All The Languages Of The World

I am so glad that my blog-buddy, BrainRants made me aware of The Expanse series.  I have been reading the books and, not quite as quickly, watching the TV programs for several years.  It is a great epic series, not just because I love Sci-Fi, but because the writers provide tons of eclectic detail to flesh out the story arc, and the characters.

Two male writers, taking a cue from their mentor, George R. R. Martin – he of Game Of Thrones fame – and/or J. R. R. Tolkien, publish as James S. A. Corey, when neither of them is James, nor Corey.  As male authors, they have created at least four powerful, well-defined female characters.

The depth and breadth of their knowledge, which they work into the books is awe-inspiring – especially (for me) the linguistics.  Millions have gone into space, and many are mining the asteroid belt.  People move around on Earth, and the language where they migrate to slowly changes, but remains basically the same.

There was no Native Tongue in the Belt, so a new language, called Belta, has come into existence.  It includes some sign language, for folks encased in space suits, who can be seen but not heard.  The spoken language is mostly English, with additions and admixtures of American Spanish from Pittsburgh to Patagonia, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Maori, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more.

Every chapter brings examples of words and expressions that impress the Hell out of me, or drive me to dictionary or search-engine sites.  Remember, Belta is like Star Trek’s Klingon.  It is a non-existent language that these two are completely creating themselves.  The fact that I’m at least a year behind the avid fan readers, means that I sometimes reach a site where others have gone for explanations.

Recently, I hit four words on two pages that I needed to research.  One of the asteroids described, was not an asteroid, but rather, a collection of rocks with enough common gravity to hold them together, but not enough pressure to coalesce into a single unit.  Like a bag of giant marbles – without the bag.

The writers described it as a Duniyaret.  The Hindi word duniyah means ’world,’ and the Hindi word ret means ‘sand, or gravel.’  They had created a neologism in a foreign language, to describe this conglomeration of rocks.  A habitat had been created on the biggest chunk, by welding together, what were essentially steel shipping containers, at a slight angle to one another, to bend around the curve.  The authors called this “town”, Nakliye, a Turkish word that means ‘shipping.’

On the next page, I found a blazon – from heraldry, a patch or badge, often worn on lapel or sleeve, indicating owning or belonging, especially with good qualities.  When we affix such a marker, we use the slightly more-common word, emblazon.

The residents drank water that was hyper-distilled.  At first, I thought it might be like double-distilled whiskey, but the Hyper, in this case, refers to Hyperion, the Titan that the Greeks believed was the father of the sun.  They didn’t waste precious power, but used a large parabolic solar-collector, aimed at the distant sun.  I had trouble researching this term, because the search engines kept throwing up an American company named “Hyper Distillation,” which is not the same thing.

The UN Space Navy had an Admiral named Souther.  I was reminded of J. D. Souther, a singer/songwriter from Detroit, who influenced Glen Frey of The Eagles, to compose country-lite style.  I had assumed that the basis for the name was someone originally from the South of England – a southerner.  Imagine my surprise when I found that the name is occupational, coming from old English/old French soutere – a boot or shoe – therefore meaning a cobbler.

I have cobbled together a little more click-bait to lure you in.  Drop by in a couple of days, to see where my mind has gone without me.  😎  🌯

’21 A To Z Challenge – H

 

There are many delightful, old, archaic and arcane words that I wish were still in use – like ‘snaithe,’ which is a single thread within a larger cord, or rope.  It was often used in reference to magic, and the alternate time-lines and reality-lines caused by invoking spells.

And then there are the words, and the concepts that created them, that we wish had disappeared, but sadly haven’t.  So it is with today’s terrible twins – the disreputable duo of

HOODLUMS

AND

HOOLIGANS

Hoodlum – a thug or gangster.
a young street ruffian, especially one belonging to a gang.

Hooligan – a ruffian or hoodlum.

These two are examples of the entitled worst of American society, who on January 6th, urged and led thousands of their brothers to take Government into their own hands, and invaded the Capitol building.  Victims of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, they didn’t know how dumb and gullible they were, but continued to forge ahead in Holy zeal, following a false prophet.

