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  #21  
Old 06.09.2009, 18:25
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Re: "Oder"

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The evolution or dumbing down of our languages.
They've always existed in the spoken form of the language in one form or other. We just have no record of them because they didn't have tape recorders in Mr Shakespeare's day.

They're an essential part of our linguistic armoury, aren't they?
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  #22  
Old 06.09.2009, 18:30
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Re: "Oder"

[QUOTE=NotAllThere;541255]Only in certain areas. (Lunnon?) I seem to recall it's an London Asian epithet, but I could be wrong.

In other areas you'll hear "don't you think", "or what", "what do you think".
Of course, old boy, properly, it's "what".

I think you must mean " what what??"
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Old 06.09.2009, 18:59
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Re: "Oder"

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Could anyone explain what adding "oder" at the end of a sentence in German signifies? I hear the Swiss saying this all the time, have asked for clarification and still don't understand its darn significance.
It's a way to prompt a response by inviting others in a conversation to add their opinions. Substitute "oder" with "do you agree with what I just said or have you another opinion?".

The stronger it is said (intonation, volume) means "I believe my statement to be true and I challenge you to engage in a counter-argument"...you then have precisely 0.75 seconds to begin your tirade, any delay after that reduces the validity of your argument.
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:26
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Re: "Oder"

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It's a way to prompt a response by inviting others in a conversation to add their opinions. Substitute "oder" with "do you agree with what I just said or have you another opinion?".

The stronger it is said (intonation, volume) means "I believe my statement to be true and I challenge you to engage in a counter-argument"...you then have precisely 0.75 seconds to begin your tirade, any delay after that reduces the validity of your argument.
I totally agree with you, except those 0.75 secs are a rare exception nowadays. Originally, the meaning of the "oder?" was exactly what you wrote, but then it got (ab-)used so often that it drifted far away from the original purpose of triggering a response.

These days many people use it as if it were an audible full stop. It's not even a question mark. They do not even realize they use it, which is particularly funny when they try to speak Standard German and still say, "oder?"

Take a Zürcher conversation that contains 50 occurrences of "oder?" (which doesn't need a big sample), delete them all, and you won't notice any change as far as the content is concerned.

I don't know the present situation, but in former decades inhabitants of Berlin, Germany, used "wa?" exactly the same way. That was meant to be "was?" ("what?" in English), but it wasn't used as a real question either. Berliners used it just about as generously as many Zürchers use their "oder?", which means in about every other sentence.
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:31
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Re: "Oder"

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Listen to anyone speaking English today and you'd be amazed at the amount of superfluous "you know" or "know what I mean" sentence fillers that are thrown into the mix unconsciously. Same deal with "oder" or "weisch?" in Swiss German. The evolution or dumbing down of our languages.
In the USA, in some parts anyway, the most annoying useless filler is "like." Unlike (oops!) "oder?" it occurs not only at the end of a sentence. You can easily use it four times within one sentence without adding the slightest bit of information.
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:38
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Re: "Oder"

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Anyone ending sentences with an ODER is confessing not to know what they are talking about.

But it reveals assimilation and the proper Swiss humility. (The Swiss dislike cognoscenti "Alleswisser")
What's the difference between "Alleswisser" and "Besserwisser"???
We have a lot of those type of folk in the canton of Bern.
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:44
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Re: "Oder"

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Actually, to hell with the meaning...

I'm just gonna start sprinkling it here and there in my discussions with people...that'll make em' think I know what I'm talkin' about, oder?

Right!!
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  #28  
Old 06.09.2009, 19:46
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Re: "Oder"

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In the USA, in some parts anyway, the most annoying useless filler is "like." Unlike (oops!) "oder?" it occurs not only at the end of a sentence. You can easily use it four times within one sentence without adding the slightest bit of information.
Often heard in the US is "kind ah". The speaker is unsure and qualifies the statement with kindah.

Examples: Today is kindah cold/warm/sunny. So the other person can express an opposite opinion and the speaker saves face. After all, everything is kindah.
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:47
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Re: "Oder"

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What's the difference between "Alleswisser" and "Besserwisser"???
We have a lot of those type of folk in the canton of Bern.
Alleswisser knows everything. Besserwisser knows somethings better.
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  #30  
Old 06.09.2009, 19:49
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Re: "Oder"

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What's the difference between "Alleswisser" and "Besserwisser"???
We have a lot of those type of folk in the canton of Bern.

Allewisser can back it up
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  #31  
Old 06.09.2009, 20:06
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Re: "Oder"

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Often heard in the US is "kind ah". The speaker is unsure and qualifies the statement with kindah.

Examples: Today is kindah cold/warm/sunny. So the other person can express an opposite opinion and the speaker saves face. After all, everything is kindah.
I must admit I use "kind of" and "sort of" too, but it's not because I'm unsure, need an opposite opinion or have to save my face.

"He's kind of strange" means he is a bit strange but not that bad; "strange" is just not exactly the right word but I cannot conjure up a better one right now.

"At first glance it looked like sort of a tractor" means it looked like or seemed to work like a tractor but there was something that made a difference.

Of course, when people modify every noun, adjective, verb and whatever by using "kinda" or "sortuv" six times a minute, the whole thing misses its goal and just becomes a nuisance.
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Old 07.09.2009, 09:28
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Re: "Oder"

It's a "question tag" (albeit a colloquial one) and is inviting a response, innit??
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Old 07.09.2009, 12:55
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Re: "Oder"

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It's a "question tag" (albeit a colloquial one) and is inviting a response, innit??
I know, right?


That "right" at the end was something that took a bit of getting used to. My brother-in-law is from Connecticut and they use that there quite a lot while in Chicago area (where I'd just moved from when I'd met him) it wasn't used in that way. I want to say that "don't you think?" was used more but it was a while ago and I can not recall.

In the area of Florida I lived, we had quite a few Canadians, Michiganders and other folks up along the border regions for a good 6 months or so of the year... it is not too uncommon to run into folks with a habit of using "eh?" there.
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  #34  
Old 07.09.2009, 16:02
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Re: "Oder"

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It's a "question tag" (albeit a colloquial one) and is inviting a response, innit??
I assume you are referring to the original "oder?", right?

Of course, grammatically it's a question tag, but in the course of time it has totally lost that function. No one using it will ever expect a response, not in the Zurich area anyway. As stated several times, it just terminates the sentence. Period.
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Old 07.09.2009, 16:13
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Re: "Oder"

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In the area of Florida I lived, we had quite a few Canadians, Michiganders and other folks up along the border regions for a good 6 months or so of the year... it is not too uncommon to run into folks with a habit of using "eh?" there.
Yeah, apart from Canada it seems to be popular in the Sauna Belt of the USA (eastern end of the Upper Peninsula = UP of Michigan through northern Wisconsin into northern Minnesota. It's the area where all the Ole and Lena jokes come from and where people still shoot, fish or run over their dinner. Just like "oder?", "eh?" is not a question there. "Friggin' great ta haf ya here, eh? Let's haf a beer, eh?" Having a beer never ever is questioned up there.
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  #36  
Old 07.09.2009, 16:20
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Re: "Oder"

In the area of London where I was born and bred.
Among the locals you'd hear such sentence terminating words such as

"innit"
"still"
"like"

I didn't realise untill recently how confusing it must have been for a non native speaker. You have to love language though, and the way it constantly changes, still.
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Old 07.09.2009, 16:43
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Re: "Oder"

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I assume you are referring to the original "oder?", right?

Of course, grammatically it's a question tag, but in the course of time it has totally lost that function. No one using it will ever expect a response, not in the Zurich area anyway. As stated several times, it just terminates the sentence. Period.
Ooh er!!!
That's the second time I've been told off today
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Old 08.09.2009, 20:36
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Re: "Oder"

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Ooh er!!!
That's the second time I've been told off today
I'm not telling you off. I'm just trying to make clear that the "oder?" could be deleted without the slightest loss of information.

Listen to those folks who use "oder?" in every other sentence, and you will notice that they do not expect any response.

Here's a direct transcript from a video of mine, shot 2007 in Zürich:

"I reached the train station to pick Peter up, oder?" (what response is expected? None.) "However, he wasn't there, oder?" (Same.) "First I thought I better drive back home, oder?" (Same.) "But then I decided to have a beer and wait for the next train, oder?" (Again.) "What else could I do?" Note this is the first sentence without "oder?", and, important, it is a real question, albeit a rethorical one. "So I eventually emptied my glass and went back to the platform, oder?" Etc. etc. etc..

See the pattern?
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  #39  
Old 08.09.2009, 21:00
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Re: "Oder"

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I'm not telling you off. I'm just trying to make clear that the "oder?" could be deleted without the slightest loss of information.

Listen to those folks who use "oder?" in every other sentence, and you will notice that they do not expect any response.

Here's a direct transcript from a video of mine, shot 2007 in Zürich:

"I reached the train station to pick Peter up, oder?" (what response is expected? None.) "However, he wasn't there, oder?" (Same.) "First I thought I better drive back home, oder?" (Same.) "But then I decided to have a beer and wait for the next train, oder?" (Again.) "What else could I do?" Note this is the first sentence without "oder?", and, important, it is a real question, albeit a rethorical one. "So I eventually emptied my glass and went back to the platform, oder?" Etc. etc. etc..

See the pattern?

Someone else said that in (some areas of) the US you could replace those "oder" with "right" and they'd be quite correct.

I tend to imagine that conversation with the "right" (or in this case "oder") being the moment when the one speaking looks up to check that the other person is listening (and keeping up with the babble ). While it is maybe not an invitation to an actual response, I take it to be an opportunity for me (as the listener) to say "uh huh" or something equally fillerish.

So... I'd say you're both right.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:33
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Re: "Oder"

OK, Captain, but that's really a linguistic train crash, oder??

It's a given that people abuse the parameters of grammar when speaking and that was a particularly good example, oder?










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I'm not telling you off. I'm just trying to make clear that the "oder?" could be deleted without the slightest loss of information.

Listen to those folks who use "oder?" in every other sentence, and you will notice that they do not expect any response.

Here's a direct transcript from a video of mine, shot 2007 in Zürich:

"I reached the train station to pick Peter up, oder?" (what response is expected? None.) "However, he wasn't there, oder?" (Same.) "First I thought I better drive back home, oder?" (Same.) "But then I decided to have a beer and wait for the next train, oder?" (Again.) "What else could I do?" Note this is the first sentence without "oder?", and, important, it is a real question, albeit a rethorical one. "So I eventually emptied my glass and went back to the platform, oder?" Etc. etc. etc..

See the pattern?
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