Archive for the 'linguistics' Category

year of the dog

Happy Chinese New Year!

(I will always call it Chinese New Year and never Lunar New Year; just like I’ll always wish people Merry Christmas and never that nonsensical Happy Holidays greeting!)

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you learn something new every day

Watched this video this morning and noticed this comment below:

Did you know? The logo for Mozilla Firefox actually a Red Panda, rather than a Fox.

Did a bit of googling, and found out that ‘firefox’ is another name for the red panda, and was chosen by Mozilla for its similarity to Firebird, the original name of their browser. But then, you say…… its logo does really look like a fox, with its longish snout, colouring and all! Daniel Burka, the designer who conceptualized the logo, tweeted in 2009 that it was ‘partially inspired by this illustration in my childhood bible’. So I guess it’s a red panda made to look like a fox!

a variety of v’s

Completely random but……

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valourous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.

V’s introduction to Evey, V for Vendetta (2006)

you learn something new every day

A skeumorph is an object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artefact made from another material. Here’s a nice article on some examples.

letting it go

Had this quote on my mind this whole morning:

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.

Laozi, Dao De Jing (translated by Raymond B Blakney)

MZ asked me if I knew the original text, so I googled, and found out it was Chapter 48:

第四十八章

为学日益,为道日损,损之又损,以至于无为。无为而无不为,取天下常以无事;及其有事,不足以取天下。

(The second sentence is the source material of ‘By letting it go…’.)

So I did more googling and found a whole bunch of Dao De Jing translations here, and the rest of Blakney’s translations here!

And his translation for Chapter 48:

The student learns by daily increment.
The Way is gained by daily loss,
Loss upon loss until
At last comes rest.

By letting go, it all gets done;
The world is won by those who let it go!
But when you try and try,
The world is then beyond the winning.

millennium falcon

A producer called me and she said, “Hi Calista, I have some bad news. Harrison has been hurt, he had an accident. He was standing on a Millennium Falcon and the door fell. […] And I called a friend of mine and I said, “What the hell is the Millennium Falcon? I have never heard of that airline!”

Calista Flockhart, on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show

it’s perfectly fine to use the s-word

An enlightened view indeed! (Though the most ironic thing is that the paper itself censors the vulgarity in question!)

It’s perfectly fine to use the S-word
By Andy Chen

It is an inelegant word, but when used as an exclamation, it is to me neither rude nor an expletive

The teacher of one of my two daughters called me recently, to tell me my child had said a “bad” word in school.

Instantly, my mind went “Uh-oh”, although it was a lot less innocuous than that, so I could understand where or whom my daughter might have inadvertently picked up her vocabulary from.

Continue reading ‘it’s perfectly fine to use the s-word’

year of the rooster

This made me LOL a little:

 

As some readers told me, during this new year, we shouldn’t be cocky, but we shouldn’t be chicken either.

Good advice.

Calvin Cheng’s Facebook wall, 28 January 2017

you learn something new every day

And that’s an Oriental riff!

you learn something new every day

A pangram is a sentence using every letter of a certain alphabet at least once. (A list of interesting pangrams can be found here.)

电光石火

On Monday morning, I stood at the sink, brushing my teeth in a post-sleep haze. Suddenly, in a flash, everything fell into place, and I could finally properly count from one to hundred in Kristang!!! :D

you learn something new every day

Kraft paper is named thus because it is produced from chemical pulp produced in the kraft process. (Which in turn got its moniker from the German Kraft, meaning ‘strength’.) And I always thought it was some cute respelling of the word craft (since the paper is often used in crafts)!

you learn something new every day

An ailurophile is a cat lover! And the dog equivalent is cynophile!

learning a new language

Somehow it feels like all the words I’ve encountered are floating freely in the space of my mind, waiting to be tethered down into the right places with the laws of grammar…

keng bos?

Learning a new language is always…… painful. But now at least I can say, ‘Teng bong! Yo (name). Yo papiah Inggres, China, Singgres kon Kristang. Mutu grandi merseh!’

Translation: ‘How are you? I am (name). I speak English, Chinese and Kristang. Thank you very much!’ In Kristang, of course!

NB Title of this entry means ‘Who (are) you?’ Sophie’s World, a primer on Western philosophy, begins with the eponymous heroine opens her mailbox to find a note with the question ‘Who are you?’ I read that book when I was 14 and enjoyed it tremendously.


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