Saturday, December 30, 2006
In a previous post I mentioned coming up with words ending in “se” for use in registering Swedish domain names (as they end in .se). It turns out there is a site – More Words – that does just that – it lists words ending in certain letters. According to the More Words, it is a “crossword puzzle solver, anagram lister, codeword decoder, and a helper for other word games”.
So, I could use it for finding neat top level domain names like .us (United States), .ge (Georgia), .la (Los Angeles), .aw (Aruba), .my (Malaysia), .be (Belgium), .co (Columbia), .gs (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) and so on. It’s fun!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The BBC has set up a Pronounciation Unit Blog, where they post how to pronounce name of people and places. It’s quite interesting. Sadly, I have never heard of a lot of the names posted on the blog. (link via Monkeyfilter)
My favourite name ever is Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
There’s a link on Engadget about stretching machines in China which makes you taller. First a doctor breaks your legs, and then uses metal pins to put the bones back together. Then, you have to lie down on the stretching machine and twist a knob to pull the bones away from each other. It’s suppose to encourage bone growth in the gap, so that you get longer bones. There are pictures from commercials which demonstrate this.
This sounds like a really crazy way of trying to get taller. The word that comes to mind is Procrustean.
Friday, January 21, 2005
I just stumbled onto this site - World Wide Words. It has a lot of articles about the origin of words and phrases. I found it interesting to read about the real origin of the phrase saved by the bell, the original meaning of making love, and how the term rule of thumb came about, and so on.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Wikipedia has a whole list of company name etymologies. I found the story behind Lego very interesting, I learned that Hotmail was named because it included the letters html, and I always thought that LG stood for Life’s Good.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Merriam Webster Online has published a list of their Top 10 Favourite Words for 2004. (link via monkeyfilter) They’ve got some of my favourites, too! Like defenestration, discombobulate, and onomatopoeia. And I learned a new word, too - callipygian. (you definitely can’t use that to describe me ... ;))
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
George Mason University has this site documenting all sorts of accents from people around the world. There have men and women all reading this sentence in English. I listened to some and you can definitely hear the accents. I learned the names of some languages I’d never heard of before, too, like Ewe.
Sunday, March 28, 2004
According to the Plain English Campaign, the most irritating phrase in the english language is “at the end of the day”. The campaign surveyed 5000 people in over 70 countries to compile a list of the most irritating phrases. According to their website, they are “an independent organisation fighting for crystal-clear language and against jargon, gobbledygook and other confusing language.” The next most irritating are “at this moment in time”, “like”, and “with all due respect”.
Other things listed that I personally find are over-used (although not always irritating) are:
- I hear what you’re saying
- basically -> although I use this all the time!
- to be honest/to be honest with you/to be perfectly honest
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Every once in a while new phrases or terms are created and then used. Word Spy has a list of these new phrases. Also, they have words about words, or quotes.
Here are some of the new phrases I like…
tunnel advertising n. An advertisement consisting of a series of illuminated screens in a subway tunnel, each projecting one image from a sequence to create an animation effect as the train goes by.
I’ve never seen one of these ads, but it must be fun. It’s like drawing an animation on pieces of paper and then flipping the pages really fast.
And I really agree with one of the sample citations they have, from the SCMP: “A recent push by the MTR which has seen a surge in the number of advertisements on trains, platforms and escalators is in danger of giving passengers ad-fatigue”. There really are too many ads in those public places, it’s too hard to ignore them.
Google bombing n. Setting up a large number of Web pages with links that point to a specific Web site so that the site will appear near the top of a Google search when users enter the link text.
And example would be that miserable failure thing.
quirkyalone n. A person who enjoys being single and so prefers to wait for the right person to come along rather than dating indiscriminately.
This just sounds like a great word.
Last of all, the author has a site of his favourite words!
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
I was doing some research on business ethics today, and I came across a site that had a broken link to a page at ibiblio. The 404 Error page itself was really funny, though. It had a list of ways to say “404 Not Found” (or variations of that phrase) in many different languages.
It’s not there, eh?—Canadian
I wasn’t aware Canadian was a language.
C� pag�, g� ne ekzistas.—Esperanto
Esperanto is a planned language.
Someone should submit a translation written in Elvish.
Sunday, March 21, 2004
I just got this newsletter in my inbox, and I thought I’d mention it on my blog.
It’s been 10 years and 7 days since A Word A Day was first sent out! Every week day for the past few years I’ve had a new word arrive in my inbox. Some of the words I forget, but some I remember, and use! It’s the only non-school related mailing list I am voluntarily subscribed to. (OK, and some announcement mailing lists, but those don’t arrive in my inbox daily.) I’ve learned so much from that mailing list. And, it was fun seeing the email address of the month - although they’ve discontinued that now.
The site is now releasing rss feeds - one for the word of the day and another for the words of the week. I encourage you to subscribe to it if you can. But, I think I will continue subscribing to the mailing list, I look forward to getting that email every day.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
My fascination with words and phrases has now moved on to numbers. This site, The Visual Language of Numbers, has lots of images/ text relating to numbers.
They have some interesting trivia on words, too. Like the origin of the word nil.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
I’ve been spending the last half hour reading some entries here. They have a list of proverbs, cliches, and quotes, with the meaning/origin behind them.
Here are some interesting things I found out:
- the meaning behind a white elephant sale.
- there are several phrases where the origin is unknown, and there are several possible origins, like the Real McCoy.
- the meaning behind mum’s the word - I couldn’t figure out how they came up with this before.
- the phrase pass the buck may have led to the use of the word “buck” as slang for a dollar.
Travis - Turn
Friday, February 13, 2004
This Multibabel tool is really interesting. You type something in english into the text box, and it’ll use online language translation tools to translate it back and forth to other languages. The end result is completely different from the original text.
For example, I put in “When you wish upon a star, it doesn’t matter where you are, your dreams come true.” In the end it said “Of him in the star, where the side, its dream, he looks like where nao preeminent that sensible of the truth it is, the premises he repaired
Live - The Dolphin’s Cry
Friday, February 06, 2004
School = BUSY. The days just go by so fast and today I realize I haven’t made a post in here since Tuesday.
I have some more links I found dealing with words and dialects. The first one is a survey of whether people in North America say pop or soda when referring to carbonated drinks. Pop wins, but by a bit. I say “pop” too, but when I was younger I’d say “soft drink”. The site has an interactive map showing the responses.
And that site led me to the site of another survey that was conducted. It has a lot more questions, and it’s a lot like that dialect meme that was going around a while back. It’s really interesting! In some of the questions, I had no idea other people would pronounce things differently or have a different term than what I did.
And I need to find a better name for my words blog.
( Miscellaneous )