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2010-01-31 13:02

A cautionary verse

Hop hop hop, auto op z'n kop
Hij ging wat harder dan hij mocht
En kreeg problemen met een bocht
Hop hop hop, auto op z'n kop

It wasn't us; we were already on the way back by then, having given up after an hour of half-speed motorway.

We have more snkaos linkage than we can process ourself, even for just the last few dags, and we won't inflict it.

2010-01-29 20:03

We are all sitting in one boat: in solidarity with Oettinger

It is Gnther Oettinger, the EU's new Commissioner for Energy, and a man who has publicly insisted on the necessity of politicians and business-persons speaking good English.

The beginning of the clip below is him doing just that in Cherman but bear with it, because it segues into an example of his own Engleesh.

A bunch of Cherman academics in English teaching have feigned surprise and shock that he has - of all things! - a Cherman accent. And not just Cherman but Swabian, which is like Cherman only worse!

All this according to our local (Dutch) newspaper, which gloats (presumably second-hand):

Oettinger gaat ook het schip in met een uitdrukking als "We are all sitting in one boat", die in het Engels niet bestaat, maar rechtstreeks vertaald is uit het Duits: "Wir sitzen allen im selben boot".

Oettinger also puts his foot in it with the expression "We are all sitting in one boat", which doesn't exist in English but is literally translated from the Cherman: "Wir sitzen allen im selben boot".

The Engleesh does however have the saying "We're all in the same boat", for sheeshing out loud. And if this example is really the worst mangling our Varied Reader has ever encountered, they have lead a sheltered (though Varied) life.

In our own Life of Science we have attended seminars in more enigmatic Engleesh than this on a more than occasional basis. (Chinese and Japanese scholars can be exceptionally enigmatic, but so frankly can Espanish and Italians-a. And Israelis and Russians, to say nothing of the Scots.)

2010-01-26 19:27


1. Cephalopods!

Octopuses, cuttlefishes, squids giant or otherwise: we endorse them:

If you were to clear cut an oak forest, the first plants to grow wound not be more oak trees - it would be weeds. In life history terms, cephalopods are the weeds of the seas. With over fishing and climate change, there may be more biomass of cephalopods now than anytime in recent history.

We, for one, stand ready welcome our new celaphopodic overlords.

2. How the krieket ended:

In n besielende skof (5-2-15-3) nadat hy die gholfbaan-kant vir die hoofpaviljoen-kant verruil het, het Morkel die fut uit die Engelse gehaal. Hy het eers vir Ian Bell (5) op eerste glip deur Jacques Kallis laat vang; en Bell het skaars tyd gehad om sy beenskutte in die kleedkamer af te haal toe Matt Prior (0) by hom aangesluit het.

(Translation left as an exercise.)

It's an increasingly global world, Varied Reader, and one in which the BBC doesn't (outside of Blighty) stream cricket coverage on the Internets, while the Saffers do. So when the Proteas head for India in the next week or two, our listening ears will be travelling with them. (Eng-ger-lnd will meanwhile be off to see about the Bangladesh Bangles, and while we won't exactly be shunning that contest, we won't exactly have to: it comes a little bit pre-shunned.)

3. "Att vilja vara lagom unik r inte srskilt unikt"

Best headline ever, courtesy of the best 'bladet ever, Zweden's glorious Aftonbladet.

Roughly, "it's not very unique to want to be moderately unique". It is about baby names and the desire of parents to choose names that are not too popular without overdoing it and cueing up umpteen years of relentless mockery and bullying.

Lukas and Alice top the 2009 lists in Zweden, incidentally. We don't remember the Dutch lists, but our own choices for Unborn Egberdina were certainly not on them.

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