This is the world of Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White and many more lesser-known but influential religious leaders who prophesied that Trump would win the election, and helped organize nationwide prayer rallies in the days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, speaking of an imminent “heavenly strike” and “a Christian populist uprising,” leading many who stormed the Capitol to believe they were “taking back the country for God.”

The (dis)United States already has more than enough ways that it is separated, one segment from another.  A new term has recently arisen – the Stained-Glass Divide.  It’s bad enough that there is constant friction between whites and blacks, citizens and immigrants, Republicans and Democrats, Red States and Blue States.  Now the vocal Christian Evangelicals are pulling away from those they don’t feel are Holy enough.

You guys better get your act together, or we Canadians will send down a couple of Mounties to straighten things out, and you’ll wind up being our 11th province.

A Perfectly Good Day – Ruined!

 

The son recently collided with “What If?’
Somebody rear-ended him on his way home from work.

He left work at 7:30 AM.  Four or five blocks down the 4-lane, cross-town thoroughfare, he realized he’d forgotten his drink thermos at work, and went back to get it.  Back on the road again, he was soon humming along in the center lane, in light, 8 AM traffic.  Suddenly the car, two vehicles ahead, came to a complete stop, to make a left-turn across two lanes of oncoming traffic.  The car behind it slammed on its brakes, and the son managed an abrupt stop.  He just had time to look in the rear-view mirror to see a windshield way too close.

THUMP!!

Damn!

Now the What If kicked in.  What If I hadn’t gone back?  I’d be home, safe, having a snack.

The other driver works in the next city, 15 miles away.  He was also coming home after a midnight shift – a little tired, a little distracted, with perception, attention and reflexes a bit slowed.  The son lifted the tailgate, and used the big, flat storage surface as a writing desk to exchange information.  We both have the same insurance company, just different brokers.

Neither driver called the police, but someone must have.  Soon, a sport-brute, Police power-wagon pulled up behind them, and Officer Zygote turned on his flashers and climbed out.  The son said, “I felt like John Wayne in True Grit.  Hell, I’ve got work-boots older than this kid.  Is he really old enough to drive that thing?”

He spoke to the cop first.  They were just finishing when a steady drizzle began.  He and his co-worker passenger sat comfortable and dry in the back under the improvised awning, while the other two exchanged info in the rain.  It’s not the vehicle damage that’s the biggest piss-off.  The insurance company will pay to fix that.  It’s the lost time, and bureaucracy.

Already 30 minutes behind, the officer told them that they had to go to the Police Accident Reporting Center on the south edge of town.  The son dropped off his co-worker, and drove another 20 minutes to get there.  With COVID, you don’t just walk in and report.  There’s a sign on the door, instructing people to text an extension.  You are assigned a number, and wait your turn.  Thinking that there would be a delay, the son called home to report, and woke me.

He was immediately called in, and had to tell me that he’d call and explain later.  Cute, little, blond, female, Special Reporting Constable took his report, and slapped a Police sticker on the bumper.  She was impressed that he had all the necessary information at hand.  Car accidents do not bring out the best in people.  Many of them stumble in, not sure of their own name, much less the other driver’s, licence plates, insurance policy numbers, etc.

Now the clerical haze began to thicken.  First, the son re-called me, and explained.  When he arrived home, it was after 9:00 AM, so he called the actual insurance company.  Then he called the broker, and talked to the agent.  Then he called his passenger to tell him that he was now part of an official accident report, and might get a call from police and/or the insurance company.  Next, he chose one of the two authorized repair shops, called them, and drove over for an inspection and repair estimate.

Damn these all-electronic cars!!  Two of the three back-up proximity sensors don’t work.  The impact is barely visible to the naked eye, but the entire wrap-around bumper may have to be replaced.  A June-bug splat may take $2000/$3000 to fix.  We might never know the final cost.  The insurance company will pay, and the agents can argue it out.

On the way home from the body shop, the son heard a traffic report on the radio.  We have a report of a collision in the center, westbound lane, Victoria at Chestnut.  Property damage, but no report of injuries.  Be careful in that area.  The son said, “That was over an hour ago.  I’ve been home twice since then.  I always wanted to be on the radio, but not this way.”

