Archive for the 'linguistics' Category

you learn something new every day

When deer stot, they ‘spring into the air, lifting all four feet off the ground simultaneously’.

be like bill

Opened this EDM from The Outnet and was greatly amused to see that they had jumped on the Be Like Bill meme bandwagon:

outnet edm 2.jpg

you learn something new every day

Traditionally, sugar plums are not a fruit, but a type of hard candy! (More info here, here and here!) That means the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker ballet is not a fairy of fruit, but that of confectionery!

you learn something new every day

Bombonieres is a high-sounding, bombastic word for ‘party favours’!

you learn something every day

There’s apparently a whole school of superstitions surrounding the Shakespearean play Macbeth!

you learn something new every day

The space between your eyebrows is called the glabella!

two countries separated by a common language

Wanted to change the inbox date format in my Gmail account from MM/DD/YY to DD/MM/YY. Googled and one solution was to switch my language setting from English (US) to English (UK). Which I did, and promptly noticed that my Trash folder was now appropriately renamed ‘Bin’!!!

you learn something new every day

Read this interesting article and discovered the word plastrons, or the underside of turtle or tortoise shells!

getting names right? harder than it sounds

As someone who has always had her name mispronounced since forever, I thought this article was pretty entertaining……

Getting Names Right? Harder Than It Sounds
By Ben Shpigel

WIMBLEDON, England — If there are times when tennis officials and announcers warrant some sympathy, then the first few days of a major tournament like Wimbledon would be one of them. Hundreds of matches in singles and doubles featuring players from Argentina to Uzbekistan are a linguistic gantlet of the highest order. On the women’s side alone, there were first-round contests between Scheepers and Shvedova, Gajdosova and Zaniewska, and Foretz Gacon and Niculescu.

And there was chair umpire Pascal Maria on Court 7 on Tuesday, overseeing a match between Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Alexandr Dolgopolov. It was a tongue twister, and calling the players by their first names — Advantage, Alex? — was not an option.

Continue reading ‘getting names right? harder than it sounds’

you learn something new every day

Those little containers holding condiments, such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar, are called cruets!

a pair of pretty pastels

For the very first time, Pantone picks not one but two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity – for 2016’s Color of the Year!

something from the ocean and something from the hills

Read this book in Secondary 1. 15 years on, this part has stayed with me……

Beginning to understand what “something from the ocean and something from the hills” was all about, Totto-chan had doubts whether the lunch her mother had so hastily prepared that morning would be approved. But when she opened the lunchbox, she found such a marvelous lunch inside, it was all she could do to stop herself shouting, “Oh, goody, goody!”

Totto-chan’s lunch contained bright yellow scrambled eggs, green peas, brown denbu, and pink naked cod roe. It was as colorful as a newer garden.

Continue reading ‘something from the ocean and something from the hills’

keep your le bistro, i’ll take kopitiam

I filed a copy of this somewhere and came across it today……

Keep your Le Bistro, I’ll take kopitiam
By Janadas Devan

ON WORDS

MANY years ago, an American professor explained to me why he was anxious to visit what he quaintly called ‘the Far East’. ‘I want to see it before what is different about it disappears altogether, and it becomes an extension of suburban America,’ he said.

The gall, I thought, the obtuse smugness! But he happened to be a very distinguished scholar indeed, so I explained politely: ‘Even if the rest of the world looks like America, it remains different. Form should never be mistaken for substance’.

The more fool I. As I soon realised, the professor may not have been altogether right about Asian modernity, but he wasn’t altogether wrong either.

Continue reading ‘keep your le bistro, i’ll take kopitiam’

word of the year

 

tears of joy emoji

So Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year is not a word, but the pictograph above. An emoji! Pretty apt since emojis are all over social media these days. As they wrote: ‘There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, (…) but (this emoji) was chosen as the “word” that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.’

Incidentally, this particular emoji is the one that I use most frequently in my Whatsapp conversations. Interestingly, this emoji’s official name is ‘Face with Tears of Joy‘, but I (and most of my friends, I suppose) have interpreted it as ‘Face with Tears of Amused Resignation’!

 

 

 

 

 

you learn something new every day

I was reading a local florist’s website when I suddenly noticed that their address was 311 Old Birdcage Walk. Googled that and realized Old Birdcage Walk was actually a thing…… in off-the-beaten-track, countrysidish Seletar. A very poetic name indeed. However, there is apparently no birdcage there, old or new, alas!


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