Friday, 28 February 2014

Nunc dimittis

... or, as they say in the army, 'Dismiss' (The similarity of the two words is no accident.)

Dismiss SEEMS to have been the word used by Walt Whitman when he said whatever it was that I first met in translation when I saw this tweet a few days ago:


I say seems because I  haven't been able to track it down. That is, it's easy to point to a few websites full of Whitman quotes; but they don't agree with each other. Usually Dismiss is OK, but the syntax of what follows ('anything that', 'that which', 'what', 'whatever'...) and the verb used  (offends, harms, hurts, insults...) varies widely. And the lists of quotes don't cite a printed source, so I can't check. Perhaps it's something that Whitman said often and in various ways. The pithiest and most likely seems to me to be 'Dismiss what insults your soul' (my personal preference is for offends, as in the Italian translation that started all this, but I suspect Whitman went for short words).

Anyway, my reason  for noticing the quote is the marvellous word Sbarazzati, which has nothing to do with Whitman. It's two words really, so I was a bit disappointed when I found that Whitman had used the  rather unassuming word dismiss. Before looking on the web I toyed with various possibilities: 'Disencumber yourself''? 'Throw off'? 'Cast off''? 'Lay down'? 'Shake off'? 'Shun'? Even, perhaps, 'shough off' implying that encumbrances to your soul were like a reptile's dead skin . Pregnant and pleasing, that one, but hardly Whitmanesque.

My own retweet summed up my feelings:

That's all for now. Mustn't miss the cricket. As the papes say, Ite, missa est – Latin, more or less, for 'That's all folks'.

b

Update 2014.03.03.12:10 – Added PS

The reason for my admiration for sbarazzarsi  is the initial s. An initial s, often tacked to an existing word (as in battere / sbattere, bloccare / sbloccare), can add all sorts of nuance. In English, we embark and then disembark, but Italian is much less profligate in its use of affixes; they imbarcarsi and then sbarcarsi. The initial s carries – often but not always – some kind of negative connotation: un sbaglio is a mistake or error, something that is sbagliato is full of mistakes. Sometimes the negativity is not so clear: sbadigliare is to yawn, sbafo is at someone else's expense, sbalordire is to stun or amaze, sbizzarrirsi is to indulge one's whims.... The uses of this initial s are infinitely variable, and I...

But speaking of indulging one's whims, I have things I should be doing.

Update 2014.05.02.14:15 – Updated footer:



 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?) 

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each vowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: over 40.300 views  and well over 5,600 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with well over 2,000 views and nearly 1,000 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.




Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Exegi minimentum

Report from the word-face 


Here it is (the paperback; the Kindle version is still available).

For today's title I'm recycling a line I used to a Latin scholar, who didn't need this misericord (and perhaps I should add that a misericord was a sticking-out bit on the underside of a tip-up seat in choir stalls, which allowed monks to take the weight off their feet – thus having mercy [misericordia] on them: lots of pictures here {and isn't it marvellous that there's a website called www.misericords.co.uk?}) Well, I'm bending the sense a bit, but you get  the idea; I'm making life a bit easier for the one or two readers not conversant with Horace's poem.
<autobiographical_note>
The memory of a misericord brought with it a memory of dear old Fr Dominic Young O.S.B. He was a very old and frail priest, and the boy chosen to serve his Masses had to be brawny enough  ...
<autobiographical_digression theme="word_choice" value="brawny">
That word came to mind because, for a birthday at about that time, my mother (whom saints preserve and they jolly well better had) wrote an acrostic in whch the B stood for Brawny – an odd choice, I thought at the time... no, I misremembered because of the alliteration of Bonny his dimples and brawny his fists.
</autobiographical_digression>
...to help him to his feet whenever he genuflected. A taller man would find the misericord a bit low. But Fr Dominic, than whom I was taller even at the age of 9 or 10 found it the perfect height.

And, for completeness, I should point out that the 'minimentum' I mentioned at the outset was a children's novel that I wrote over 20 years ago, which never saw the light of day (although it felt‡, in several re-written forms, the growing weight of regular additions to many an editor's slush-pile).
</autobiographical_note>
Back in October 2013 I had the ridiculous notion that a paperback would be a straightforward drop-off from the main Kindle version, whose sources (as I think I've mentioned before... yes, here) are in Sigil (a WYSIWYG tool that produces a Kindle-ready .epub file). An elegant multi-platform solution would involve some more flexible tool (perhaps FrameMaker...? [which is now, I see, at v12; the last time I used it, it was at v5 {and I had played with a trial version of v6}. Anyway, there'd be lots of new stuff to learn...). Through my rose-tinted telescope it seemed that I could cut&paste from Sigil into Word, output from there to PDF, and Bob's your male relative of preference; bish/bosh, 10 days two weeks tops.