Since the car would be in the shop for several days, he had to call a car-rental agency to arrange for a replacement.  He took a pain reliever and a muscle relaxant.  The wife told him to call the Chiropractor, who had an immediate opening, and took him in, but he had to later call the insurance company again, and speak to the Personal Claims clerk to get this, and continuing treatments, covered.

What if?  What if??  What If??!  Like the story of how a wasp in a car caused an accident and killed three passengers, such a tiny irritation has caused so much chaos and confusion.

***

We lost our handicapped parking permit.  We took it from our car, and put it in the rental.  When we returned the rental to the body shop, we both forgot to remove it.  A week later, some woman in a parking lot got pissy when we pulled into a handicap spot.  “Where’s the permit??”  The repair shop staff deny ever seeing it.  The young man from Enterprise, who retrieved and cleaned the rental, claims it wasn’t there.  Today, we begin the arduous bureaucratic, and possibly expensive, task of replacing it.

Welcome To The Neighborhood

In an attempt to attract some interest, new blogger Funny english questions – Surya’s Pages (wordpress.com) published a list of interesting questions and comments about social norms and English language use.  I replied to the following few.  The rest are at the bottom, if you want to comment on any or all.

If a poison expires; is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
Poisons do not ’expire,’ only people who take it.  Depending on the poison, it might actually become more virulent.   Some degrade, but almost none become non-poisonous.

Which letter is silent in the word “Scent,” the S or the C?
Yes!

Why is the Letter W, in English, called a double U?  Shouldn’t it be called double V?
I asked my Grade 4 teacher this in 1949.  She said,” Wait till next year when you learn cursive writing.  You’ll see that it is a double U.”  In French, it is double V – when they’re not busy surrendering to a Girl Scout troop from Iceland.

SIX GREAT UNRESOLVED CONFUSIONS – turned out to be just the next four.

At a movie theater, which armrest is yours?
Both of them, if you get there early, plant both elbows, and the Incredible Hulk doesn’t sit beside you.

If people evolve from monkeys, why are monkeys still around?
If dogs evolved from wolves, why are wolves still around?
If Protestants evolved from Catholics, why are Catholics still around?
This is the kind of “Gotcha” question that Christian Apologists with absolutely no knowledge of Evolution ask.  Monkeys do not evolve (present tense) into people.  Human beings and monkeys both evolved from a common, ape-like ancestor, millennia ago.  Some people are just more evolved than others.

Why is there a ‘D’ in fridge, but not in refrigerator?
Because the refrigerator is full, and there isn’t enough room.

Who knew what time it was when the first clock was made?
Anybody who could look up, see that the sun had reached its peak in the sky, and say, “It’s Noon!”

Why isn’t a Fireman called a Water-man?
Because he doesn’t get on that big red truck and rush to the water.  He rushes to a fire.

Why do doctors “Practice” medicine?  Are they having practice at the cost of the patients?
Because, like lawyers who “practice” law, the word has more than one meaning.  The original one was, “habit, or custom.”

Why do they call it a TV ‘set’ when there is only one?
Because it consists of an assemblage – a set – of electronic components.

What are you vacating when you go on a “Vacation?”
Your desk, your chair, your employer, your house, your municipality, and often your better judgement.

***

You’re kinda cool man. 😎
I thought that I was past “Cool.” At my age it’s mostly rants and rambles.  😳

Would you like to join me?
Why?  Are you coming apart?

This is obviously not Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

***

Do twins ever realize that one of them is “Unplanned”?
Maybe Oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.
The word “swims” upside-down is still “swims.”
(It depends on how you rotate it.  It might just be “smiws.”)
100 years ago everyone owned a Horse and only the rich had Cars. Today everyone has Cars and only the rich own Horses.
If you replace “W” with “T” in “What, Where and When”, you get the answer to each of them.
Wonder why the word “Funeral” starts with FUN?
How come Lipstick doesn’t do what it says?
If money doesn’t grow on trees, how come Banks have Branches?
If a Vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a Humanitarian eat?
How do you get off a non-stop Flight?
(The way the guy in New York did recently.  Pop open the emergency hatch, and jump down onto the runway.)
Why are goods sent by Ship called CARGO, and those sent by car, a SHIPMENT?
Why do we put cups in the “Dishwasher” and the dishes in the “Cupboard”?
(To get them clean, and then, to keep them clean.)
Why is it called “Rush Hour” when traffic moves at its slowest then?
How come Noses run and Feet smell?

