Prinsessan Märtha Louise och Ari Behn har bestämt sig för att inte ta
hjälp av någon barnflicka för att ta hand om nyfödda dottern Maud
[Prinsessan Märtha Louise and Ari Behn have decided themselves for to
not take help of some nursemaid for to take hand of the newborn
daughter Maud Angelia.]
Whatever it is they've got, I hope the lovely prinsess Whichever von
T&T doesn't catch it - my plans for the future certainly don't
include night time feeding or changing nappies.
(That's not the Googlefish, BTW, it's me reproducing the Swedish
syntax to illustrate exactly how different it isn't.)
2003-05-09 13:45 (UTC+1)
In his comments reported today, the education secretary, Charles
Clarke, has wilfully desecrated that entire tradition. Coming hard on
the heels of his assertion that he was happy for the study of classics
to whither on the vine, Mr Clarke told an audience at University
College, Worcester that he believed the state should only pay for
higher education that had "clear usefulness". Warming to his theme,
according to the Times Higher Education Supplement, he said: "I don't
mind there being some medievalists around for ornamental purposes, but
there is no reason for the state to pay for them."
Personally, I don't mind half-witted Philistines being around for
entertainment purposes, but I see no reason for the state to pay for
them, and even less reason to make them education secretaries.
story a spokesdroid attempts some spin:
A spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills said: "The
secretary of state was basically getting at the fact that universities
exist to enable the British economy and society to deal with the
challenges posed by the increasingly rapid process of global change."
Bad, wicked universities to be indulging in shameless and profligate
acts of profitless scholarship! Why can't you just shut up and make
nice sausages like nice sausage factories?
2003-05-09 10:32 (UTC+1)
One of my favourite (and certainly one of the Frenchest) things about
the «Que sais-je?» series is that they're always 128 pages. Realising
this, Nathan Université's
series is not only named for the Sacred Number, but uses it as its
Also, Précis de
phonétique historique in this series is said to be good - it is
mainly or entirely about the transition of Latin into French, but
after all what else is there?
2003-05-08 13:05 (UTC+1)
Finest quality verbal Teflon(R) from a cute but psychotic fuzzball?
Yup, it's Catbert's Mission
Mine is now:
Our goal is to globally foster long-term high-impact intellectual
capital such that we may continue to authoritatively disseminate
So there you are (and don't you wish you weren't?).
I've just been handed some proofs (marked "URGENT", yet) for a paper
that was submitted in revised form at the end of last April. My
thesis advisor had a paper in press that he used to send birthday
Still, mathematical truth is not particularly time-dependent, and it's
all good stuff. I think I'll update my Personal Mission Statement
(oh come on don't be like that we've all got them, it's practically the
new black) to include something about "timely dissemination" in honour
of the occasion.
2003-05-07 15:24 (UTC+1)
Hello, Mr Observer, what's that you've
there? Why, an article on Yoorpean literature, and the
unwillingness of British persons to read any of it, how exciting!
Since the passing of the Sixties fashion for brandishing the novels of
Gauloise-chomping Rive Gauche existentialists, we have proved oddly
resistant in this country to writers in translation, with only the
occasional bestselling exceptions such as Jostein Gaarder and Umberto
Ze fashion, she 'ave pass? Zut alors! (And you left out Henning
Around 3 per cent of the 100,000 or so books published in the UK each
year are translated from other languages, compared to 20 per cent in
Germany and up to 40 per cent in some Scandinavian countries.
[Europe Minister Denis McShane] comments that: 'Britain has become
very lazy intellectually, thinking that all you need is English. The
project is intended to encourage people to see the vitality of
Bad, lazy British persons! Eat up your nice foreign literature at
once or you'll have it again for breakfast.
2003-05-07 14:20 (UTC+1)
Desbladet wants to
be things appears to be bothered to switch conspicuously
between French accent to
read. Six leçsens, Roman Jakobson La thé
orie du changement»
the history of continuous becoming home archives guestbook
mail stuff host 09:47 Something when
I was still young enough to achieve, but the
Prinsessor von Thurn
and my personal favourite
[Rob's amazing poetry
That's about right, I'd say.
Chomsky(-ism). Sapir-Whorf. "Deconstructionism". Postmodernism.
To a quite remarkable extent, holding opinions about any of these
things appears to have become detached from any consideration
of the original sources (in so far as such things exist -
"deconstructionism" itself is a term apparently coined by persons who
are keener to refute Derrida than to read him, and is
only found scare-quoted).
I completely fail to understand what any of this is supposed to
achieve, but the technique does seem to be the dominant characteristic
of contemporary American political discourse in general.
It becomes, then, an act, but perhaps - perhaps - a necessary
act, of, if not resistance then at least defiance, as much as an
expression of bewilderment to say that I have no theory about what
this all means.
Je hausse les épaules en votre direction générale, mes folles amis
["deconstructionism" link via AKMA]
2003-05-06 13:16 (UTC+1)
While the splendiciously named Gioia Sardagna von Neuberg e
Hohenstein Ferrari need have no fear of usurption from her number one
position any time soon, and all available troths continue to be on
active plighting duty for either or both of the Prinsessor von Thurn
and Taxises, it would be foolhardy to overlook bilingual "Belgium"'s
contribution to excellence in aristocratic naming.
So be upgiving of it, Varied Reader, for Astrid Pouppez de Ketteris de
Hollaeken, la baronne Laetitia de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck and - my
personal favourite - la comtesse Céline d'Arschot Schoonhoven.
I think one really ought to switch conspicuously between French and
Flemish pronounciation with these, but not necessarily the way the
orthography suggests - I think sometimes it's funnier the other way
2003-05-06 11:39 (UTC+1)
2. A new interactive fun game for all the family.
The question, in short, is: what books should I take to the FDRUSA?
Clearly, they should be in French, and, shall we say, politically
engaged, but they also need to be things I can actually be bothered to
read. I'm currently leaning towards Barthes's Mythologies and
d'une theorie de la practique because they've been hanging
around on my to-be-read pile for embarrassingly long, but I could be
persuaded otherwise. Is Althusser actually any good, for instance?
All suggestions welcome...
2003-05-06 10:22 (UTC+1)
Another dinky li'l «Que sais-je» on linguistics, hoorah. Agreeably
weekend-sized but appallingly typeset (the "partial derivative" and
"contains" mathematical symbols do duty for schwa and open o
everywhere except exactly one place each, presumably just so that we
appreciate that the abuse is deliberate), the book starts out by
outlining the comparative method of reconstructing proto-languages,
then the internal method as deployed by Saussure in Indo-European, and
this is much fun.
But this is after all a linguistics book, and that means that the bulk
of it must be concerned with ideological infighting, hoorah - the
chapter on the history of diachronic linguistics announces that one of
its major concerns will be «l'idéologie, ou si l'on préfère, la
théorie du changement» ("the ideology, or if you prefer, the theory
of change", but say it in a French accent to get the full weight of
the contempt in which one should properly hold any account of a theory
that claims to detach it from ideology). And great fun it is, too.
In particular, historical linguistics is mostly phonology, and/or
morphophonology and this means that the book offers an idiosyncratic
critical survey of phonology after Chomsky and Halle's The Sound
Pattern of English (universally known as SPE).
If I was still young enough to want to be something when I grew up, I
think I'd want to be a phonologist, so I'm just a little bit biased,
but I had a great deal of fun with this book.