Published Sunday, 17 August, 2014
amusings , linguistics , school
Israel is 以色列 (Yiselie) in Chinese. 以 (yi) can mean ‘by'; 色 (se), ‘colour'; and 列 (lie), ‘arrange’.
The very first time I encountered the term ‘以色列’ was in a cloze passage from a Chinese exam paper in primary school. I did not realize that it referred to a country and simply thought that it meant ‘arrange by colour’. Which did puzzle me a little bit, as that intepretation did not seem to fit into the context of the entire sentence. I only found out what it was quite some time later. :)
Published Thursday, 14 August, 2014
amusings , linguistics , quoteworthy , sociopolitics
Hatred got his name the way millions of other children here have — as a means of recording an event, a circumstance or even the weather conditions that accompanied their births.
“For instance, if it was windy, the name may be Wind. If it was rainy, it may be Rain,” said Matole Motshekga, the founder of the Kara Heritage Institute, based in Pretoria. “If there are problems in the family, they will use the appropriate name. So you cannot just name someone out of the blue. It has to relate to something.”
Thus a Zimbabwean baby born to parents who had spent years trying to start a family might be named Tendai, which expresses thankfulness, and a child born in a time of troubles may be named Tambudzai, which literally means no rest.
Or, just as likely these days, a baby will be named Givethanks or Norest. If a Sotho-speaking girl becomes pregnant before marriage, her unhappy parents may name the baby Question or Answer — an answer to the question of why their daughter was behaving so strangely before the pregnancy became known.
Read about a man called Hatred and other intriguing Zimbabwean names here!
I enjoyed comedy film The Grand Budapest Hotel (though I disliked the ending, which was too Life Is Beautiful for my tastes) and was therefore quite amused to see this article in the Telegraph:
At the time of writing, the Grand Budapest Hotel was rated 1 of 1 hotels in The Republic of Zubrowka, having received 46 reviews which described it as “excellent” and only five that found it “terrible”.
Someone calling himself TheSamSolomon said: “My only complaint is the staff seem to be living in a different century- no one could find me an iPhone lightning cable nor did they know what an iPhone was. Also, the internet connection was almost non-existent. Zero was a great help though and he had many great ideas, he seemed a little bit deluded at time. But that must be the altitude.”
Click here to read the article, and click here to read the TripAdvisor reviews on this amazing institution! :D
Published Monday, 21 July, 2014
amusings , linguistics , sociopolitics
Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. The former British colony is obsessed with weird English names.
Unusual appellations have been found on people of all kinds. The secretary for justice is Rimsky Yuen and the previous secretary for food and health was York Chow. Among celebrities, there is a Fanny Sit, Moses Chan, and Dodo Cheng. Models? We have a Vibeke, Bambi, Dada, and Vonnie. But lawyers take the prize. There is a Magnum, John Baptist, Ludwig, Ignatius, Bunny and four — yes, four — Benedicts.
Odd names make for odder situations. Last July, police arrested a woman named Ice Wong with 460 grams of ice — the drug, not frozen water. Months earlier, the law caught up with Devil Law when he was brought before a judge for drug possession and crashing his car into a bus. In 2010, a woman called Cash Leung was jailed for paying cabbies with fake cash.
I agree that most of the monikers that the writer mentioned are pretty peculiar, but why ‘Moses’ or ‘Benedict’? Anyhow, check out other unusual English names that Hong Kongers gives themselves here!
Then there is Petroswickonicovick Wandeckerkof da Silva Santos, a 12-year-old soccer prodigy who has begun training with Corinthians, one of Brazil’s leading teams. Even in a country flooded with amazing names, his 19-letter first name and 12-letter middle name have raised eyebrows.
The boy said it took him awhile to learn how to pronounce his own name. His father, José Ivanildo dos Santos, a soccer coach, has been repeatedly questioned about the choice.
“The woman at the notary public’s office thought it was terrible and called me crazy,” Mr. dos Santos said in a televised interview. “But I told her I’d name my son my way.”
Read about the weird and wondrous variety of Brazilian names here!
Today’s Google Doodle is super cute and funny!
Try to squeeze in some football during your office meeting, but watch out!
When the boss is coming…… flip the channel quickly! Also, notice that both graphs are showing downward trends? A consequence of the World Cup? Though to be fair, I guess this occurs in offices everywhere, even without the globe’s biggest single-event sporting competition going on!!! :P
Published Thursday, 12 June, 2014
I knew the World Cup was going to start sometime in June but I had no idea that it was going to start TOMORROW (well, at 4 am local time tonight really) until I saw the Google Doodle today!