Blog Theme Prompt

Bite the bullet
decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over.
To “bite the bullet” is to “accept the inevitable impending hardship and endure the resulting pain with fortitude”. The phrase was first recorded by Rudyard Kipling in his 1891 novel The Light that Failed. It has been suggested that it is derived historically from the practice of having a patient clench a bullet in their teeth as a way to cope with the pain of a surgical procedure without anesthetic.

I guess I have to bite the bullet, and accept the challenge to

Bullet point your entire day

1 PM-ish –

1:30 PM –

2 – 4 PM –

4:30 PM –

5 – 7:30 PM –

8 – 9 PM –

9 – 10 PM –

10 – 11:30 PM –

Midnight –

 

 

1 AM –
Tue/Thur/Sat/Sun

12:50 AM
Mon/Wed/Fri.

1 – 3 AM –

3 – 5 AM –

5 AM –

I am number one with a bullet.  Now you know all about me, and realize how little that actually is.  If you promise to stop by again soon, I promise something of a little more truth and substance.

Conspiracy Constipation

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Would you blindly take a pill or vaccine without knowing precisely what was in it, just because a doctor or “Professional Health Practitioner” told you to?

YES!
You see this??  Education teaches you this in chemistry and biology.  Knowing this, why the fuck would you think that you know more than someone who spent years studying and learning, and actually knows what these words mean.

IT CONTAINS MORE THAN 4,000 CHEMICALS, AND HAS SPREAD INTO EVERY HUMAN BODY ON EARTH

Among its components are formaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, ketone bodies, dihydrogen monoxide, tryptophan, urea, dehydroepiandrosterone, Hexosephosphate P, and at least 20 kinds of acids.

Nearly every chemical constituent will, in certain concentrations, kill children and adults.

Chemical compounds within it are used in yoga mats, explosives, warfare, and industrial applications.

It is now so pervasive, that every human baby is born with high concentrations of it in his or her tiny body.

Healthcare workers, pharmaceutical companies, and governments conspire to spend Billions of dollars each year, to maintain or increase its presence in ordinary citizens.

IT’S YOUR OWN BLOOD – DUMMY!

Don’t be alarmed by words you don’t understand, or people who want to scare you on Facebook, because they’re bored or stupid, or both.  Read!  Understand!  Reduce the stupid!

Science! It reduces the stupid.

So, get your head out of your a…. Get the shot – both shots!  Wear the damned mask to protect you and everyone else.  It’s not wearing one that makes you look stupid – and selfish, and inconsiderate.  Soon we’ll be able to go back to Shoney’s for Early Bird Dinner.  Don’t worry – Be happy.  Trust the experts.  They really do know more than your cousin Shelly on Twitter.  😳

’21 A To Z Challenge – G

One day, when my Dad was in the retirement home, the nurses took him down to the common room, and put him in a big chair, so that he could watch television.  Just as they were walking out, he started to lean over to his left side.  One of them rushed back in, propped him up, and put a large pillow on his left side.

Just as she was leaving again, he started listing over to his right side.  She rushed back, straightened him up, and jammed a cushion on his right side.  When I arrived to visit him, I asked how he liked the place.  “Not very!” he said.  “They won’t even let me fart.”

I just had baked beans for supper, so I decided for the G Challenge, I would do a piece about The Rolling Stones song Jumpin’ Jack Flash.  I see some of you are looking more confused than usual.  Don’t you remember??!  It’s a

GAS, GAS, GAS!

I hope you had a chance to watch the 1987 movie of the same name, starring Whoopi Goldberg.  It makes about as much sense as any of the Pink Panther films, but is just as zany and funny.

