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“A hundred and ten” (BrE)

Arnold Zwicky’s post “Year names and number names” at the Language Log treats the pronunciation of numbers.
For me, this article is interesting for two reasons:

1) I’ve learned what to call the two different styles (with and without “and”):

a) conjoined reading, like “two thousand and ten”
b) juxtaposed reading, like “two thousand ten”

2) I’ve learned that juxtaposed [...]

Time for some Palintology

An article on Sarah Palin? Why, you may ask. (Thank you, the Washington Post, for the lovely title.) Well, she has just published a book which currently sits at #1 on Amazon’s sales rank in books. There is a parody of it, Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book by satirist Micheal [...]

Richard Powers’ declarative phrases

Once again, the wonderful Language Log gives its readers something to think about. In this case, Mark Liberman, Trustee Professor of Phonetics at the University of Pennsylvania, analyses Kurt Andersen’s interview with novelist Richard Powers: “Richard Powers on his way to a decision”.
The whole interview (9 mins.) can be listened to here, thanks to Studio [...]

Inherent Vice, the new Pynchon novel

Thomas Pynchon’s new book, Inherent Vice, is on sale. Read the first chapter in this pdf file, if you’d like to find out what it looks like. If you prefer the multimedia approach, maybe you’ll watch the video trailer for the new book first; the people at think it might be Pynchon himself who [...]

Now, Sarah’s Folly –

Maureen Dowd’s scathing comment on Palin’s announcement to quit as governor of Alaska “Now, Sarah’s Folly” can be summed up in that delicate little statement: “Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy.”

That’s it, in a nutshell.

Also worth a look:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviews Sarah Palin’s spokeswoman.

Salinger Update

If you missed my previous blog post, “Reclusive celebrities – and books shut away”, then you should have a look at it. Perhaps.

Now there is more background information speculation on J. D. Salinger’s life as a recluse – in a really well-written article by Ron Rosenbaum at the Slate site: “Save the Salinger Archives! Even [...]

Reclusive celebrities – and books shut away

January Magazine draws our attention to Time Magazine’s “Top Ten List of Reclusive Celebrities”. They’re not all authors, but half of them are, number one (of course) J. D. Salinger. He stopped giving interviews in 1980, and it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever say anything in public again – “to the creator of Holden Caulfield, we [...]

Obama’s Speech in Cairo

President Obama’s Speech at Cairo University – a landmark in relations between the USA and Muslim countries worldwide.
Below is the official video from the White House, and here is the transcript.

See also:

Obama in Cairo: The making of a prophet? (Time Magazine, Mideast Blogs)
Addressing Muslim World, Obama Pushes Mideast Peace (New York Times)
Let’s be friends (The [...]

My first prezi at

For a couple of weeks now, there has been talk about this fabulous new presentation software which isn’t really software, but you can build a presentation at their site, online:

Various blog have been reporting, among others

Mit Prezi bringt das ungarische Startup Zui Labs eine neuartige Präsentationssoftware auf den Markt, die nichtlineare Präsentationen ermöglicht [...]

The American Way?

New York Times Op-Ed columnist Bob Herbert writes about the role of firearms in the United States: “The American Way” (
I can only quote from his sad and resigned article:

This is the American way. Since Sept. 11, 2001, when the country’s attention understandably turned to terrorism, nearly 120,000 Americans have been killed in nonterror homicides, [...]