I mean it:
Heavy snow and severe weather is expected in much of the country at
the weekend, forecasters have warned.
Snow and gale force winds are predicted as far south as East Anglia
and the East Midlands on Sunday and Monday, prompting fears of traffic
If you wait till I'm out of the country and then pig out on snökaos without me, I
will find out, and I will be very upset.
That is all.
2003-12-18 darkling (utc)
I'm heading off tomorrow to London, then Helsinggrad on Saturday very
early, and then on to Riga and Vilnius. I will, as ever, make every
effort to blog from the road, but first I have to Get Stuff Done here.
(The Guestbladet salon continues, but of course, to be at the disposal
of my Varied Reader.)
2003-12-18 après-samwidge (utc)
Effle is grammatical English which could never be uttered because it
has little meaning and could never be put into a sensible
context. There is lots of Effle in textbooks of English for foreign
learners and in sets of exercises.
The name presumably comes from the abbreviation EFL ("Engleesh as a
Foreign Language", although I've never really understood that because
it isn't, is it?)
Perhaps the most famous Effle sentence was one used by Pit Corder to
illustrate the concept (though he didn't use the term Effle):
The farmer kills the duckling.
I am not sure if there is a verifiable source for that one [...]
I am very sure that the source for this is Edward Sapir's classic book
and it is thus not real Effle at all. The Language Log also gets
in on the act, and with the season of seasonality upon us, I have
raided my own collection of genuwine malarkies to bring you the
Desbladet pantomime (Oooooh, yes I have!):
Skulle ni vilja sätta på mig den här postischen/peruken?
Would you put on this hair-piece/wig for me please?
Humanitäre Gesichtspunkte werden wohl
stets den militärischen Notwendigkeiten weichen müssen.
Humanitarian considerations will probably always have to yield to
Let's take a walk around the botanical garden.
Låt oss ta en promenad i botaniska trädgården.
Guarda com'è alta la giraffa! E che
aria impassibile ha il cammello!
Look how tall the giraffe is! And how impassive the camel looks!
2003-12-18 samwidge (utc)
§1. Yoorp, Jewish:
Jewish people around the world are getting ready to celebrate
Hanukkah. Edward Serotta, director of www.centropa.org, an institute
specialising in Jewish history and culture in Central Europe, has been
documenting and photographing Jewish life there since the
mid-1980s. He explains why the "festival of lights" is particularly
symbolic this year.
(Go read, as they say, it all.) A menorah
in Riga. We like our Yoorps multicultural around here, as is well
known, and we also very much like saying "Central Yoorp".
§2. Yoorp, Responsible:
An MEP's salary will now be set at half that of a European court
judge, at just over 100,000 euros ($127,000 or £72,000) a year.
In return, they will only be able to claim what they spend from now
on, ending the practise where members travelled economy class, but
claimed for a business-class flight.
It's been a long time coming, for sure.
§3. Yoorp, Clueless:
There was talk of four different compromise formulae for the voting
system and, on the eve of the summit, Mr Berlusconi had suggested he
had a secret plan in his pocket.
When the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern asked him what it was, Mr
Berlusconi dramatically reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece
of paper. It was blank.
Berlusconi, isn't it?
Among the duggery of skulls at the recent Unconstitution, the claim
that France stitched up the failure of the talks. We note that the
double majority (at least half the states and 60% of the population)
proposed would have disadvantaged France, which has up to now voted in
parity with Germany, despite having 20 million fewer inhabitants.
2003-12-18 morninge (utc)
Via Opie, a superb
photo of some Proper Weather - the Gulf of Finland completely
upfrozen last year.
§2 And the bananas are suddenly more inexpensive.
I get by with a little help from my fish
Yeah, I get high with a little help from my fish.
"With a little help from my fish," Lemon/McPeartree
joy, slightly fishy:
Who learns a foreign language, the strange language system must beside
new Vokabeln and that can differ much from the used German. In order
to make that transparent, in all KAUDERWELSCH volumes all sentences
word for word are translated. An example from the Indonesian volume:
Berapa harga untuk kamar ini?
How much price for room this?
Is this room how expensive?
If one is now on the market and wants to know, what the bananas to
cost there, one needs to replace the word for rooms in the sentence
specified above only through "pisang" (= banana), and everyone already
understands, for which it goes, and the bananas are suddenly more
A proverb: "What's good for the lobster may not be good for the lobstee."
2003-12-17 darkness, but not snö falls (utc
[In Sweden, Tomten ("Santa") traditionally turns up on julafton
("Christmas eve") and bursts into the house with the question, "Finns
det några snälla barn här?" ("Are there any nice children here").
Whereupon the little childrens burst into tears and wet themselves,
which is considered great sport by one and all and most traditional,
at that. The post title is an adaptation, the nature of which is left
as an exercise to the reader.]
As Birgitte has mentioned, Finland has
weather predictions online. It is looking, currently, changeable and in flux, but
there has been and is currently snö cover.