The reality has been rather different, and this blog has – from time to time over the last three months – chronicled Die Leiden des nicht so jungen Bobs. I hope it's been worth it: I have to admit that, although simple word-lists (a bit like, in another context, Barron's 501 Portuguese Verbs; I mean, just reference lists of a comprehensive corpus of data) were my original plan, the Kindle version (which I stumbled on, almost by chance, because it was there)  seems to me preferable. But a number of early Kindle readers asked 'When's the paperback?' (To which my first response was 'The paperback? Well... maybe...'.)

So the process has been far from smooth. While, over the coming months, I mean to maintain/correct/enhance the Kindle version, I'd only consider a 'maintenance release' of the paperback if I found a one-source/many-outputs solution.


That's all folks. (And I won't update the footer until Amazon has done its stuff.)

b

‡ Update 2014.02.25.17:20 – Esprit de l'escalier: added red bits.
Update 2014.02.28.10:20 – PS added.
PS: On the subject of misericords – in my new, less ecclesiastical sense – I've added 1p to the Amazon price, so that you don't get hit for postage. This price change will take a day or two to percolate throughout the Amazon network.

Update 2014.05.02.14:15 – Updated footer:



 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?) 

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each vowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: over 40.300 views  and well over 5,600 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with well over 2,000 views and nearly 1,000 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.




Sunday, 23 February 2014

Les ... de ...bourg

The second proofs of #WVGTbook have been corrected, and I have a spare few hours before a CreateSpace mail arrives in my Inbox and invites me to marvel at what they have done this time. So I can observe that in this week's Film Programme Francine Stock was celebrating the release on DVD of  Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (a snip at 48 smackers if you believe that link).

The big song in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg is known to the impoverished English as 'I will wait for you' – a sentiment that seems to me to have very little to do with the original. The French original is sung at 17'03" in that clip, as long as it lasts; and I was surprised to hear Catherine Deneuve sing, in what I imagine is the last verse (come to think of it, I may have been a bit hasty dismissing 'I will wait for you', as long as it was in the first verse...though, come to think of it again, maybe the concept of verse doesn't really work in this context..) '... mais mon amour, ne me quitte pas'.

Those words had been set to a very different tune (Very different?... Discuss) about five years earlier by Jacques Brel. It's hard to say exactly how long before, as the gestation period of  a song is presumably much shorter than that of a sung-through film, so 'about five years' will have to do. Brel's Ne me quitte pas was followed a few years later by Dusty Springfield's If you go away to the same tune. But this time, it seems to me that the English version does preserve the sentiment of the original.

The line Ne me quitte pas starts out, uncomfortably for the translator, with two unstressed syllables. So the two obvious options are 'Never go away' (which is pathetic) and 'Don't you go away', which is bathetic (it sounds as though it should be followed by something like '...you little minx'). The Parapluies de Cherbourg song avoids the problem by splitting the unstressed words over two lines; even then, I don't think the underlay (as we say in the trade – the way the words fit the tune) would get a very high mark in a Grade V Theory exam. The amour's stress is wrong, and the ne is left out on a limb.

Anyway 'If you go away' works for me. But, I hear you ask, what's the title about? (the title of this post, not the song). Well, in my pin-ball memory, the phrase 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg' fired off a random association with Les Serments de Strassbourg –  or 'The Strassbourg Oaths' as we called them in my Romance Philology days. They were, as that article says,

...mutual pledges of allegiance [in 842] between Louis the German (876), ruler of East Francia, and his half-brother Charles the Bald (†877), ruler of West Francia. They are written in three different languages: Medieval Latin, Old French and Old High German. The Old French passages are generally considered to be the earliest texts in a language that is distinctly French.
So they are a sort of Rosetta_Stone, as the two 'pledgers' could be expected to divvy up the kingdom by baggsying equivalent portions –  and they each had to agree the written wording. Sometimes the signs of the French versus German are very slight –  they use the same Latin words, but the early German puts the adjective before the noun and the early French puts it after, for example.

I have a bit of the text somewhere, and may update this after #WVGTbook's finally put to bed. But that's all for now.

b




 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.
     Freebies (Teaching resources: about 38,000  views  and over 5,300 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with over 1900 views and nearly 900 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.





