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Author Topic: "Electric thread": odd translation or actual term?  (Read 1822 times)
Jake of All Trades
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« on: November 08, 2007, 12:22:27 am »

I've recently begun reading Mr. Verne's Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (for the first time--shameful, eh?) and have come across the most charming name for wire: "electric thread".  My question to you is this: is this a product of incongruities between the French and English languages, or was this a term commonly used for what would soon come to be ambiguously known as "wire"?  "Electric thread" is used several times, but so is "wire".  Can anyone clear this up?  Many thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2007, 01:34:14 am »

Shamefully I don't know off the top of my head.  It has been years since I last read 'Leauges' (so many books to read so little time).  I'll have to hunt down my copy and read it just to find out if it was used in my copy.
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heavyporker
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2007, 01:53:52 am »

  Either way, doesn't "electric thread" sound ever so much more classy and awesome than "wire"?
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2007, 01:57:29 am »

  Either way, doesn't "electric thread" sound ever so much more classy and awesome than "wire"?

Your logic on this is indisputable.  Well said!
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2007, 02:27:49 am »

  Either way, doesn't "electric thread" sound ever so much more classy and awesome than "wire"?
Quite!  This is, indeed, why I am asking.  I would very much like to use this phrase in future projects, but my admittedly-silly internal rules will not allow it unless I know it was a "real word".
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dman762000
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2007, 04:10:03 am »

Now, I know that in craft/diy (make: magazine, craft: magazine ) they use "electrically conductive thread" in many projects that involve lighting clothing, so I guess that could be thought of as electric thread
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2007, 04:22:01 am »

Don't sweat it if you're reading it for the first time; I just finished it for the first time myself. What a rewarding read...
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 12:28:06 pm »

Ok, heres my take on this as in the quest to make it cheaper,and keep more of the money for the corporate execs in the auto companies. They are now doing what the Chinese did to cheap phones years ago. They have the smallest cross section of wire that is currently possible to draw. This they wrap a couple of sections around a cotton thread for strength. They are calling them threads because of the of the wires dia. This may be inhouse or industry wide in the electronics/electric.
Since the fiber optic things is showing problems they didn't think off when they were touting it a couple years ago. Seems the vibration in cars and other vehicles, bounding happily over the roads cause miss alignment/lose of signal at the most inopportune times. Seems the 6 way force force is to blame. I say Death to the 6 way force!
Conductive thread has always been around and is just wire drawn extra fine. Also from an advertising angle thread sounds so much more fashionable that wire. Grin
The bottom line is perception, in the words chosen to describe certain items or actions. It is the implied thought that goes with the description.
Would you like the study rethreaded for the new fixtures?
Would you like the study rewired for the new fixtures?
Both words mean the same action, but }thread{ is something that is weak. Another button has come off the vest. }wire{ denotes a implied strength.We wired the items together for the journey.
(end of educational content)
 Wink

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rach16
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2007, 01:06:04 am »

I have a feeling it's a translation issue; the word fil in French means both thread and wire, so unless it was clear from the context, they'd probably use the phrase "fil électrique", which could then be translated as electric thread.
It's a wonderful phrase though, so need reason not to use it as frequently as you can!

Rachael
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2007, 02:00:39 am »

Ah, thanks Rach!*  Disappointing, though just the sort of definite answer I wanted--merci!  The copy I have (library loan) seems to have been translated by someone, perhaps with exceedingly poor technical knowledge, who merely removed much of the scientific explanation.  Everything else is worded wonderfully, but the descriptions of the Nautilus's workings make no sense at all as the important bits have been deleted.   I was at first dissapointed in Mr. Verne, until I came accross different versions on line which contain the missing bits.  Here's an example:

Good, online translation:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

My translation:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I don't get it--the book does not appear to be a children's retelling or an abridged version in any other way.  Why would they have taken all that out?  They left in all the mind-numbing measurements in chapter 13, as well as the endless fish classifications and map coordinates of the rest of the book...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Ugg, I hate that cotton braided wire!  Bane of my existence when trying to hack things with cables and connectors and the like...  Right up there with flex cabling, in my book Angry

*I was just watching Friends and thusly could not resist calling you "Rach"
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 02:08:20 am by Jake of All Trades » Logged
CapnHarlock
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2007, 08:11:59 am »

Might I  suggest that the brilliant term 'electric thread' be added to the long-defunct "Officially-Steampunk" list ?

It is just too good a term to fall out of use just because it might not 100% historical.
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2007, 11:10:38 am »

Might I  suggest that the brilliant term 'electric thread' be added to the long-defunct "Officially-Steampunk" list ?

It is just too good a term to fall out of use just because it might not 100% historical.

Agreed!  It's a fantastic term that I personally will try to use repeatedly from now on Smiley
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Luther
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2007, 09:06:11 pm »

Fully agreed. I too will use this term whenever possible from here on in. Furthermore, it is such an indescribably awsome term that (if it ever was used in "real" english) i cannot think of why it isn't used anymore! The tale behind this odd removal from language must be grave indeed.
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rach16
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2007, 10:39:08 am »

Just came across this on wikipedia and remembered your dodgy translation.

"The novel was first translated into English in 1873 by Reverend Lewis Page Mercier (aka "Mercier Lewis"). Mercier cut nearly a quarter of Verne's original text and made hundreds of translation errors, sometimes dramatically changing the meaning of Verne's original intent. Nonetheless it became the "standard" English translation for more than a hundred years, while other translations continued to draw from it - and its mistakes. One bad blunder was mistranslating faire sauter as "jumped over [it]" instead of "blew it up [with explosives]".
Many of the "sins" of Mercier were finally corrected in a from-the-ground-up re-examination of the sources and an entirely new translation (as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas) by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter between 1989 and 1991."

I expect you've probably read enough of the book for this to be next to useless, but perhaps not Smiley

Rach
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