Monthly Archives: November 2005

Hindu is not a language

On the topic of Enya’s new made-up language,

Terry Dolan, professor of English at University College Dublin, said: “It’s a very eclectic language. It seems to choose elements at random. It brings in a whole wealth of different language forms such as Anglo-Saxon, Hindu, Welsh and, I think, Siberian Yupik as well.”

Repeat after me: Hindu is not a language. Hindu is not a language. Hindu is not a language. Possibilities for this mistake:

  1. This is just a typo. Yep, it is pretty easy to type Hindu instead of Hindi. Typos slip through all the time.
  2. The reporter who took down Dolan’s comments does not know that Hindu is not a language. Dolan said Hindi but the reporter recorded Hindu.
  3. Dolan himself made the mistake and no one caught it. If this is the case, in the future, someone else than Dolan needs to be interviewed for questions of language. Really.

I hope the first possibility is what actually happened in this case.

By the way, Hindu is a religious denomination.

Thanksgiving traditions

The Discovery channel has a story about how the “traditional” Thanksgiving meal is not that traditional after all. From the article:

“Most farmers tried to kill a wild turkey or a deer for Thanksgiving, but more often than not they wound up killing a goose or a hen that no longer was a good egg layer,” said George Gross, director of the Delaware Valley College Roth Living Farm Museum in North Wales, Penn.

I can imagine the discussion between husband and wife:

[George comes into the kitchen with a plucked chicken.]

Martha: George, what’s this?

George: That’s our Thanksgiving meal.

Martha: I can see that but what animal is it?

George: Er… [mumbles]

Martha: What?

George: Alright, a chicken!

Martha: Weren’t you supposed to bring back a turkey?

George: Well, that’s how it went, you see. I had this big plump turkey in my sights. Just when I shot, this chicken jumped out of nowhere right in front of the turkey. It took the bullet, it did…

Martha: Right…

George: Lucky that chicken is no longer a good egg layer.

She’s got the power

As I write this, I’m sitting in our living room. My wife has decided that her job this morning is to optimize the Thanksgiving parade broadcast. She keeps switching between NBC, CBS and one other channel which I think is actually broadcasting something from Disneyland, Disneyworld or something like that. It is unfortunate that each channel is just as unentertaining as the others. The choices right now are to watch some Country singer, a guy doing a song from some Broadway musical or a puppet reporting.

The whole exercise is just a platform for advertising…

Lassie

Uttered on Desperate Housewives yesterday was the stupidest line in the show so far. Don’t take me wrong, I like the show (although the second season is definitely not as good as the first) but Mike asking his dog “what is it, boy?” (I’m paraphrasing) made it look like Mike’s brain had melted somehow. Here we have a hardened street-smart man (with a golden heart, I know) expecting his dog to give him a detailed report on the cause of his agitation.

Mike: What is it, boy?

Dog: *Bark*, I see a guy running around banging onto the cars parked in the street. *Bark*. Looks suspicious. *Bark, bark*.

[Bark… barf. Dogs are always just one consonant away from making a mess. “What is it, boy? [Dog makes typo and barfs.] Ewwww!”]

What’s next? Timmy falls into the well? Mike dons a tinfoil hat?

La désintégration de Michaëlle Jean

Peu de temps après sa nomination, j’avais exprimé mon opinion (Michaëlle Jean: de journaliste à politicienne…) que Madame Jean était devenue politicienne. Elle a disgracieusement confirmé mon opinion lors d’un récent dîner de presse notamment lorsqu’elle a évoqué le passé entaché de drogue d’André Boisclair.

Même les membres de sa famille sont désolés de son comportement!

Infective Participle

The infective participle is used with a main verb in the postpartum present tense to indicate the retrograde completion of the action signified by the main verb of the sentence. The infective participle agrees in gender, number, longitude and latitude with the subject of the main verb if it appears before the subject. Otherwise, it remains ambidextrous.