Tuesday, 18 February 2014

'...in largely predictable contexts'

In my recent exposure to writing, produced some time ago, I was struck by this (in the EU section; but as that was part of the ELTons submission I made in 2011 it's a good two years old):

This pair of vowels can represent 13 vowel sounds. But several of these differ only in a length value or a /j/ or /ə/ added before or after it. However, the Macmillan English Dictionary seems to make distinctions that may seem arbitrary and/or arguable. So the 13 are reduced here to 8:

  • /u:/ sometimes shortened to /u/ (preceded by /j/ in largely predictable contexts)
  • /ɜ:/
  • /jʊ/ and /jʊə/
  • ...etc
What did I mean by 'largely predictable contexts'? What was the truth hiding behind those weasel words?

Well, in the days when I was planning my original Dictionary of Vowels and their Sounds (which never got beyond the drawing board) I had written this about the /u:/ sound represented bv a single U (in certain cases):

/u:/ is preceded by a glide [j], becoming [ju:] in largely predictable contexts – at the beginning of a word, after stop consonants (/p t k b d g/) , after the sonorants (/l m n /) and after /h/ and /s/. The very recent borrowing 'gulag' keeps its native Russian pronunciation (as far as the 'u' is concerned; pronunciation of the consonants and of the 'a' is a different matter!) Similarly, the name 'Putin' (in an English-speaking context) has no glide before the /u:/, whereas the name 'Rasputin' – borrowed, for the use of English in less linguistically sensitive times – has a /ju:/. (The singers of Abba were unaware of this!)

The same would apply in my -eu-sounding-/u:/ case  But I decided not to include all those phonetic contexts, because generally the more you say the more you are likely to be wrong.

This old issue came to mind three times yesterday. The first was when an educated native speaker (and distinguished writer) said, during Start the Week (at about 35'30") 'children should approach Confession after puberty'; and what he said was /pu:bǝti:/.
<autobiographical_note maximum_import_value="nugatory"
                                                  minimum_import_value="nil">
In fact, this is what sent me back to find that old note.
</autobiographical_note>

So 'Putin' was on my mind when a continuity announcer, in a trail for Beyond Belief, called him /pju:tɪn/. She must have had her knuckles rapped by the Pronunciation Unit, because an hour later she got it right; or maybe she had listened to a bit of the programme and corrected herself; or maybe it was a different speaker; or maybe ... [How many phonetics geeks does it take to change a light-bulb? Answers on a post-card, or {for Unix users} to /dev/null]

News from the word-face

The second round of proofs look fairly clean; I should be able to push the Publish button by the end of the month – maybe by the end of the week.

b



 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.
     Freebies (Teaching resources: about 38,000  views  and over 5,300 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with over 1900 views and nearly 900 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Hold the presses

Report from the Word-face

A quick sitrep on #WVGTbook. There's good news, bad news, and good news:

  1. (Good)
    I submitted a revised copy on Wednesday at 23.45. But...
  2. (Bad)
    It's a long story that involves a PC with no net, a memory stick, and a laptop with wireless. The laptop had the sub-Damoclean ...
    <etymological_note theme="nonce">
    (KNEW I could recycle that one, having coined it 'for then ones' [as it said in the notes to The  Pardoner's Tale – the root of 'for the nonce', being an ethic dative. Ones  was the dative of 'one' {=on one occasion} + then {=inflected form of 'the'}]
    <autbiograpical_digression theme="seagull management" date=1993-2003">
    <meta_digression type="explanation of theme">
    A seagull manager flies over from abroad once a year and craps over everything.
    </meta_digression>
    ...during my last days in the IT world, which turned out to last for several years because ALL-IN-1 just wouldn't die no matter how hard the bosses tried to shaft it ... but I digress... where was I?)
    </autbiograpical_digression>
    </etymological_note>
    ...sub-Damoclean trial version of Adobe Acrobat. And the PC has more memory than the laptop. So a lot of file-juggling was involved. So the file I successfully submitted just before midnight on Wednesday was The Wrong File.
  3. (Good)
    I installed the trial version on the PC and won a reprieve. I thought the installation kit would be clever enough to recognize that it had been installed once; but it wasn't. The clock has been reset.
b
Update 2014.02.14.10:10 – Formatted <li> 2 for legibility and added PS

PS So I've got a few more days' work, (but not too long as there are lots of file fragments that I can piece together, so it's largely a question of double-checking).

