Archive for the 'linguistics' Category

you learn something new every day

Prince or Princess of Asturias is the official title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. Ten-year-old Leonor, the elder daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, is the current holder of this position. The (far more well-known) British equivalent is of course Prince of Wales. (His spouse will then be known as Princess of Wales. Thus far no woman has held this title in her own right.)

you learn something new every day

Supposititious means ‘substituted for the real thing’.

you learn something new every day

Something being gimcrack means it is showy but cheap or badly made.

you learn something new every day

Perspicacious is a nice bombastic synonym for sagacious.


My JC senior Cheryl, a teacher, posted this status on her Facebook wall earlier today:



on co-operation

How to Co-operate

People are drawn together because some tasks are too big for one person. They say too many cooks spoil the broth, but they also say many hands make light work. The trick is having one person work on the soup and the rest on the electrics.

This was extracted from How to Be Normal by Guy Browning, which is a collection of short essays all titled ‘How to (Do Something)’. I didn’t really get its humour at all, and made myself finish it anyway. I thought the above snippet was the funniest part of the book! :P

you learn something new every day

Recently found out what wassail (mmm sounds delicious) and wassailing are.

white horse neighing in the west wind

But no matter how brilliant, how learned Habolamu was, there was one puzzle he would never be able to decipher, because even the all-encompassing Quran contained no answer: if the person you loved deeply, deeply loved someone else, was there anything that could be done?

I have never been gladder to announce that my translation of 《白马啸西风》 (Bai Ma Xiao Xi Feng, or White Horse Neighing in the West Wind), a wuxia novella by Jin Yong, is finally DONE!!! At long last! How I’ve waited for this day!

I started working on the piece after my ‘O’ Levels and posted my first instalment to the SPCNET Wuxia Translations forum on 18 November 2003. I had thought my work would take days, if not months, to finish- but who knew! It ended up taking way more time and effort than I had thought!

Continue reading ‘white horse neighing in the west wind’

you learn something new every day

A hippophile is someone who loves horses. ‘Hippo-‘ originates from hippos, the Greek word for horse. And…… hippopotamus is Greek for ‘river horse’!

you learn something new every day

The prongs of a fork are also called tines.

you learn something new every day

So these are what finials are!

you learn something new every day

Jardiniere, feminine form of the French word for gardener (jardinier), is a stand for flowers or a flowerpot holder.

you learn something new every day

The Pennsylvania Dutch, a group of early emigres to America, were not from the  Netherlands, but Germany. (Their language shares the same name.)

you learn something new every day

Ubykh is Northwest Caucasian language which went extinct when its last native speaker died on 7 October 1992. (Click here for a partial list of extinct languages sorted by their time of extinction.)

this is just to say

This Is Just To Say
William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

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