I just watched a YouTube video of an old Dave Allen comedy sketch.  He said that he didn’t really like having to fly anywhere.  Medical studies indicate that the average person farts about 14 times in 8 hours.  Put 500 people in an enclosed jumbo jet, for an eight hour flight, and you get a total of 7000 farts by the time you arrive.

And people wonder why I drove all the way to Key West.  At least I can crack a window open a bit…. when the wife starts leaning to one side or another.

Posts that are a little more intellectual will be published later this month.  😉

Having A Panic Sale

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES
IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES

As March blew in like a lion, it blew a bit of Christian desperation, depression, fear, and entitlement, into the daughter’s house.

In the days previous, both the wife and son had been phoned, to do a survey about how various political parties and levels of Government had – or had not – been handling COVID.  The daughter got a phone call, and an unctuous female voice asked her if she had some time to talk about COVID.

She assumed that this was just another polling company.  The first few questions seemed – normalHow was COVID affecting her?  Did she go out often?  Since she had been locked indoors for most of the winter, she had the time and inclination to converse with someone.

Suddenly, the question was, Do you believe that COVID, and all the other terrible things that are happening, are the beginning of the end?  The sign of the Apocalypse??  The coming of the Rapture??!  Ah, a frightened Christian Fundamentalist – She just said NO.

How can you not believe that it’s The End Of The World?  “Because it’s all natural progression.  We’ve seen it all, dozens, hundreds of times before; we’re seeing it again, and we will see it in the future.”

I’d just like to leave you with some words from the Good Book, to make you feel better.  The daughter told her that she wasn’t feeling bad, and she already had “a book.”  She just didn’t tell her that it was one from Dr. Seuss, for adults.  It as easily could have been the Wiccan Bible, or the Pagan Prayer-book.

Ms Bible-thumper persisted.  You should just read Psalms 29, v 16-17.  The daughter replied, “That would be pretty hard for me to do, since I don’t have a Bible in the house.”  She told me, she could almost hear the fit of apoplexy coming on.  You don’t have a Bible??!  “No!  But thanks for calling.  Bye.”

Christian callers to podcast shows like The Atheist Experience, and Talk Heathen, accuse them of ‘trying to take away their religion, and their faith in Christ.’  One host rebuts this by saying that they only accept calls.  They do not make outgoing calls.  They do not go door to door asking, “Have you stopped believing in Christ yet?”  Apparently some Christian Missionaries won’t return the favor.

We had the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago.  Millions died but the world didn’t end.  We had the Black Death – The Plague – 500 years ago.  A third of the population of Europe died, but the world did not end.

The fear-mongering prediction of The End Times is almost a Christian cottage-industry, sold to, and bought by, fear-stricken followers with great gullibility, panicked imaginations – and absolutely no memory, or understanding of History.

One of the earliest recorded predictions of the end of the world came from Simon bar Giora, a member of the Jewish Essenes sect, about 66/70 CE. These years were a period in which the Jews of Judea rose up against the Romans who were in control of the area. The prediction ran that this fight would be the actual end times battle that presaged the coming of the Messiah.

Some people claim that Nostradamus (1555) predicted the end of the world, but careful study of his entertaining poetry will reveal that he made no such declaration.   Jeff Nilsson wrote about the Mother Shipton predictions in 2011. A new collection of the 16th century oracle’s visions was published in 1873.  Despite the fact that the publisher later admitted that he made the whole thing up, people still bought into prediction that the world would end in 1881 as it said in the book. Contemporary evidence seems to indicate that it did not.

Between 1996 and 2011, Televangelist Harold Camping made not one, but four, successive Apocalypse predictions.  His Christian broadcaster was finally forced to quietly give him the boot, and wash their hands of him.

The religious side of the Y2K panic made even less of an impact than the electronic one – especially since fearful followers got the dates wrong.  More bad dates (Not on Tinder) let the 2012 Mayan Calendar disaster pass without occurring.

