Archive for the 'linguistics' Category

downward-facing dog

Had my last yoga class on Monday. I find this instructor pretty good, so I signed up for her new class, which will be starting next Monday. It’s once again a beginner’s course, but I think it’d be good for me to reinforce my fundamentals before thinking about moving to intermediate level.

Incidentally, why is that particular yoga pose called downward-facing dog? Why not cats? Cows? Or even monkeys?

they are the tuhao

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 tuhaotu 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!

caught in the web of love

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

losing a language

A pretty meaningful bit from Last Chance to See……

I watched the gorilla’s eyes again, wise and knowing eyes, and wondered about this business of trying to teach apes language. Our language. Why? There are many members of our own species who live in and with the forest and know it and understand it. We don’t listen to them. What is there to suggest we would listen to anything an ape could tell us? Or that it would be able to tell us of its life in a language that hasn’t been born of that life? I thought, maybe it is not that they have yet to gain a language, it is that we have lost one.

Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine, Last Chance to See


Wow Oxford Dictionaries has just added squee to their online dictionary late last month!!! How cool is that?


from here

Click to read an enlarged version!

And click here to check out the other words which were added at the same time! :)

completely random

A quote I often get after publishing my blog posts on WordPress……

A metaphor is like a simile.
Author Unknown

prebirthday cake

In the run up to my impending birthday…… one last hurrah before I turn 26 next Tuesday!!!

110713photo taken by my brother (using his new HTC smartphone >.<)

Bought myself a prebirthday (or unbirthday, if you must!) cake today! It was the Coco Exotic cake from Four Leaves! And it was delicious!

Anyway, a Pythagorean triple consists of three positive integers a, b, and c, such that a2 + b2 = c2. And it so happens that 3, 4 and 5 make up the smallest Pythagorean triple. (3, 4 and 5 are also consecutive positive integers!) Check out other examples here!

praying for rain

Currently chanting this:

天灵灵 地灵灵 风凛凛 雨淋淋……

flipping over a table in anger

Flipping over a table in anger:
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Putting the table back nicely:
┬──┬◡ノ(° -°ノ)

Throwing the guy who put the table back nicely:
(╯°Д°)╯︵/(.□ . \)

HAHAHAHA how cute are these Japanese emoticons? To see a whole amazing and amusing list, click HERE! (My colleague J sent me the link – she loves Japanese things!) Enjoy! 。◕‿◕。


……and jubilation in the time of parturition!


Love in the time of cholera, panic in the time of SARS, apprehension in the time of H7N9……

the elixir of youth

A snippet of a Whatsapp conversation with Daphne just after midnight yesterday morning……

Daphne: Sigh now still doing homework

Me: Do you feel like 16 again

Daphne: Nope
I feel like 10

Me: !!!

Daphne: Haha
Sigh tonnes of homework not done yet

Me: 原来做功课竟然有返老还童的作用 [So doing homework has the effect of making one younger]

PS So everyone, please do more homework! :P

you learn something new every day

Recently edited an article about Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders. Was reading up about them on Wikipedia when I realized that their ‘Without Borders’ tag has actually spawned a whole non-governmental organization (NGO) naming convention. Look at the sheer number of NGOs Without Borders. Though, to be honest, I’ve only ever heard of MSF! :P

a piece of creative writing

Friend B, who teaches in a certain boys’ school in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area, posted this on his Facebook wall yesterday:

creative writing paragraph of boy whom I had punished for misplacing a worksheet by sending him out of class to copy the whole worksheet by hand:

“Nevertheless, John did regret losing his creative writing piece. The main reason was that he would probably be forced by the evil, dictator-like teacher to stand outside the class, and worst of all, to rewrite it, as many times as the teacher wanted until she was satisfied. Ms Lee was not for softies. In fact, if she had her way, she would declare the school under martial law Kim Jong Il-style for as long as it would take every student to get an A* in every subject. Which is to say, never.”

And his amusing post garnered over 90 likes, including mine! :D

you learn something new every day

The capital of Christmas Island is called Flying Fish Cove! What an amazingly evocative name! It was actually named by Captain Maclear of HMS Flying Fish. Flying Fish Cove is the main settlement of the island, and apparently, many maps simply label it ‘The Settlement’.

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