Tag Archive: American English

This Time I have Really Done It

Never before have I let fourdays go without a post.

I really feel as though I have abandoned my poor neglected blog.

This week, like last week, has been chaotic workwise, with split days and students changing their hours. As I said o my mother last Saturday when she rang. “I don’t know whether I am Arthur or Martha.” That was one of her favourite sayings when we were kids. She replied that she was “surprised that at sixty I hadn’t figured that out”; my mother can excel herself sometimes and at nearly 88 has a naughty sense of humour.

However, I can assure you, that I have figured out that dilemma, despite the fact that many people don’t in their lifetimes and as a result lead miserable existences; one would not use the term life here.

I just had a turn. I wrote ‘humor’ instead of ‘humour’ in the above paragraph. I am sorely shocked and thoroughly dismayed. American English has got me. I am showing signs of this malady in my dotage. Is there no hope that this cancer will regress? That my life will be spared this ignominious fate. I must admit that I do use ‘humor’ as a #tag on Twitter, because it gets more results. My mother always said, when I was young, “if I pulled enough faces the wind would change and I would stay like that.” Maybe there is some truth in these old sayings.

The chaos in my world will continue until until New Year. It’s a bad time of the year for English teachers; we suffer for our love of the language. You can’t have love without suffering.

I am late at the keyboard today. I stayed up late last night. It was my opportunity to see Twilight.

Yes, the movie. The one that caused girls’ hearts to flutter.

You see I am not one to rush out and pay a fortune to see the latest films; that’s a fools game.

Now, having seen it, I am glad I didn’t.

I wasn’t impressed, really. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was a different type of vampire movie and a nice love story combined with the horror genre.

But I certainly don’t consider it one of ‘the’ great movies.

Christopher Lee as Count Dracula

Lycanthropy, I discovered lycanthropy at the age of 13. Yes, that was when I read Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.

I became immersed in the world of vampires and werewolves and learned a lot about them. The first Dracula movie I saw was the 1972(?) version with Christopher Lee which will always remain the image and nature of the beast, at least to me.

I traced Dracula’s travels from the Transylvanian Alps to England on a large scale map, I think I was even able to locate within an area where his castle should/would have been.

Vlad Tepes

I have since learned that the book and subsequent films, of which there have been many starting in the days of Bela Lugosi, that actually slandered the the first heroic politician of Romania, Vlad Tepes.

Historic Note:

Fifteenth century Wallachian prince Vlad Tepes is credited with being Dracula, the vampire-count featured in the classic horror story Dracula (1897) written by novelist Bram Stroker. Romanians make no association between the vampire and the historical figure of prince Vlad III, known in his homeland as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), prince of Wallachia three times, in 1448, 1456-1462 and 1475. Vlad was known beyond Wallachia’s borders as a feared fighter against the Turks and a ruthless ruler. Notorious for his brutal punishment methods, he gained the name Tepes (impaler) after his favourite form of punishing his enemies – impaling on a wooden stake. The offenders would have to die in agony. Impaling was not unique in Europe. Tepes first cousin, Stephen the Great, is said to have impaled over 2300 Turkish prisoners in 1473.

Source: About Romania

As I result of my late night excess, my eyes feel as though they have rusted. Coffee is not doing its bit this morning.


Kiss My A… ah Donkey

Yes, Kiss my ass

Damn, three days… Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun. You’ll notice in the accompanying image that I chose the caption carefully, if I had meant the obtuse I would have written ‘arse’ as would have any self respecting user of he Queen’s English, and not ‘ass’ as the Americans would have it; I mean, why take a perfectly lovely animal’s name in vain?

I often have to explain to my students why American English isn’t really English at all, but rather a dialect. Similar in many respects to Brazilian Portuguese and that which is spoken in Portugal. After all both America and Brazil have had the same amount of time to corrupt their mother tongue.

Granda's Trunk

I have been busy, not so much on the blogging, you see I attacked one of my old HDs the other day and managed to recover many images and photos that I thought were lost to the world. The ass being one of them, I just couldn’t resist using it.  You know what it’s like when you discover something, it’s a bit like opening a trunk in grandma’s attic that you never saw before. You can’t just shut the lid, you have to explore everything and you’ll settle for nothing less.

I did post three pertinent commentaries on Shit Happens about political stuff, but that was all yesterday, despite my best intentions. Wednesday was a split day and just exhausted me; another reminder that I am on the way down the other side of that proverbial hill we are always talking about when we get to forty. If you’re not there yet, you’ll understand when you are; if you’re over forty, then I’m sure that you will sympathise with me.

Z, such a beautiful flourish at the end of the alphabet

Now my spell checker is telling me that I have spelt ‘sympathise’ wrongly, oh, and ‘spelt.’ You see I haven’t yet discovered how to, or indeed, if there is a way to change WordPress English to the Queen’s. You see Americans don’t understand that the verb ‘to spell’ is irregular and as for replacing the ‘s’ with a ‘z’ I must admit that makes sense. The letter ‘z’ is a beautiful letter, I remember the days before PCs when I used to practice calligraphy, ‘z’ is so beautiful and rightly should be used more. But, I fight my sensibilities with my need for the traditional, you see I am such a traditionalist.

Mark Twain

The need for a simpler form of English is not a new idea. Mark Twain came up with a way we can simplify English spelling. “They say that English is one of the hardest languages to learn because of the multiple sounds from letters and all the exceptions to the rules. You know what I’m talking about. Read the following article and let me know what you think.”

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s”, and likewise “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which “c” would be retained would be the “ch” formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform “w” spelling, so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish “y” replasing it with “i” and iear 4 might fiks the “g/j” anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez “c”, “y” and “x” — bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez — tu riplais “ch”, “sh”, and “th” rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

May be one day, maybe… I just hope that I am not around to see it.

I found this in my treasures, so I uploaded it…

A pair of Gulf fritillary, Agraulis vanillae, mating before they set about destroying my passionfruit vines with their offspring. If they are not checked (the caterpillars) they will decimate the plants, strip them of all foliage; and I happen to like passionfruit more than caterpillars of the Agraulis vanillae. The clip is nothing startling, nor is it pornographic, it is nature very tastily portrayed.

Well, that has taken nearly an hour and one coffee, which is certainly not even broaching the level necessary for minimal survival. I’m off to make more.


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