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Just read: Alexander McCall Smith, “Portuguese Irregular Verbs”

Portuguese Irregular Verbs consists of humorous episodes in which Smith – a former professor of medical law – makes some good points about the vanity of some (or many?) members of academic circles.

This is quite an amusing book about Professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his two academic colleagues who are, at times, his rivals, and [...]

Trauen Sie sich Journalistin?

In der SZ am Wochenende (wenn ich’s richtig verstanden habe, ist die Wochenendbeilage leider nur für Abonnenten der E-Paper-Version zu sehen: Nachrichten aus Politik, Kultur, Wirtschaft und Sport – sueddeutsche.de) gibt es in der aktuellen Ausgabe ein Interview mit Renate Künast, geführt von Cathrin Kahlweit.
So weit, so interessant.
Was mich daran wirklich irritiert, ist die höchst [...]

“You write potato, I write ghoughpteighbteau”

The Economist has a fascinating headline for its article on the well-known problems of English spelling (which have been dealt with before in the Tulgey Wood): “You write potato, I write ghoughpteighbteau” (with “gh” = p, from ‘hiccough’; “ough” = o, from ‘though’; “pt” = t, from ‘pterodactyl’; “eigh” = a, from ‘eight’; “bt” = [...]

NSF and the Birth of the Internet

A very informative report on rather recent history: How did the Internet happen to be invented? The National Science Foundation presents its Special Report in two flavours, text only and flash-animated.
Of course the latter is much more fun, but if you have a low bandwidth connection, the former will provide you with valuable information, too.

[thank [...]

Language Log » Wake up! There’s a Kolmogorov complexity trough!

At the Language Log, Geoffrey K. Pullum’s short article on today’s date Wake up! There’s a Kolmogorov complexity trough! is (of course) one of the most intelligent short texts on 08/08/08 (and eight minutes and eight seconds after eight o’clock on this day, when I was still at least half asleep, I must admit).
It has [...]

“Das letzte Geläut” (SZ)

Die Süddeutsche Zeitung von heute (Nr. 183, 7. August 2008) hat in ihrer Abteilung für leichte und mitunter skurrile Unterhaltung (“Panorama”) einen schönen Artikel über den (nicht so schönen) Niedergang englischer Pub-Kultur.
Schon die Schlagzeile gefällt mir sehr – ein gutes Beispiel für die Pun-Kultur der SZ, die seit einiger Zeit durchaus floriert:

Anspielung auf “Das letzte [...]

Thank you, William the Conqueror!

Wikipedia tells us the following (among other things) on what teachers and pupils in Bavaria are about to begin (s.v. Holiday):

Etymology

Holiday

Holiday is a contraction of holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. This word has evolved in general usage to mean any special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest [...]