Sometime in the past year or two, I was listening to the Sixpence None the Richer song “Kiss Me,” and got curious about the line “Kiss me, out of the bearded barley”; I wasn’t sure what it meant. I poked around online to find out more; I think that all I found was the annotation […]
I happened across, and was amused by, this line the other day: History would never have happened were it not for events in the past. —WaPo commenter Ken99M Reminded me of Anna Russell’s line “Things would be so different if they were not as they are,” from How to Write Your Own Gilbert & Sullivan […]
I was really confused about a legal clause that I read about in the news. I eventually figured it out, but I thought it was worth writing up my confusion. Recently, Disney set up a legal agreement that’s intended to last in perpetuity; or, if that turns out to violate the Rule Against Perpetuities, then […]
A video about how to pronounce the original Finnish names of many of the Moomin characters. (12-min video, from August, 2022; from @KatChatsFinnish, a channel intended as a resource for English speakers who are learning Finnish.) If I understood right, the person who made the video doesn’t know some of the characters’ English names; at […]
I’ve heard the phrase hat trick lots of times, but I just learned that I’ve been wrong about what it means. It turns out to mean three successes of the same sort (esp. in a short time). Which led me to wonder why it means that. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary to the rescue: the term "hat trick" […]
I learn a new official spelling. Well, newish. Not that new, really.
The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship site has the look of a site from the 1990s or so, but it’s still active. The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship (E.L.F.) is an international organization devoted to the scholarly study of the invented languages of J.R.R. Tolkien. The primary activity of the E.L.F. is carried out in the pages of its […]
A pun from Facebook: Studies show that cows produce more milk when the farmer talks to them. It's a case of “in one ear and out the udder.” (A quick web search suggests that various versions of this joke have been around for a while and have no clear author, so I’ll leave it unattributed.)
Emptying a boot is a different matter entirely.
Another chat with ChatGPT. This time, I asked it for a one-stanza parody of “The Raven.” It replied: Once upon a midnight dreary, As I pondered, weak and weary, There came a knock upon my door, From a creature, small and poor, Who begged for just a little more Of the bread and cheese I […]