A Tramp Abroad By Mark Twain






































































































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There are some exceedingly useful words in this language.
SCHLAG, for example; and ZUG.  There are three-quarters
of a - Page 530
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There Are Some Exceedingly Useful Words In This Language. SCHLAG, For Example; And ZUG.

There are three-quarters of a column of SCHLAGS in the dictionary, and a column and a half of ZUGS.

The word SCHLAG means Blow, Stroke, Dash, Hit, Shock, Clap, Slap, Time, Bar, Coin, Stamp, Kind, Sort, Manner, Way, Apoplexy, Wood-cutting, Enclosure, Field, Forest-clearing. This is its simple and EXACT meaning - that is to say, its restricted, its fettered meaning; but there are ways by which you can set it free, so that it can soar away, as on the wings of the morning, and never be at rest. You can hang any word you please to its tail, and make it mean anything you want to. You can begin with SCHLAG-ADER, which means artery, and you can hang on the whole dictionary, word by word, clear through the alphabet to SCHLAG-WASSER, which means bilge-water - and including SCHLAG-MUTTER, which means mother-in-law.

Just the same with ZUG. Strictly speaking, ZUG means Pull, Tug, Draught, Procession, March, Progress, Flight, Direction, Expedition, Train, Caravan, Passage, Stroke, Touch, Line, Flourish, Trait of Character, Feature, Lineament, Chess-move, Organ-stop, Team, Whiff, Bias, Drawer, Propensity, Inhalation, Disposition: but that thing which it does NOT mean - when all its legitimate pennants have been hung on, has not been discovered yet.

One cannot overestimate the usefulness of SCHLAG and ZUG. Armed just with these two, and the word ALSO, what cannot the foreigner on German soil accomplish?

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