Pots and puns

Edward FitzGerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat includes several verses making an analogy between clay pots and humans, and between the Potter and God. In a note, FitzGerald adds: This Relation of Pot and Potter to Man and his Maker figures far and wide in the Literature of the World, from the time of the […]

Eggcorn: mild

Just saw a commenter on a political article refer to a mild cardial infarction. Pretty sure that’s an eggcorn for myocardial infarction. Seemed especially apropos because I could easily imagine that the commenter was indeed hoping that the heart attack in question would be a mild one.

Personent Hodie, “translated”

I recently encountered the song title Personent Hodie, so I tried to find out what that phrase meant. Google provided me with Latin lyrics for the song, and helpfully offered to translate them for me. Unfortunately, Google’s translation of Latin lyrics appears to be not yet all it could be. But I was amused enough […]

Endangered languages of NYC

The Endangered Language Alliance (ELA) have published a New York City map that denotes languages and dialects (e.g., Sindhi, Ilokano, Ojibwe, etc.) to specific regions within the five Boroughs. The map in the middle of the page is zoomable, but not to a really high resolution (street and block level). They are currently working on an […]


Last night, Ellen Kushner saw that someone had written verses to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” telling the Christian Nativity story. So she asked Twitter to come up with some non-Christian “Hallelujah” variations: I call upon the power of all my genius rhyming friends (and any of theirs) to now crank out a series […]


I was already low-key planning to write this note before seeing the word where I didn't expect it. I was low-key shocked, you know? And the show looks low-key terrible. No, I'm definitely low-key using it wrong now.

Homophones, Weakly

For some reason, I keep forgetting to post a link to an amusing site that illustrates the differences between two or more homophones, called Homophones, Weakly. I like the pun in the site’s name, as the author posts on a not-so-weekly basis.