Last year, the Baltic was frozen solid from Helsingfors (which is
Swedish for Helsinggrad) to Tallinngrad, where we were staying. This
year you could probably swim across, if you didn't mind dying of
hypothermia before you'd made it half a kilometre. Unpredictable
thing, yer weather, is it not? (Do they have weather were you come
from, Varied Reader? What's it like?)
2003-12-17 après-samwidge (utc)
whose Field Notes are much missed in these parts:
Could I just say here how very very wonderful Kauderwelsch phrasebooks
are? They have grammar explanations and morphological glosses as well
as long lists of colloquial expressions and obscenities. They are the
O'Reilly books of phrasebooks. Anyone who is serious about languages
should make sure to learn German just in order to be able to take
advantage of the series. I have about 20 of them, including
Mongolian, Armenian, Irish Gaelic, Yiddish, and "Hochchinesisch." The
Finnish one was the single most useful Finnish learning aid in my
first year here.
I missed my goal of knowing enough German by now to use the Litauisch
and Lettisch ones in Baltiwegia, and in a rare fit of good sense I
accordingly didn't order them from Amazon.de, where they have snuggled
together on my wish list for a no little while.
They really do have an astonishing range, which encompasses Canadian
French, Jamaican Creole and PNG Pidgin (presumably Tok Pisin),
separate volumes for British, American and Australian slang, and the
Saxon, Bayern, Cologne and Plattdeutsch dialects of German, and
One of next year's most pressing language-flavoured tasks will be to get
into a position to pit these head-to-head with Assimil's not
inconsiderable range (Catalan, Picard, Walloon, Guadaloupean and
Haitean creoles, as well as Icelandic and plenty more).
2003-12-17 samwidge approacheth (utc)
A sentence from my current bedtime reading:
"Der Lohn für deine Arbeit liegt im Boot!"
Given that Scandewegian sticks articles on the end of words, so that
"a payment" ("en lön") turns into "the payment" ("lönen"), we arrive
at the following morpheme-for-morpheme transcription into Swedish:
"Lönen för ditt arbete ligger i båten!"
("The payment for your work is in the boat!")
Except, of course, I didn't actually bother with the transcription.
So I ask or enquire of you, Varied Reader: which language was I
2003-12-17 morning (utc)
As everyone knows:
In France, everything is permitted, except what is explicitly
In Germany, everything is forbidden, except what is explicitly
In the Soviet Union, everything is forbidden, including what is
And in Italy, everything is permitted, especially what is
And in Denmark, everything that isn't explicitly forbidden is
by the state:
C'est une triste exception danoise : Radio Oasen (Radio Oasis) est la
seule radio néonazie autorisée à émettre en Europe. Et, aussi
incroyable que cela puisse paraître, elle est subventionnée par l'Etat
: elle a reçu, en sept ans, pas moins de 400 000 couronnes danoises
(54 000 euros) d'aide publique.
It's an unfortunate Danish exception: Radio Oasen (Radio Oasis) is the
only neo-Nazi radio station permitted to broadcast in Europe. And, as
incredible as it may appear, it is subsidised by the state: it has
recieved, in seven years, not less than 400,000 DEK (54 000 EUR) of
This is what you get from combining an unwavering commitment to free
speech with an automatic subsidy of non-commercial radio, together
with a very nuanced ability to distinguish racist propaganda (which is
legal in Denmark) from incitement to racial hatred (which is not) and
a flamboyent disregard for the opinions of the UN, of whose Convention
on the elimination of racist discrimition Denmark is a
Anyway, the loophole is to be closed as of next January, so from then
on any Danish radioistes wishing to bring jolly Nazi chants and
extracts from Mr Hitler's Mein Kampf to the Danish people will
thenceforth have to seek other sources of revenue, which there is
every reason to think they will not get.
My heart, it must be said, does not especially bleed for them.
2003-12-16 fika (utc)
§1 Is this funny?
A comedy German
... Und nun bilden wir den Konjunktiv durch Umlaut aus dem Imperfekt des Indikativums und ueben das bisher Gelernte.
SIE. Wenn Viktor eine Monatskarte haette, kaeme er um 18 Uhr 45.
ER. Wuerde ich vier Cousinen haben, woegen sie 312 Kilo.
Probably funnier if you don't have to infer the German as you're going along.
Lord of the Rings! It's the greatest book ever
written, according to yet another UKish plebiscite (sigh) and also
now a very long film indeed, set in the mystical land of Noo Zillun,
where elves are elves and sheep are understandably nervös. And the
Danish premiere was duly attended by
og hendes sønner og svigerdøtre (i.e., Queen Margrethe, Kronprinsfred
and Knudella). Troopers, the lot of 'em.
Förbered dig på en snöfattig jul - om du inte bor i Norrland eller
- Det blir troligen väldigt lite snö, säger Daniel Fredriksson,
meteorolog på SMHI.
Beready yourself for a snöpoor Yule - should you not live in Norrland
or along the Eastcoast.
"It becomes rilly rilly little snö," says Daniel Fredriksson,
meteorologist with the Met Office.
Suppose I'm in Baltiwegia, does that count as eastcoasterly? The BBC
and precipitation map is still encouraging...
