCode
You almost certainly already know this, but the zero-width space exists.
Interesting.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 03 Oct 2019 23:44

Anyone know the etymology of the Latin nēnia meaning "funeral song; dirge"?

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen » 06 Oct 2019 16:01

Vlürch wrote:
01 Oct 2019 02:13
Ælfwine wrote:
30 Sep 2019 15:59
Keep in mind the standard American English /u/ is already quite front, perhaps closer to [ʉ] than to [.u]. It's possible the Finns took in [ʉ] as /y/ here, no need for diphthongization (which Finnish has as ⟨iu⟩ [iu̯].)
Yeah, especially since Finnish /y/ isn't actually a full-blown [y] but rather [y̠~ʉ̟], at least for most people even if there's the "UGH NO THAT'S A SWEDISH PRONUNCIATION" crowd that insist it's an [y] all the way even though Swedish /y/ is even more centralised so it makes no sense.
Hmm, I'm not an expert on phonetics, but all the vowel charts I'm able to find for (Standard Central) Swedish look approximately like this:
Spoiler:
Image
That is, /y/ (and /Y/) should both be, if anything, more frontal than in Finnish. Of course, Finland Swedish is a different matter, but at least here in Helsinki, I can't really say I hear a difference between Swedish and Finnish vowel qualities - apart from /ʉ/, which doesn't exist in Finnish. And again, if there is a subtle difference between Swedish and Finnish /y/, I'd sort of expect the existence of a contrasting /ʉ/ in Swedish to push /y/ towards the front to maintain the distinction (or for the vowels to merge, but that doesn't seem to be happening).

As for why English /u:/ can be borrowed either as /y:/ or as /u:/, I suppose there are plenty of plausible explanations. My guess would be that yes, the exact quality being somewhere between said Finnish vowels plays a role, but which approximation gets used in a word like dude probably depends on what impression you're going for. /y:/ is a hypercorrection, but if it's clear you're doing it on purpose and, like, ironically (or whatever), it kinda sounds kewl (or indeed, /khy:l/). By contrast, /u:/ just sounds like you're not even trying - but that can also be done quite deliberately, if you're just going for an honest, down-to-earth Finnish accent with no need for your fancy front vowels, city boy.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 06 Oct 2019 22:09

Xonen wrote:
06 Oct 2019 16:01
That is, /y/ (and /Y/) should both be, if anything, more frontal than in Finnish. Of course, Finland Swedish is a different matter, but at least here in Helsinki, I can't really say I hear a difference between Swedish and Finnish vowel qualities - apart from /ʉ/, which doesn't exist in Finnish. And again, if there is a subtle difference between Swedish and Finnish /y/, I'd sort of expect the existence of a contrasting /ʉ/ in Swedish to push /y/ towards the front to maintain the distinction (or for the vowels to merge, but that doesn't seem to be happening).
Oh, yeah, in that case I was talking about /ʉ/ thinking it was /y/. Huh. I thought it had /y/ [ʉ] and /yː/ [yː].

Learning that Swedish has a three-way contrast between /ʏ/, /yː/ and /ʉː/ just made me realise that I had zero clue how vowel length works in Swedish. Using the examples from Wikipedia, listening to this recording, I would've thought it had the phonemically short /y/ and was just allophonically lengthened for some reason. I would've thought that this was phonemically the same vowel. Also, I'd have assumed that both this one and the long one were phonemically long but the former was allophonically shortened for some reason... I guess I thought the geminate consonants had a shortening effect on Swedish vowels while single consonants had a lengthening effect, similarly to English and German orthographic doubled consonants? And maybe it being like 1% more frontal than Finnish /y/ made me think it had to be the long one because I knew the long one was more frontal? I'm an idiot. :roll:

Honestly, this one sounds like [ʉ] to my ears, between /y/ and /u/ but leaning closer to /u/. The supposedly identical vowel in Kazakh, though, sounds like [ɵ], between /ø/ and /o/ but leaning significantly closer to /ø/. [:S]

My knowledge of Swedish is close to non-existent, admittedly. It's because I always slept through the Swedish classes at school and have never had any real interest in learning it for political reasons; mandatory Swedish annoys me and I dislike how Finland follows Sweden in everything, and hate how even leftists push for "united Nordic identity" and shit. With all other languages, it's possible to keep politics away (even Russian (even if it's hard)), but...