Update 2014.02.15.17:20 – Updated footer
Update 2014.02.17.11:10 – Added PPS

PPS The second proof stage has started; this time, thinkfully, it'll be quicker. (Thinkfully is a word I've borrowed from an old friend, Kate née {and for all I know STILL} Owen. Kate disapproved of the clause-defining hopefully. In fact, that's putting it mildly – she loathed it. Thinkfully, means [of course] 'I think...'.)

Update 2014.05.31.16:45 – Updated footer



 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?) 

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each vowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common pairs ov vowels used to represent the /i:/ phoneme, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: over 41,500 views  and nearly 5,800 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with over 2,150 views and nearly 1,000 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.
















Monday, 10 February 2014

A silly poor ass

In Saturday's Times David Aaronovitch reviewed Alain de Botton's The News: A User's Manual He took a rather dim view of it. He put Alain de Botton in the Fotherington-Thomas school (that's my paraphrase, not a quote – but it seems to me quite an apt reference to Molesworth's school-mate, whose character may be gleaned from Molesworth's match report:

Acktually fotherington-tomas is worse than me he is goalie and spend his time skipping about he sa Hullo clouds hullo sky hullo sun etc when huge centre forward bearing down on him and SHOT whistles past his nos

Other Molesworth quotes here.
)

In his closing paragraph, Aaronovitch discussed  the evolution and changing meanings of the word silly. He traced it to the Old English gesælig. I imagine that, sitting smugly behind his paywall (and regular readers will already know how I feel about them) Mr Aaronovitch has access to the OED. But I have to make do with Etymonline:
 The word's considerable sense development moved from "happy" to "blessed" to "pious," to "innocent" (c.1200), to "harmless," to "pitiable" (late 13c.), "weak" (c.1300), to "feeble in mind, lacking in reason, foolish" (1570s). Further tendency toward "stunned, dazed as by a blow" (1886) in knocked silly, etc. Silly season in journalism slang is from 1861 (August and September, when newspapers compensate for a lack of hard news by filling up with trivial stories). 
The review, in its romp through the twists and turns of silly's meanings, says '...in the era of Shakespeare the word "silly" already meant roughly what it does today.' Really? Shakespeare is a sort of etymological vacuum cleaner. People often use him as a marker buoy in the sea of meanings. Bu justt because he used the word in one sense (possibly a rarely used sense that his writing would help concretize), we can't assume it had  that sense generally at the time. I am pretty sure (no time for research at the moment) that he also used it in the 'lacking in reason' sense that Etymonline conveniently dates to the 1570s.

It is this 1570s sense,  that will be familiar to readers with a choral background, as it's used this way in Tomorrow Shall Be Me Dancing Day a carol set by various composers (but my money's on Garland's setting).
In a manger laid and wrapped, I was,
So very poor, this was my chance†,
Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass...
Of this traditional carol ('probably based on a secular song' [and the Devil has all the best secular songs, or Carmina Burana as they might be called, but that's a digression we'll give only a passing wave to]) my old out-of-print [or OP as we used to say in my Grant and Cutler days,  mentioned here] Oxford Book of Carols says 'the text seems to go back earlier than the seventeenth century'. 'Earlier than the seventeenth century' would include the end of the sixteenth, which fits Etymonline's '1570s'. In Shakespeare's time, silly could mean 'lacking in reason'.

But what caught my eye in Etymonline was the German Selig,  which recalled another stalwart of the choral repertoire – the Deutsches Requiem:
Selig sind die Toten, 
die in dem Herren sterben
The sense here is more like 'blessed' (not the 'blessed with a photographic memory....' sort of 'blessed', but the two syllable blesséd: 'Blessed are the dead/faithful who...' is the way English versions of Revelation 14:13 puts it.

So silly's many meanings have included both blessed and foolish in a sort of polysemy to [ab]use the linguists' word (I added the ab- because the academic word is typically used to refer to many meanings at the same time) that will not be unfamiliar to lovers of words. See this for many other examples.

But my coach is about to turn into a pumpkin. (For coach read Adobe Acrobat 30-day Trial Version and for pumpkin read expires next Wednesday.)


b

Update 2014.02.22.12:00 – Added PS
† PS This is, of course, not the Boys' Own Paper sort of 'This was my chance', which might be followed by 'While his back was turned I quickly shook off my bonds and...'. It is an archaic way of saying (to use another archaic word that has become fossilized in a frase hecha) 'such was my lot'.