Not that it really mattered in the least, since my interest in football is basically close to zero……
Published Wednesday, 11 June, 2014
amusings , anthropology , quoteworthy
I know this is supposed to be a satire (it’s The Onion after all!), but at the heart of every satire is a grain of truth……
Of course, no ENTJs are exactly alike. Sure, we all like to talk. We like to be the boss. We can all move through the universe unrestrained by any law of physics and treat every so-called heavenly body as a mere plaything worth but moments of our attention. But just because I plunge my fist through a planet doesn’t mean that every single ENTJ is going to follow suit. We’re extraverted, intuitive, and nearly omnipotent, not clones.
If you’ve never taken the Myers-Briggs test, you should definitely do it. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. And if you end up an ENTJ, welcome to the club!
If not, you will kneel.
Read Sara Alford’s humorous article, ‘I’m An ENTJ, Destroyer Of Worlds’, here!
Published Monday, 26 May, 2014
amusings , finance
So I finally took the day off and hauled myself down to Phillip Investor Centre in Raffles City to set up a trading account this afternoon. The relationship manager attending to me was an older man. He handed me a whole ton of forms to fill up. I was filling one in, and hesitated slightly over ‘name of employer’. So he said, ‘No need to write current employer if you’re still a student.’ Barely stifling a chuckle, I replied, ‘Oh, I am not a student!’ And promptly wrote my company’s name and address down. :)
Published Sunday, 25 May, 2014
amusings , quoteworthy
I first read a version of this article in the Straits Times on Thursday (22 May) and found it utterly hilarious……
Lion cub ‘runs wild’ after smuggled on Russian train
A Russian woman who smuggled a 50-kilogram (110-pound) lion cub onto a sleeper train claiming it was a domestic cat was being questioned Thursday, police said.
The big cat was exposed after it began behaving aggressively early Thursday on a passenger train heading for the city of Yekaterinburg 1,400 kilometres (850 miles) east of Moscow, police said.
The lion cub’s female owner “could not cope with the situation and it was necessary to urgently isolate the animal which was running wild,” police said.
Continue reading ‘‘domestic cat’ smuggled on russian train’
Published Sunday, 17 November, 2013
amusings , linguistics , quoteworthy , sociopolitics
Gotta love Rachel Lu’s ‘Meet China’s Beverly Hillbillies’, not just for its amusing sociocultural content, but even more for its brilliant linguistics. For example, this paragraph is sheer genius:
They are the tuhao — tu means dirt or uncouth; hao means splendor — and they are the Beverly Hillbillies of China. Or something like that: A crowdsourced translation call on China’s social media yielded “new money,” “slumdog millionaire,” the “riChinese” and “billionbilly.” When English falls short, French is on hand to help: Tuhao have the artistic sensibilities of the arriviste, the social grace of the parvenu, and the spending habits of the nouveau riche.
And you can read the rest of the article here!
Is this the most imba (first time using this word! :D) press release published by a local governmental agency ever? (Hat tip to friend Mel for the link!)
Prologue: True love…seriously?
It was May 2012 when a married Singaporean man was attracted to a female Chinese national and the couple decided to develop their illicit relationship further. Unfortunately, as with many heart-rending love stories, they did not live happily forever as both were married, but not to each other.
Click HERE to read the rest of the press release! There’s even a photo montage at the bottom of the page!!!
Shared the link with a couple of other friends, and SY commented that ‘the corp comms must have psycho-ed the perm sec [permanent secretary]‘, haha!
Last but not least, check out other press releases by the same organization here! Most of them start with corny titles and introductions!!! :P
Published Saturday, 10 August, 2013
amusings , c'est la vie
Something really amusing happened to me yesterday evening……
Was supposed to meet my friends for dinner and decided to take a train there. The MRT I boarded wasn’t crowded. There was an Indian guy (almost an uncle, but not quite) sitting down, with an empty seat on each side of him. I sat down on his left. Almost immediately, he slid over to the empty seat on his right!
I was like huh????? Because I was in a normal blouse and skirt, and wasn’t wearing any (overpowering) perfume, so why on earth did he act this way? I didn’t understand it either, but I guess he saw something in me to be avoided! :P
Published Wednesday, 10 July, 2013
amusings , gastronomy , la famiglia
Bought tickets to Cook a Pot of Curry yesterday, and really really really felt like eating curry after that.
When I got home after work today, I was greatly amused to see that my mum had cooked…… a pot of chicken curry. :D