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ser » 07 Oct 2019 00:36

Vlürch wrote:
06 Oct 2019 22:09
My knowledge of Swedish is close to non-existent, admittedly. It's because I always slept through the Swedish classes at school and have never had any real interest in learning it for political reasons; mandatory Swedish annoys me and I dislike how Finland follows Sweden in everything, and hate how even leftists push for "united Nordic identity" and shit. With all other languages, it's possible to keep politics away (even Russian (even if it's hard)), but...
What do you do if you need to talk to someone who doesn't know Finnish? Do you simply resort to English?

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 07 Oct 2019 03:52

Ser wrote:
07 Oct 2019 00:36
What do you do if you need to talk to someone who doesn't know Finnish? Do you simply resort to English?
Obviously. Most Finns don't speak Swedish, even in Helsinki, and most immigrants primarily learn Finnish; the immigrants who don't learn Finnish tend to speak English, so if both parties speak English and neither speak Swedish... well, you know?

EDIT: Removed venting...
Last edited by Vlürch on 08 Oct 2019 01:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen » 07 Oct 2019 17:50

Reminder on board rules: Try to keep a calm, civil tone and stick to the facts, avoiding value judgements and sweeping generalizations, especially ones concerning other people's thoughts and motives, and especially when discussing inherently sensitive issues such as politics and (linguistic) minority rights. If a topic infuriates you to the point where you find this not possible, and it's only tangentially related to the main subject of discussion anyway, then maybe just don't bring it up.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 07 Oct 2019 18:54

As [ŋ] is just [n] further back (as opposed to having an inherent [g]), would it be more appropriate to analyze the [ŋ] of most languages as a prenasalized velar plosive, [ᵑg]? Same goes for [nk, ng] as [ᵑk, ᵑgg.]
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » 07 Oct 2019 19:10

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 18:54
As [ŋ] is just [n] further back (as opposed to having an inherent [g]), would it be more appropriate to analyze the [ŋ] of most languages as a prenasalized velar plosive, [ᵑg]? Same goes for [nk, ng] as [ᵑk, ᵑgg.]
If I understand what you're saying correctly, no. Nasal stops are not the same as prenasalized oral stops.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 07 Oct 2019 19:38

shimobaatar wrote:
07 Oct 2019 19:10
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 18:54
As [ŋ] is just [n] further back (as opposed to having an inherent [g]), would it be more appropriate to analyze the [ŋ] of most languages as a prenasalized velar plosive, [ᵑg]? Same goes for [nk, ng] as [ᵑk, ᵑgg.]
If I understand what you're saying correctly, no. Nasal stops are not the same as prenasalized oral stops.
Okay. I pronounce ring, for example, as [ɹɪŋᵍ~ɹiŋᵍ], not [ɹɪŋ~ɹiŋ]. Without the offglide, the [ŋ] would be pronounced like that of [ŋwiən].
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 07 Oct 2019 21:40

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 19:38
shimobaatar wrote:
07 Oct 2019 19:10
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 18:54
As [ŋ] is just [n] further back (as opposed to having an inherent [g]), would it be more appropriate to analyze the [ŋ] of most languages as a prenasalized velar plosive, [ᵑg]? Same goes for [nk, ng] as [ᵑk, ᵑgg.]
If I understand what you're saying correctly, no. Nasal stops are not the same as prenasalized oral stops.
Okay. I pronounce ring, for example, as [ɹɪŋᵍ~ɹiŋᵍ], not [ɹɪŋ~ɹiŋ].
So either you speak a strange, archaic dialect from Up North, or you're not a native speaker.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 08 Oct 2019 01:27

Xonen wrote:
07 Oct 2019 17:50
Reminder on board rules: Try to keep a calm, civil tone and stick to the facts, avoiding value judgements and sweeping generalizations, especially ones concerning other people's thoughts and motives, and especially when discussing inherently sensitive issues such as politics and (linguistic) minority rights. If a topic infuriates you to the point where you find this not possible, and it's only tangentially related to the main subject of discussion anyway, then maybe just don't bring it up.
Eh, I guess I'll edit the venting out of the post, then... I just hate how much what's at times literal Neo-Nazi propaganda influences people's views of Finland. [>_<]

~

But anyway, actually on topic, I have two questions:

1) Has any language that lost vowel harmony later regained it? And if so, has any language that regained it only regained it in inflections and new derivations, as in the words that came about during the disharmonic period did not become harmonised when vowel harmony redeveloped?

2) Does any language have a vowel that can allophonically become every other vowel? I don't mean developing into new vowels or completely merging into other vowels, but only under some conditions merging with any one of the other vowels while also remaining distinct under some other conditions?

