Archiv vom November 11th, 2009

Today, I probably won't make many friends -- but there is a physicist's joke bouncing off the inside of my head, so I have to let it out to have peace. Of course, physicists' jokes have the tendency to be incomprehensible by anyone but physicists (a somewhat rare species). Ordinary people usually take on a puzzled or even pitying look. Moreover, the joke bothering me right now is a terrible groaner -- if you understand it. Oh well, there it is:

Q: What is the twelfth law of thermodynamics?

A: There is no perpetual motion machine of the twelfth kind.

What else has happened today? Not much. But Mr Karlsson says that there are two simple rules to form the partitive plural in Finnish: If the stem of a given word ends on a short vowel, the partitive suffix is -a/-ä. This is, of course, preceded by -i- or -j- to mark the plural. If, however, the stem ends on two vowels (or one long vowel),  -ta/-tä is used, again with plural -i- or -j-.

There are several additional points to consider, but these are the basic rules.

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