Lo! Another blog entry!

Lolo (interjection \ˈlō\): used to call attention to something, or to show wonder or surprise

I think I should start using the word “lo!” more often, in the sense of “look! see!”

“Lo! The letter carrier has arrived!”

“Lo! The copier is jammed again!”

“Lo! We’re out of milk!”


Everyday stereotypes, part one.

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Photo by me

A local publisher (not the one I work for) distributes an “advertiser” style paper here in east central Minnesota. The name of the paper is “The Scotsman.”

Now, I understand where they think they’re going with that. Right or wrong, fairly or unfairly, Scots people have a reputation for frugality. Although, living as I do in a primarily Scandinavian community, let me tell you that the Scots have nothing on the Swedes. As a Swedish co-worker used to say: his people throw nickels around like they’re manhole covers.

So I get where they’re coming from, and I should be flattered I suppose. It’s not the Washington Redskins, after all. But I do wonder: what other nationality’s stereotype would get boldly featured in the masthead of a newspaper? What other culture or heritage would put up with such a thing?

Away an’ bile yer haid, ye wee scunner.

 

 


My adorable great-niece Abby just came up with my new favorite phrase.

Image from wallmonkeys.com

Abby’s mama: Your Daddy’s a rockstar!
Abby: He’s a whole bag of rockstars!

That kid is brilliant.

 


Mixed metaphors.

Image from shippinglabels.com

I love mixed metaphors. They’re as much fun as shooting fish in a barrel of monkeys. But I’m no Monday morning shortstop. I’m not green behind the ears. This isn’t rocket surgery, after all; it’s as easy as falling off a piece of cake.

Lately I’ve been burning the midnight oil at both ends. I’m not the sharpest marble in the drawer. I’m one brick short of the whole nine yards. Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming uphill against the grain. But I can see the light at the end of the rainbow, and I came out of it smelling like a bandit. At least a broken squirrel finds a nut twice a day.

You can lead a gift horse to water, but you can’t look him in the mouth. Sometimes you have to bite the hand that you’re dealt. When life throws you curve balls, make lemonade. You can dish it out, but you can’t take it with you. If the shoe fits, walk a mile in it. You can take that to the bank and smoke it!

Can you read the handwriting in the wind? We’ve barely scratched the tip of the iceberg! No use beating it over the head with a dead horse. It’s time to grab the bull by the tail and look him in the eye. Get the show on the road while the deer is in the headlights. Cook up a storm on the back burner. Ninety-nine times out of ten, that’s what you’ll get.

We could stand here and talk until the cows turn blue. But we have to get all our ducks on the same page, or the fan is gonna hit the roof. There’s no use crying over fish in the sea. A glass half full is better than no loaf at all. All bark and no bite makes Jack a dull boy. Why pay the piper when you can have the milk for free?

So here’s the whole kettle of fish in a nutshell: Wake up and smell the music. Don’t cry over spilt water under the bridge. Put your best foot forward and put a sock on it. Take the road less paved with good intentions. Don’t count your chickens without breaking a few eggs. If they tell you to jump off a bridge, you say “how high?”

Have we beaten this with a dead stick? Well, don’t let the horse you rode in on hit you on the way out.

(I gleaned a great many of these from two awesome blogs: Jim Carlton and The Russler. My appreciation, gents.)


Today’s word: Zugzwang.

Image from theotherthomasotter.wordpress.com

(A brilliant poster named bemildred put this up on Democratic Underground this morning. The words are his: I just tweaked them a bit for context.)

In chess if you have no good options and still must move, it’s called Zugzwang.

And it means you lose. And losing always looks “weak.”

Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do. It’s like waiting a bit. In my experience, in fact, most of the time it’s not time yet; there are no useful things you can do yet. So you wait.

Not everything can be fixed. And of those things which can be fixed, often it’s still the case that you can’t fix them.

A person who tries to threaten you or anger you or disgust you to get you to do something when you don’t want to is a salesman, a merchant. He is not your friend. The very fact that this person who does not know you from Adam is so vehement to get you to do something, and is willing to jerk your chain emotionally to get at you, tells you to ignore what he says. He has an agenda, and it’s not your well-being and autonomy.


Eddie Izzard on the naming of Engelbert Humperdinck

Image from last.fm

His name changed from Gerry Dorsey to Engelbert Humperdinck. I mean, I just wanted to be in the room when they were working that one through:

“Zingelbert Bembledack! Yingybert Dambleban! Zangelbert Bingledack! Wingelbert Humptyback! Slut Bunwalla!”

“What?!”