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ser » 08 Oct 2019 07:40

Vlürch wrote:
08 Oct 2019 01:27
2) Does any language have a vowel that can allophonically become every other vowel? I don't mean developing into new vowels or completely merging into other vowels, but only under some conditions merging with any one of the other vowels while also remaining distinct under some other conditions?
The Halkomelem schwa has a very wide range, both in terms of its conditional environments and also simply as free variation.

The current version of the Wikipedia article says:
English Wikipedia wrote:When stressed, the schwa /ə/ appears in most environments as a mid-central, but it is fronted and raised before /x/, approaching [ɪ]; before /j/ it is also fronted, approaching [ɛ]; before /w/ it is lower and back, approaching [ɑ]; and before rounded velars it is mid-back, close to [o]. Unstressed /ə/ can be as high as [ i] before /x/ and /j/, and before labialized velars it is realized as [o] or [ u]. This phoneme can also be assimilated to a stressed /e/ or a stressed /a/ in an adjacent syllable, by vowel harmony.
And this is in a language whose vowel phonemes are otherwise basically /ɪ ɛ ɑ o/ plus or minus length.

Several suns ago, I was reading a paper where the author (I don't remember who) mentioned and quoted an account of some linguistics researcher doing fieldwork with a Halkomelem speaker (in the early or mid 20th century? I don't remember). The researcher published what contained a complaint at some point about the high free variation of the Halkomelem schwa. His consultants apparently would happily pronounce the same word with [ɪ] or [ə] or [ʊ], even repeatedly in a sequence, explaining that the exact vowel sound "didn't matter much"...

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen » 08 Oct 2019 12:40

Vlürch wrote:
08 Oct 2019 01:27
Xonen wrote:
07 Oct 2019 17:50
Reminder on board rules: Try to keep a calm, civil tone and stick to the facts, avoiding value judgements and sweeping generalizations, especially ones concerning other people's thoughts and motives, and especially when discussing inherently sensitive issues such as politics and (linguistic) minority rights. If a topic infuriates you to the point where you find this not possible, and it's only tangentially related to the main subject of discussion anyway, then maybe just don't bring it up.
Eh, I guess I'll edit the venting out of the post, then... I just hate how much what's at times literal Neo-Nazi propaganda influences people's views of Finland. [>_<]
Yeah okay, but a lot of this stuff (such as those outdated dialect area maps and the idea of Nordic cooperation) is quite well established and has been in use since Hitler was nothing but a failed artist, so broadly painting it as Neo-Nazi propaganda because... what, some tiny little Neo-Nazi club has recently also started using it in their propaganda?... is still not exactly cool. [:S]

In any case:
1) Has any language that lost vowel harmony later regained it? And if so, has any language that regained it only regained it in inflections and new derivations, as in the words that came about during the disharmonic period did not become harmonised when vowel harmony redeveloped?
Well, Inari Saami has developed a kind of partial harmony, especially between /a/ and /A/, which has nothing to do with any earlier Finno-Ugric harmony - and yes, this applies to any words acquired during the Proto-Saamic period. I can't immediately think of examples with a more well-developed harmony, though.

However, I would note that in, say, Finnic, vowel harmony systems are considerably more extensive than in earlier stages of Finno-Ugric, which tended to have highly limited vowel inventories in unstressed syllables. They're also highly varied; no two Finnic languages, with the possible exception of Finnish and Karelian, seem to have exactly the same system. Vowels in general tend to change quite a lot, so I would sort of expect that any changes radical enough to first erase and then redevelop vowel harmony would also pretty much harmonize any words acquired in the interim - but the new system of harmony is unlikely to be exactly identical to the old one.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 08 Oct 2019 18:22