§4. Yoorp, Unconstitutional
French President Jacques Chirac said the failure only strengthened his
desire for a 'pioneer group' of countries moving towards ever closer
political union - leaving reluctant partners including Britain to form
an 'outer ring'.
I would like to create a closer union between the toe of my boot and
Mr Chirac's arse. Wouldn't it be nice if history came to see this
latest debacle as the moment when Yoorp lost patience with the
baffling insistence of French and German leaders that they should
decide what's going to happen in the EU, and everyone else can like it
or lump it?
2003-12-16 tisdag morron bitti (utc)
Baskets! Get your freshly woven baskets!
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court
for a crime they didn't commit. They promptly escaped from a maximum
security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted
by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a
problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you
can hire the A-Team.
No, hold on, that's not it. Let's try again:
In spring 2003, the Museum invited Lisa Telford and four other Native
basket-makers and one Native basketry scholar to a two-day seminar to
review this exhibition in its early stages. All of them expressed
their strong wish to present basketry as a living art, with strong
links to cultural history. To help illustrate this continuity,
Ms. Telford chose these four baskets from the Museum's collections and
paired them with baskets from her own and other Northwest Coast
basket-makers' contemporary works.
They're top quality baskets, for sure. I pity the fool who settles
for lesser baskets.
2003-12-15 post-samwidge (utc)
After ten days of cricket and two Test matches, the tally in the
series between England and Sri Lanka (oh stop whining, it's only a
little civil war) stands at nil-nil.
It has been, as you will appreciate,
Michael Vaughan hit an inspirational century as England batted through
the entire final day for their second successive drawn Test in Sri
Vaughan batted for six-and-a-half hours to make 105 - his first ton as
captain - and Chris Read and Gareth Batty saw out the last 86 minutes.
Spinner Muttiah Muralitharan bowled 40 overs in the day, claiming
4-64, but could not complete the job.
Six-and-a-half hours! Impressive, although a mere cameo compared to
the most bloody-minded innings by an England captain during the time
I've followed the game, Michael Atherton's 11-hour brick-wall
impersonation to save the second test of the 1995/6
tour of Seth Effrica:
The second Test has become known as Atherton's match, the epic which,
though only a draw, felt like an England victory.
With South Africa 477 runs ahead, Hansie Cronje left himself five
sessions in which to bowl England out and seemingly complete the most
straightforward of victories.
But almost 11 hours later, Michael Atherton was still there, holding
fort on 185 not out.
I watched some of that innings on TV, and I assure you that it was as
gripping and tense an occasion as the spectacle of nothing happening
can possibly be. Cricket at its absolute best, for sure.
2003-12-15 samwidge (utc)
Marvellous thing, your InterWebNet, is it not? Today, the
Swiss, Swedish, Danish
or Dutch quiz. You may well struggle, as I did, with the baseball
and basketball players, since this is a quiz for the FDRUSA market.
(In attempting to congratulate me, it remarked that I must have a
2003-12-15 samwidge (utc)
Newly-widowed and hypereducated childless thirtysomething librarian
Desirée spends her lunch breaks at her late husband's grave, where she
encounters salt-of-the earth farmer and forest-owner Benny tending the
grave next to it (his parents') and they fall in love.
With! Hilarious! Consequences!
endorses it. Desbladet lacks a Kvinna section, of course, and I do
not make a particular habit of reading ChickLit but if you ask me it
I got it thrust on me at Swedish class, as an alternative when I
refused yet another opportunity to borrow one of Henning "Hilarity"
Mankell's jolly accounts of dismemberings and mutilations. It would
have looked churlish to also decline merry tales of biological clocks
and romantic, and I don't want to seem churlish. And anyway, it was OK.
And since it was lightweight fluff, I wasn't going to get all
philological over it, and since my beloved fickordbok was hiding (it's
since turned up HOORAH!) I just made do without, and made it through
in a handful of sittings, because reading is a thing I know very well
how to do and reading in Forren is pretty much the same only for some
reason they often use different words for things, which can be a
little confusing until you get used to it.
2003-12-15 kaffedags (utc)
ingrates, isn't it?
Kongens sykdom og fokuset på kongefamilien har ført til større
oppslutning om monarkiet i Norge, viser en ny måling. Men tilliten til
kronprinsparet er rekordlav.
The king's illness and the focus on the royal family has led to
increased support for the monarchy in Norway, a new survey shows. But
support for the kronprinscouple is at a record low.
Bah! Point de Vue said it was at a record high!
23,5 prosent svarer at kronprinsparet vil bli et svært godt kongepar,
mens 50,5 prosent svarer at kronprinsesse Mette-Marit og kronprins
Haakon vil bli et ganske godt kongepar.
23.5 percent answered that the kronprinscouple will be a rilly
t'riffic kingcouple, while 50.5 pernent answered that kronprinsess
Mette-Marit and her husband will make a quite good kingcouple.
So that's a record low of a 74 percent endorsement. We should be so
[Takk to acting prinsess reporter Anna ("one of the other 26 percent") K for