“All right, Kringelbert Fishtybuns! Steviebuns Bottrittrundle –”

“No, Gerry Dorsey! I like Gerry Dorsey!”

“No, we can’t, who we got? Zingelbert Bembledack, Tringelbert Wangledack, Slut Bunwalla, Klingybun Fistelvase, Dindlebert Zindledack, Gerry Dorsey, Engelbert Humptyback, Zengelbert Bingledack, Engelbert Humperdinck, Vingelbert Wingledanck –”

Image from Wikipedia

“No, no, go back one!”

“Engelbert Humperdinck?!”

“That’s it!”


Doing the needful, part II

Image from geekswithblogs.net

Turns out Wikipedia has its own list of Hinglish words and phrases. Please note that I mean not even the slightest disrespect or mockery with these posts. I sincerely appreciate this particular sub-strain of English. From Wikipedia:

Acting pricey = playing “hard to get,” being snobbish.

Alphabets = letters: “There are six alphabets in my name.”

Boss = used to refer to a (generally) male stranger such as a shopkeeper. It is mildly respectful and friendly, and not considered condescending, e.g., “Boss, what is the cost of that pen?” Perhaps right after he asks, “What is your good name?”

Co-brother = indicates relationship between two men who are married to sisters, as in “He is my co-brother.” Similarly: Co-sister.

Co-inlaws = indicates relationship between two sets of parents whose son and daughter are married.

Cousin-brother = male first cousin, cousin-sister = female first cousin.

Damn = used as an intensifier, especially a negative one, far more frequently and with far more emphatic effect than in other dialects of English (e.g., “that was a damn good meal.”) As the verb “to damn” is rarely used, most Indians are unaware of the word’s original meaning and that it is considered a profanity in other dialects of English. (As I mentioned in the last post: my dad would have become the King of India.)

Dearness allowance = payment given to employees to compensate for the effects of inflation; a cost-of-living increase.

Double and triple = for digits occurring twice or three times in succession is common, especially for a phone number. E.g., the phone number 223-3344 would be pronounced as “double-two, triple-three, double-four.” “Thrice,” meaning “three times,” is also common.

Doubt = question or query; e.g., one would say “I have a doubt” when one wishes to ask a question.

Dress = used to refer to clothing for men, women, and children alike. Young girls in India invariably wear what we call a “dress,” commonly referred to as a “frock” in Indian English.

Eggitarian = a person who eats vegetarian food, milk, and eggs but not meat; an ovo-lacto-vegetarian.

Elder = used as a comparative adjective in the sense of older (e.g., “I am elder to you.”)

Equipments = plural for equipment, e.g., “Go to the place to define equipments.”

Eve teasing = verbal sexual harassment of women.

Long-cut = the opposite of a short-cut; taking the longer route.

Non-veg = short for non-vegetarian, food which contains flesh of any mammal, fish, bird, shellfish, or eggs. Fish, seafood, and eggs are not treated as categories separate from “meat,” especially when the question of vegetarianism is at issue (milk and its products are always considered vegetarian). E.g., “We are having non-veg today for dinner.” Figuratively, a “non-veg joke” is a joke with mature content.

Only = used to emphasize a part of speech preceding it. For example “He is coming only” instead of “He is coming,” “He was at the meeting only” to emphasize that he was nowhere else but the meeting, and “She only is not coming” to mean that everyone is coming except her.

Paining = hurting. “My head is paining.”

Pin drop silence = extreme silence, quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

Redressal = reparation, redress, remedy.

See = used instead of watch, e.g., “He is seeing TV right now.”  Similarly, to see may be used as an imperative to mean to watch, e.g.,” See that very carefully.”

Solid = great or exceptional. “What a solid idea!” means “What a great idea!” (This may actually be an Americanism.)

The same = the aforementioned, e.g.,” I heard that you have written a document. Could you send me the same?”

Uncle and Aunty = Used as suffixes when addressing people such as distant relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and even total strangers (like shopkeepers) who are significantly older than oneself. Children addressing their friends’ parents as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” is rare, and may even be considered unacceptable or offensive. A substitution of “Sir” or “Ma’am” is common for addressing teachers, professors, or any person in an official position, but too formal to address other elder persons. Using these terms can also connote a derogatory reference to the advanced age of an individual. (Don’t ask me how I learned this, but on the Internet, “aunty” is often used as the Hinglish equivalent of “milf.”) (I said, don’t ask me how I learned this.)

Where are you put up? = Where are you currently staying?

Where do you stay? = Where do you live? Or, where’s your house?

Would-be = one’s betrothed, e.g., one’s “would-be” wife or husband.

And finally, since you already know I’m a font geek.

namaste