Ser wrote:
08 Oct 2019 07:40
The Halkomelem schwa has a very wide range, both in terms of its conditional environments and also simply as free variation.
Thanks! That's exactly what I wondered about existing, good to know that it's a real thing. [:)]
Ser wrote:
08 Oct 2019 07:40
The researcher published what contained a complaint at some point about the high free variation of the Halkomelem schwa. His consultants apparently would happily pronounce the same word with [ɪ] or [ə] or [ʊ], even repeatedly in a sequence, explaining that the exact vowel sound "didn't matter much"...
Heh, that does sound like a pretty confusing and interesting situation. I kind of wonder how that influences their accents in English... although due to colonialism, there probably aren't any kids growing up monolingual until an old enough age where their accent in English wouldn't be indistinguishable from monolingual English-speakers?
Xonen wrote:
08 Oct 2019 12:40
Yeah okay, but a lot of this stuff (such as those outdated dialect area maps and the idea of Nordic cooperation) is quite well established and has been in use since Hitler was nothing but a failed artist, so broadly painting it as Neo-Nazi propaganda because... what, some tiny little Neo-Nazi club has recently also started using it in their propaganda?... is still not exactly cool. [:S]
I guess, but many of the alt-right types I used to talk to (online, during a period when I was paranoid about radical Islamism, before I realised they don't actually care about freedom of speech, LGBT and women's rights, etc.) were regurgitating it and other shit that painted Finland as Nazi utopia, mostly Swedish-speaking Finns and Swedes who considered Finland identical to Sweden but "pure" or whatever. I know it's just bias from a small sample size and they're not representative of all Swedish-speakers, and there have been Swedes from Sweden I've talked to who haven't been anything like that... and that statistically it'd probably be true that just as many Finnish-speakers are like that... but... [:x]
Xonen wrote:
08 Oct 2019 12:40
Well, Inari Saami has developed a kind of partial harmony, especially between /a/ and /A/, which has nothing to do with any earlier Finno-Ugric harmony - and yes, this applies to any words acquired during the Proto-Saamic period. I can't immediately think of examples with a more well-developed harmony, though.
Interesting, and it being something with just one or two harmonic vowels is actually more like what I was wondering about than whether a more extensive system had redeveloped. For some reason I expected a more limited type of harmony redeveloping to be less likely than full-blown reharmonisation.
Xonen wrote:
08 Oct 2019 12:40
However, I would note that in, say, Finnic, vowel harmony systems are considerably more extensive than in earlier stages of Finno-Ugric, which tended to have highly limited vowel inventories in unstressed syllables. They're also highly varied; no two Finnic languages, with the possible exception of Finnish and Karelian, seem to have exactly the same system.
Mmh, that's definitely something to consider while conlanging... the problem is that every agglutinative conlang I start making ends up having a vowel harmony system very similar to Finnish and Turkish, and part of the reason I decided the one I'm currently working on should only have /ɑ e i o u/ in the first place was to prevent that; I'm deriving a lot of vocabulary from Proto-Uralic and Proto-Altaic, so not having /ø y/ has had some nice results (and tbh at times I've discarded regular sound changes in favour of cuteness and/or "commonism", if that's a word), but the "NEEDS FRONT ROUNDED VOWELS"-itch is starting again because the homophones are starting to pile up. [>_<]

One of the reasons I'd like to add /ə/ with extensive allophony, or /*ə/ that phonemically merged into every other vowel under different circumstances but remained /ə/ under very limited conditions is that it could be used as a loophole to allow disharmony even in ancient words before the main disharmonisation and in spite of possible reharmonisation (by being perceived as distinct until then?), but if I added /ø y/, that would amost certainly be highly unrealistic no matter what justification I tried to come up with... eh.
Xonen wrote:
08 Oct 2019 12:40
Vowels in general tend to change quite a lot, so I would sort of expect that any changes radical enough to first erase and then redevelop vowel harmony would also pretty much harmonize any words acquired in the interim - but the new system of harmony is unlikely to be exactly identical to the old one.
Hmm, maybe "the new system is different from the old one" could be exactly the "justification" needed for the conlang, if I end up adding /ø y/ after all; even though I really like them, it'd make the phonology less similar to Japanese, and even more importantly more like the SAUAL (Standard Average Ural-Altaic language) which would be pretty boring... not that it's not a boring SAUAL anyway, but... I guess I'll just keep resisting the urge to add /ø y/ for as long as I can, haha.

And now it's entirely off-topic, because the implied follow-up questions that I don't even want to ask are all about conlanging... not that this is the first time in this thread's history that that has happened by any means, but well.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 08 Oct 2019 21:38

Vlürch wrote:
08 Oct 2019 18:22

I guess, but many of the alt-right types I used to talk to [...] but... [:x]
A quick hint: you probably don't need to tell us you 'used to' talk to a lot of alt-right people. The fact that you're demonising a minority in your country by concocting conspiracy theories and generalising about them being Nazis kind of already gives us that insight into your thought processes.
And perhaps, given that a moderator's already asked you to tone down the racist political ranting in this very thread, maybe you could try to make your one "not a right-wing political screed" post be the one in which you reply to him? I'm not a moderator, so I don't know, maybe that's cool, but from one non-moderator to another, I would suggest that it's not the best tack to take.

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 08 Oct 2019 21:59

I suggest everyone drop the alt-right/Neo-Nazi topic around about now. It doesn't need responding to.

EDIT: After some PMing with Vlürch, I would like to pass on a message to he would like to apologise for the comments he made regarding Swedish people and for any offence that he may have caused in their previous few posts.

Hopefully with that, this thread can get back to normal.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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