In the long history of doomsday predictions, the apocalypse has been cancelled repeatedly over the centuries. From comets to computers to calendars (mainly Mayan), a surplus of expected end times has been available to every culture. And yet, as far we can tell, we’re still here – no thanks to Christian doomsayers.

The Man With The Golden…. Silence

It’s still ‘A Penny For My Thoughts,’ but it’ll cost you a buck to get me to shut up.

My chiropractor recently got stuck with a coin that wasn’t a Canadian $1 Loonie, so he stuck me with the job of finding out just what it was.

I didn’t have my eyes glasses with me when I went in.  It’s difficult to lie face-down on the torture table with them on.  I could make out what appeared to be an indigenous person on it, and the wife said that she could read the word ‘Dollar’ on it, but places like Ecuador, El Salvador, Zimbabwe, Timor, Micronesia, Australia, and New Zealand all have dollars.  I had to wait till I got home and used a magnifying glass, and the son’s jeweler’s loupe.  Then I dove into a maelstrom of unfettered hype and promotion.

This was an American Sacajawea, or Native American dollar.  Since 2000, for 20 years the American Mint has produced them.  They first came out for collectors only, but in 2002 they went into general circulation.  Each obverse (heads) side, with Sacajawea and papoose, is identical, but the reverse (tails) sides are all different.  In 2009 they removed the date, and the mint mark, but the arrows identify this as a 2010 version.

This coin has no edge milling – little grooves.  I understood that, from 2009, there was supposed to be words engraved on the edge, yet this one is plain and bare.  Close examination of the edge shows that it is an Oreo coin.  Both flat sides are a manganese-brass golden color – which quickly dulls.  The ‘filling’ is a cheap ugly copper.  As an American coin, it is medal-struck, that is, its front and back are upside-down compared to each other.  Canadian coins are coin-struck, with the top of both front and back being adjacent, along the edge

These coins were produced at the same time as a series of Presidential Dollars, both intended to bring in Mint revenue from gullible collectors.  The results of the 2008 financial slump may still be being felt.  Initial productions of millions per year, have dropped to mere thousands.

Americans in general may be poorer, but the bureaucrats are no less dumb.  Some coin collector nuts aren’t poor, but they still seem dumb.  A pristine, untouched exemplar of this coin recently sold on Etsy for $23,000 US.  Someone said that, if the Government were put in charge of the Sahara, within five years there would be a shortage of sand.  It is no wonder that things like Black Lives Matter spring up.  This coin has the Indian word ‘Haudenosamee’ on it.  This means ‘Longhouse dwellers,’ ….  in New York and Ontario Iroquois.  Sacajawea was a Lemhi Shoshone who guided Lewis and Clarke after she met them in North Dakota, 1500 miles away.  😳  Details, details.   🙄

I won’t guide you astray if I ask you to come back in a couple of days.  Please remember to bring a dollar or two with you.  We’ll be having a Telethon.  Your donations can help stamp out verbosity.  😉  😆

’21 A To Z Challenge – F


 

There is no “English Language!”

I tried to explain this to a reader, recently.  I don’t think that he understood – or believed me.  Every word in the English language came from somewhere else.  Some are just more obvious than others.  Take, for example, the word

FRANGIPANI

A flower of the tropical American tree or shrub, Plumeria rubra, of the dogbane family
The tree or shrub itself
A perfume prepared from or imitating the odor of the flower

The word is in every English dictionary – yet it is obviously Italian.   It entered the language circa 1860 – 65 from French, who spelled it frangipane – after Marquis Muzio Frangipani, a 16th-century Italian nobleman, the supposed inventor of the perfume.

The true, original meaning of the Signor Frangipani’s name is bread-breaker, as in, to break bread with others, a banquet-giver, a host, or merely, a good travelling companion – another Latin-based word which indicates togetherness, and bread.

Google’s translation department would have you believe that the word means bread-crusher – a totally different concept.

Stop back again in a couple of days, after you’ve had a sandwich that you tried to make by putting cold butter on fresh bread.  I’m going to try for a scratch-and-sniff post using Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop “This Candle Smells Like My Vagina.”   😯

goop x Heretic This Smells Like My Vagina Candle | Goop