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2 comments

Comment from: Dmitry [Visitor]
"Съешь ещё этих мягких французских булок, да выпей чаю. " - это стандартная фраза для демонстрации шрифта в русской версии Windows XP :) в ней есть все буквы русского алфавита :)
11/29/09 @ 07:44
Comment from: anonymous [Visitor]
Since съесть contains a hard sign, this is as good a place as any to point out an error in a major dictionary:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hard+sign

Note the definition says that hard sign is "not in official use since 1918" (!). This is certainly news to me. Among other things, it occurs no less than 20 times within the list of the 5000 most common Russian words on your website.

Dictionary.com cites their source as the Random House Dictionary, and when I checked a print edition of their unabridged dictionary it had the same misinformation. It was an old edition from the 1980s, though, so maybe they fixed it more recently? One can but hope.

I personally haven't tried to contact Random House, but here's a page of contact information, in case anyone's interested: http://www.randomhouse.com/about/contact.html

Don responds: What an interesting error! Thanks for pointing it out. I regard their error as essentially typographical. They meant to say “not in official use at the end of words since 1918.” The hard sign continues to be used in compound words that are made up of a prefix that ends in a consonant when followed by a stem that begins with jot (the palatal glide which is the y sound in yoke.)

It's worth noting that there is one instance (and only one, so far as I know) where the presence/absence of the hard sign distinguishes words: сесть “to sit down” versus съесть “to eat up.”
01/01/11 @ 20:19

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