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Comment from: Kiro [Visitor] Email
Dear Tatiana,

Thank you for your interesting article!

Although I'd like to say that I rarely (if ever) hear the word "пуховка" (as the Russian for "down parka"). The one that is used instead is "пуховик".

And, to me (as a native speaker)the phrase "Куда ты собираешся, разоделась в пух и прах?" does not make sense. Like you said, "в пух и прах" means “completely” or “utterly” (e.g. "он проигрался в пух и прах" meaning "he's tapped out all the money in the casino"). But you cannot "разодеться в пух и прах".

Again, thank you for the post.

Best, Kirill

Don responds: Kirill is a native speaker of Russian. Tatiana is also a native speaker of Russian. One of the most odd parts of discussing language is the fact that sometimes some native speakers say “You can say X” and other native speakers say “You cannot say X.” Go figure.

The reason for this is that it is inaccurate to think that there is such a thing as a language. The truth is this: people talk. When a great number of people talk sort of the same way, we call this a language. But really the grammar and lexicon and syntax of each of those people is slightly different. Even people in the same family speak somewhat differently. In other words, not all native speakers of a language speak the same way. Frankly, that's pretty damn frustrating for the rest of us who think that we are studying a language and want to somehow figure it out like the solution to a Rubik's cube.

For other non-native readers I want to give a piece of advice. Bear in mind that there are parts of a language that are very consistent from native-speaker to native-speaker. There are others that are less consistent. Your responsibility is to figure out from standard references what the best approach is for your personal situation.

If it seems unfair to you that you should have to figure out what is good or not good for your situation, I can only say that all of life is like that. Get used to it.

04/15/10 @ 15:32
Comment from: Vladislav [Visitor]
I'm a native speaker and I can confirm that I've heard the phrase "разоделась в пух и прах", though it is not something widely used.

Never heard 'пуховка', though it may be just not used here, near Moscow -- much like siberian people use "мультифорка", and no Muscovites are familiar with this word.
05/26/10 @ 06:13

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