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LPT Symbol Do the right Turkish thing...

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Most common use of thing...
Advancing the thing...
Disguising with thing...
The latest thing...whats new

First thingy dingy

The most common example --
of breaking the Rule of Turkish Word Order -- is when the verb doesn't end the sentence.

As mentioned in the section on the Regularities of Turkish, this can be for good and logical reasons -- such as with the Imperative. In the "spoken" Turkish, an imperative verb frequently begins a sentence (Git buradan! Get out of here!), because someone with urgent instructions (or orders) to issue will naturally put the operative word first.

Likewise with an urgent question...For example, the traffic cop just arriving at the scene of a serious road accident might shout Var mI sakat?! Is there anyone injured?! -- although, at the scene of a simple fender-bender, he might calmly ask Sakat var mI? -- in the standard word order for a question.

Another case can arise if the speaker momentarily forgets a word and "temporarily" substitutes sey -- in its place. [In this instance, sey would equate to our what'cha ma' call it.] In English this might arise as in...
We're going to the whatchamacallit -- the football match.

In Turkish, that same statement would look like...
Biz seye gidiyoruz -- futbol maçIna,
where the verb gidiyoruz is displaced from it's "rightful" place at the end of the sentence -- because of the forgetfulness of the speaker.

Ahh, yes...the little word sey (with its literal meaning of 'thing')... You know, it's such an integral part of daily spoken Turkish that we think it needs some additional "respectful" attention...

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More of a good Turkish 'thing' --
for advanced language lovers (and other hard cases)...

  1. You can carry it to extremes...
    Yak! Seyin seyini yedim -- maymunun gözü!
    Yuk! I ate the whatchamcallit of the whatchamacallit -- the eye of the monkey!
  2. It can be used on purpose (not just when you've forgotten a word) -- to be...
    ***pretentious*** or gösterisli !!!
    (some might say, simply emphatic...)

    Sen pervaneli bir ucaktan atladIn. Hah! Ben bir sey'den atladIm -- bir F-16 jet'ten!
    All you did was sky-dive from a propeller plane. Ha! I did it from an F-16 jet!

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Disguising with "thing"
In case you don't want to come right out and say what you mean in Turkish...

First lady-of-the-evening:
"inanIlmaz bir olay, bugün siftah yapmadIm. Seyim örümcek bagladI."
(It's an unbelievable occurrence, I haven't had my first customer today. My thing is covered with cobwebs.)
Second lady-of-the-evening:
"Ekonomik kriz milleti bitirdi, kIz."
(Yer right honey, the economic crisis is killing the country.)

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The latest 'thing'

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Just when we think the Turks have run out of new ways to use 'thing', they go and one-up themselves...

While travelling the other day along the Aegean Coast near KusadasI, the corner of one of our eyes was attracted by a bright new construction sign, announcing the start of a fab! new building project -- for a luxury condominium complex.

New building projects are a dime a dozen around here, we know...But, what caused us to do a double-take and a rubber-necker was the proposed name for this new luxury complex... You guessed it, it's going to be the deluxe, the opulent, the sumptuous...

Sey KonutlarI

The 'Thing' Condominiums!

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