Wednesday, August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022

We almost never saw eagles in Maine when I was growing up, but they've since made a comeback, and are now fairly common. My mom, sis, and I saw a few on Morgan Bay last week. I'd never found an eagle feather during my prior beachcombing forays, but that changed this summer when I found a few. Two were probably from juvenile birds, but this one was obviously an adult feather: it was around 18" long, and the quill at its base was the width of a ballpoint pen!


Friday, July 29, 2022

July 29, 2022
A couple of recent addenda to the "Malaprop Files" (ESL neologisms defined):
(1) The code name for a British-based anti-fascist insurgency in Italy during the 1930s and '40s. It proved to be only marginally successful in part because of the poor branding: leaving out the N in "contra" and putting a second L in "Italy" was not enough to throw off Mussolini's security force.
(2) A nonce word used in children's games that was originally in the old '60s novelty hit, "The Name Game," but was edited out of the released version, since "Co-Trali-Tally-Tee / Banana-Fanna-etc." didn't fit in with the other verses. (Bootlegs of that version exist on the dark web.)

This is an instance of what linguists have taken to calling word-tumors: unnecessary extra syllables speakers add to existing words to make them sound more erudite. Some linguists expand on this metaphor and describe such add-ons as "generally benign." Not all agree with this assessment, though, in particular among traditionalists. A seasoned linguist from Oxford, for example, scored a bon mot at a recent conference by describing this particular word-tumor as "ill legitimate."

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Friday, July 15, 2022

July 15, 2022

I drove by the McDonald's in a nearby community this afternoon and noticed their sign says that "over 99 billion" people have now been served. I quickly did the math and determined that the company has had many repeat customers. This latter fact begs many questions, but chief among them is: WHY??? 

Friday, July 8, 2022

July 8, 2022

I've been revisiting this old Danish group recently, and this song from 1971 is on the soundtrack for my happy place. 🥰 (Burnin Red Ivanhoe is the group's name. W.W.W. is the record this song is on.)