Dialect Survey Results

Dialect Survey Results

This is one of the coolest things on language dialects that I’ve ever seen.  A whole bunch of tiny differences all mapped out across the USA.  Just change the question in the dropdown menu on the left, and look at the map on the right.  Both composite and individual maps are available.

soft drink


Via kottke.

Twenty five letters only

Here is my try on this tricky puzzle:

There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel!)

You see, I only quoted the post for some context. There’s no problem, I think. More so, for someone who’s mother tongue is different.  I come from Russki territories. We use letters which were borrowed from Greece.  We just exploded them from twenty four to thirty three. Possibly, there is our lesson of unneeded letters.  We will survive with more.  We will survive with less. There is no problem.

I’m only trying things out here.  It looks like I might do this forever.

Now, going back.  It’s not difficult. You only need to word thoughts differently.  The use of tools like Internet (World Wide Web) or word lists might help.  Even with the vowels.  I should refer you to the letter frequency resource.  The letter I’m ignoring is the second most used.  (Much less so in this post.)  But I write just fine without it.  It is limiting, tricky even.  However one could get used to it.

Do you think it’s worth the try?  Try.  Let me know in the comments how it goes.

P.S.: The URLs of the links I do not control.

Learn Chinese in 5 minutes

I’ve been looking for this for some time.  I only remembered “sum sing wong”, but I knew there were more.  Today, while on the corporate chat discussing what to order from Chinese for lunch, someone pasted the links to Part 1 and Part 2.  My favorite ones are below:

  • That’s not right : Sum Ting Wong
  • See me ASAP: Kum Hia Nao
  • I thought you were on a diet: Wai Yu Mun Ching
  • Our meeting is scheduled for next week: Wai Yu Kum Nao
  • Give me the money! : Pei Nau
  • Where’s the restroom: Ai Pe Nau
  • Your price is too high: Ai No Bai Dam Ting
  • I am not guilty: Wai Hang Mi
  • Having an early orgasm: Kum Tu Suun
  • Now I understand: Ai See Nau

Share yours in the comments!

P.S.: And if you want to continue along the same line but with pictures, make sure to check out Engrish.

One or three?

While reading through Matt Damon Wikipedia entry on the subject of Jimmy Kimmel, I scrolled further down to his Matt’s personal life, where I found the following sentence:

From 2001 to 2003, he dated Odessa Whitmire, a former personal assistant of Billy Bob Thornton and Ben Affleck.

I know, I know all those jokes about Matt and Ben are getting pretty old now.  But still, the question popped up in my head: is it a single person, as in Odessa Whitmire, who used to work as personal assistant for Billy Bob Thornton and Ben Affleck, or are these three different people, as in Odessa Whitmire, Billy Bob Thornton’s personal assistant, and Ben Affleck?

Before anyone assumes anything, I have to say that:

  1. I don’t care who dates who – that’s their own business.
  2. I have great respect for Matt Daemon, based on many of his movies (I am re-watching the Bourne trilogy at least once a month) and many of his appearances on TV (live shows, talk shows, YouTube interviews, etc).
  3. I have great respect for all those people who made the Wikipedia what it is today.

The above quote looked funny to me probably only because I am not a native English speaker.  That’s all.  Enough with disclaimers – you can now tare me apart and flame me into oblivion.

Dupsorry – an apologetic shortcut

I just came up with a word. It’s mostly used as a phrase, but I think it can be worded.  Dupsorry.  And I define it as an apology for a possible duplicate.   For example, when you share a bookmark twice, or tell the joke you already told.  It’s good to use it when you are not sure if you’ve just created a duplicate.  Just in case.  Enjoy!

Beautifully worded

Slashdot is well-known for the quality of discussions.  Minus, of course, trolling anonymous cowards.  Here is a quote from the comment to give you the sense of how clear some Slashdot users can express themselves:

Did you actually try to develop anything for Symbian?
Well, I did. And let me tell you this: Windows APIs, complete with their haphazard organization and historical baggage, lunatic bugs and arcane undocumented extensions are an example of Reason and Logic, when compared to this positive 10 day old vomit which is Symbian. Any ole Linux API is like an Extatic Symphony of Cosimic Joy, Eternal Purity and All-Encompassing Sanity, next to this 10 day old vomit which is Symbian.

I would have a lot of hard times, if somebody asked me to translate this to another language…

Vacation vs. vocation

My co-worker and I were composing an email today. He was writing and I was watching over. When I pointed out to him that he wanted to write “vacation” instead of “vocation”, he argued that if the word was wrong, the spellchecker would have underlined it in red. Since I was 99.9% sure that I was right, I aked him to double check.

It turned out that both “vacation” and “vocation” are legitimate words. But what surprised me was that their meanings were almost opposite.

“Vacation” has to do with resting and spending the time nicely. “Vocation” has to do with hard work. If you don’t believe me, check the definitions in the dictionary. Here are the words in Dictionary.com : vacation and vocation.

P.S.: And I was right.