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Posts Tagged ‘language’

Funny true story

I’ve heard several good stories at the math workshop I am attending currently but this one takes the cake.

Famous old mathematician asks a certain female international grad student in his depaterment how she likes it there.

FIGS: Oh it’s great. Except for the cocks.

FOM: Cocks?

FIGS: Yes cocks! There are too many cocks in my bedroom.

FOM is too flabbergasted to say anything.

It turned out that FIGS meant “cockroach”. Apparently she had been under the impression any English word could be abbreviated by taking its first few alphabets.

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So apparently there is a raging controversy about Prince Harry’s use of politically insensitive terms during his military stint (he jokingly called a friend a ‘raghead’ and referred to another of Pakistani origin as a ‘our little Paki friend’). The army has announced it will commence an inquiry and newspapers are calling for Harry to be severely disciplined.

Ah well. I cannot help but agree with this blogger at Samizdata:

Sounds like a great guy to me. Sure, I am all for abominating racism like any other form of odious collectivism (like socialism for example, which is tyranny for all rather than just tyranny for certain racial groups), but this hypersensitivity to any politically incorrect use of language is really annoying.

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One of the great tragedies of modern USA, particularly seen in the modern Republican party, is its disdain for intellectualism and love for dumbing down. Do you pronounce foreign words correctly? It’s a liability. Eat aragula? Terrible! Skeptical about the existence of God? Kiss your chances of ever getting elected to office goodbye.

On the other hand, if you believe in creationism and are able to say the phrase “Joe-six-pack” faster than your predecessor can yell “nucular”, you have a good chance of getting nominated for the Vice-Presidency. And wait, you actually don’t give a hoot what researchers think? Congratulations, you are President.

(‘Pock-i-stahn’ Hat Tip: The Agitator)

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How English is turning into a language native speakers will soon not understand.

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Quirky Indian has a hilarious post about the way we Indians misuse the English language. To his many well-chosen examples, I’d add one more — when asking a question, Indians often put the pronoun before the verb, as in, “what you are saying”.

To those curious to find more such examples, here’s a simple instruction that’s guaranteed to work. Go to rediff.com, click on any news article and read the comments.

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