Monday, May 20, 2013

Represented by Llamas

The Russian Orthodox church around the corner had a used book sale today. By the exercise of some will power, I managed to buy only three books, all slim. Along the way, though, I looked into a Russian-English dictionary, and a sentence caught my eye:

"The ruminants are represented in that country by llamas."

Now, it must be difficult to find or make specimen sentences to  illustrate usage. Yet this sentence seems to me to have the quality of those one hears in dreams, that make perfect sense then but leave one puzzled on waking.


  1. I wonder if it was a Soviet era dictionary when even dictionary making had to be conducted with a Tarkovsky like enigmaticness (if that's a word).

  2. It was old enough to be from the Soviet Union, I guess.

    1. I'm annoyed because none of our Soviet era dictionaries carry the same entry. I shall now have to read them from cover to cover to see if there is anything comparable.

    2. Had I supposed that ruminant representation was of such interest, I would have picked it up. Maybe it will turn up in the fall at their annual festival.

      Meanwhile good luck with your dictionaries. Try to introduce snippets from the examples into your everyday conversation--done judiciously, it could give you an air of mystery.