Monthly Archives: August 2010

There are no synonyms

Fighting with your sexuality is a bit different from wrestling with it or struggling with it. Many people wrestle with their consciences and struggle with maths. Consciences and maths are themselves at least neutral, if not actually splendid things we … Continue reading

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Women, cancer and dangerous things

We all know that the Daily Mail partitions the universe into things that cause cancer and things that prevent cancer. But what sort of a thing is cancer? One way of investigating this is to look at things which they … Continue reading

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Escape

Pimm’s is the quickest way out of Grantchester.

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Know the difference

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is an aesthetic of impermanence. Wasabi (ワサビ) is a kind of horseradish.

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Sekt on fire

If yeast were a plant, rather than an animal, then bread, beer and sparkling wine would be much more exciting stuff.

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Very innards

Es schwindelt mir. And then I thought it went Es brennt die Eingeweide, Eingeweide being a body part. Es brennt mir die Eingeweide would be better but doesn’t scan. It is in fact Es brennt mein Eingeweide, which can only … Continue reading

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A slave of asparagus

I don’t expect predictive text algorithms to use context, there’s not enough room in the typical mobile phone for that, but they could use counts, and if so, what corpus did they get their numbers from? German T9 doesn’t have … Continue reading

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Whirlybeast

Wirbeltier sein is not intrinsically as much fun as it sounds.

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Thowgufattles seeky

I suppose it’s too late to call it anything else, but apparently Icelandic schoolteachers call a consistent-looking replacement of the accusative with the dative for certain sorts of verb þágufallssýki, or “dative sickness”, and this has penetrated the literature.

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Women are from differentia, men are from genus

Nobody ever says “No, no, it’s a purely aristotelian relationship.”

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