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Interesting words and languages

The first word spoken on the moon was "okay". (Or not - see comments). Seoul, the South Korean capital, just means "the ca...

Green Fingers

If you have green-fingers (or green thumbs) it means you have a seemingly natural ability for gardening and / or growing plants.



More idioms to do with the body here.

It's good in theory

If you can understand and can prove your theory, then send it to a mathematics journal.
If you can understand the theory but you can't prove it, then send it to a physics journal.
If you can't understand the theory but can prove it in some way, send it to a journal of economics.
If you can neither understand nor prove your theory, then send it to a psychology journal.

Lexophile Fun with English - Part 5

Even more puns for all you lexophiles.

  1. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
  2. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
  3. Anyone who gets too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  4. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
  5. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was fined for littering.
  6. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
  7. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  8. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
  9. I wondered why the cricket ball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  10. Every calendar's days are numbered.

    Good writing advice

    In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.

    Let your conversational communications possess a compacted conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a coalescent cogency and a concatenated consistency.

    Eschew obfuscation and all conglomeration of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement and asinine affectations.

    Let your extemporaneous descants and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and voracious vivacity without rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.

    Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy and vain vapid verbosity.

    If you are really interested, the above means: "Be brief and don't use long words."

    The Ig Noble awards 2009

    Every year I have a giggle at what scientists get paid to research. The Ig Nobel awards are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think". Organized by the scientific humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), they are presented by a group that includes genuine Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre.

    This year's prizes were awarded to the following research:-

    Public Health: Elena N Bodnar, Raphael C Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, US, for inventing a bra that can be quickly converted into a pair of gas masks - one for the wearer and one to be given to a needy bystander.

    Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

    Veterinary medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, UK, for showing that cows with names give more milk than cows that are nameless.

    Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the faeces of giant pandas.

    Medicine: Donald L Unger of Thousand Oaks, California, US, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand but not his right hand every day for more than 60 years.

    Economics: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa (and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy).

    Physics: Katherine K Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, Daniel E Lieberman of Harvard University and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, all in the US, for analytically determining why pregnant women do not tip over.

    Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor M Castano of Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for creating diamonds from tequila.

    Literature: Ireland's police service for writing and presenting more than 50 traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country - Prawo Jazdy - whose name in Polish means "Driving Licence".

    Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.

    T' North South Divide

    It is true that the further north you go in the UK, the more likely you are to think you never learnt "proper" English at all.

    The proper pronunciation for angle-bracket characters

    The following poem appeared in INFOCUS magazine. The original authors were Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese of Calvin College & Seminary of Grand Rapids, MI.

    A poll conducted among INFOCUS readers had established "waka" as the proper pronunciation for the angle-bracket characters <> and, though some readers held out resolutely for "norkies."
    The text of the poem follows:

    < > ! * ' ' #
    ^ " ` $ $ -
    ! * = @ $ _
    % * < > ~ #4
    & [ ] . . /
    | { , , SYSTEM HALTED

    The poem can only be appreciated by reading it aloud, to wit:

    Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
    Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
    Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
    Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,
    Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
    Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH.