Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rare Prescriptive Observation

Ok. I would guess many of you read this blog because you're good at the rules of English but you're tired of the sites that just whine about poor apostrophe usage and misspelling.
And that's why I write this. Because while there are "rules", language for me is about communicating and, when possible, having fun.

But when I heard Colin Powell this morning I almost missed the communication because of what I find to be an odd construction:
"I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012 and I'll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month."

Did this catch anyone else's ear?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Silent Letters and Saving Energy

If you find this funny, check out this old bit about EuroEnglish

Friday, September 21, 2012

From the Neighborhood - nice play on words

This bike shop is in Wash Park and I always get a kick out of the name.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Urban Dictionary Rejected my new Word

So urban dictionary rejected my new word (as referenced in my entry from 9/13,
Here's what they told me:
Thanks for your definition of misogynatrix! Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to not publish it.

I don't quite get it. They have accepted definitions for Misogynazi, Misogynette, misogynista and misogynistette. And a whole lot of stuff that makes me want to childproof my browser.
Oh well. It's on the web, so now it's a word, right?  ;-)

The best part of all this came out when I explained what happened to my husband. Something to bear in mind is that he speaks English as a second (or maybe 4th or 5th) language. I could tell as I was explaining that it wasn't getting through.

Me: So I came up with this new word that means a misogynist who hates women because he basically is a chick.
Me: So you know what a misogynist is, right?
DH: Yeah.
Me: What is it?
DH: A person who gives you a massage.

I like his definition a whole lot better that mine.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Study of Ologies

I just submitted a word to Urban Dictionary. Pretty excited since I googled and apparently no one else has used this word yet.

A dude who hates women because at his core he's a chick. From the Greek roots for hatred and woman, and the Latin suffix -trix which indicates a feminine noun.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

With a Silent Q

So my husband came home and told me he needed to get a 'shenjen' visa. I thought he meant for some part of China, but no, he explained that this is a European thing. Later I saw the word, which is spelled Schengen and I guessed that the g would be hard, like the g in 'girl'. So what's a web-savvy girl to do but Google the pronunciation. And I found this:

Pretty cool. So I click the other videos that come up. Pronunciations for adobe, guacamole, brasserie.
And quickly I'm in a parody youtube channel.

I don't know about you, but this cracks me up.
If you have some time to spare (never kill, as Tock told us), try a few.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Burning Roots

After spending many years actively learning Slavic languages, I'm now working on learning Kannada. A bit of Hindi comes along with that. My friend Katya is learning Indian languages as well. She pointed out a connection among words I hadn't noticed before.
agni - Hindi.
огонь - Russian
ogień - Polish
All of these mean fire. Of course we can find a cognate in the English word ignite.

According to the appendix of Indo-European Roots in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, all of these come from the Indo-European root egnis 

For the very curious, check this out:

Of course since looking this up, I can't get this song out of my head

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'll trade you my apple for your Twinkie. And I'll take your apostrophe too.

I pass by these businesses on my way to work. And the humor here cracks me up almost every day.

I wonder if the owners planned it. On the left: Cool Thing's; on the right: Sams Lounge.
We have the right number of apostrophes - just they traded them.