Update 2017.06.17.21:15 – Removed old footer.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Scale drawing

Two snippets that aren't worth a post on their own but that I don't want to get away:

Scale


While we were watching cricket during the last rites (aka 'match') of the Ashes tour, my daughter asked me where Hobart was. Breezily I said it was close to Sydney, and as an afterthought I said that the meaning of 'close' in that context was a matter of scale. Trying to flesh this caveat out a bit, I later looked in an atlas, and came up with this way of describing the actual distance.

Hobart is at 42°52′50″S 147°19′30″E  and Sydney at 33°51′35.9″S 151°12′40″E. In other words, if one were to pitch the same question in the northern hemisphere, and Hobart were in Orkney 59°00′N 3°00′W, Sydney would be roughly where Penzance is (50.1279°N 5.5107°W): 
about 9% of latitude and I cheated a bit about the longitude because the latitude was so neat and 
anything more Longitudinally Correct would be in the sea.

Drawing

Well, lápiz actually, but 'scale pencil' doesn't trip off the tongue so neatly. 

My Tai Chi sesssions resumed this week, for the first time this year and we were joined by a new 
student. During our introductions, we learnt that he had a background in tango dancing and our 
teacher was quick to say that there were similarities between that and Tai Chi. I didn't think this was 
any more than a conversational gambit, to make the 'new boy' feel at home.

Later though, while we were doing a Chi Gung exercise sometimes referred to as pencil rolling ,
our  new-found tango correspondent said it was like the /læpɪs/ (because of the English vowels I didn't
immediately put 2 and 2 together). The 2s in question were lápiz and pencil-rolling.

In matters of balance, pencil-based metaphors come readily to mind.

b




 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: over 37,250 views  and 5,200 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with 1867 views/867 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.







 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A bridge having been thrown across the river...

People who studied De Bello Gallico (not everyone, but some) may recognize that instance of the Ablative Absolute. And people who didn't may like to look here (but it's hard going):

How to Survive the Ablative Case

Posted on 30. Oct, 2013 by in Uncategorized

The Survival Guide to the Uses of the Ablative


There are many cases within the Latin language including: the Nominative, the Accusative, the Genitive and the Dative. The last case is call the ablative which has many functions and purpose. This guide consists of all the popular and somewhat unpopular uses of the ablative within Latin literature, epic, and poetry.
Oh dear. This is lamentable for several reasons:
  1. What's there to survive?
  2. 'Survival Guide to the Uses...'. No, no, no. 'Survival Guide to Using...' or 'Explanation/Treatment/Discussion..., of the Uses...' (which would be slightly better, as the post is not a guide – and certainly not a survival guide)
  3. 'There are many cases within the Latin language...' – odd preposition. Why not just say 'Latin has many cases...'? And doesn't the locative deserve a mention?
  4. ' The last case is call the ablative...'. Last in what sense? I think BB may be assigning undue importance to the standard paradigm offered in grammar books. (I was going to say 'English Grammar Books', but I know French grammar books put the ablative last too, and maybe others do.)
    <autobiographical_note date_range="mid-sixties">
    I know this from a mnemonic jingle I heard in France during my first (and only) exchange visit. Madame sang:
    Rosa rosa rosam
    Rosae rosae rosa
    Rosae rosae rosas
    Rosarum rosis rosis.
    And I remember the tune, but it won't be appearing on YouTube any time soon.
    </autobiographical_note>
    And is 'call' just a typo, or is BB a non-native speaker of English who misses the /d/ of 'called' assimilated to the /ð/ of 'the'?
  5. '....which has many functions and purpose'. The non-defining 'which' needs to be preceded by a comma; but this does not bother me seriously. 
  6. The purpose could use an s – again, maybe it's a typo.
  7. 'This guide consists of all the popular and somewhat unpopular uses...' No it doesn't. It consists of explanations.
So, not a good start. And I haven't yet read the full post, though I've scanned it far enough to think that it's worth persevering with. As I often find, blog posts can be worth reading – even though the writing sets my teeth on edge: to quote Monteverdi's Beatus Vir (well, the text isn't his but the repetition and all the hyphens are – this time I have got a YouTube link, here [the bit about teeth
– they're a sinner's {he appears at 5'31, but the pictures throughout are a hoot [especially the baby, who zooms in menacingly at 3'24"–3'31"]} – chattering {his teeth, AREN'T YOU PAYING ATTENTION?} – is at 5'42"])
Dentibus dentibus suis fre-e-e-emet...
Which is an example of the Ablative of... [looks up here] Means or Instrument; see, it's worth
persevering.

<digression type="PPS" exclamation="Aha">
... which explains the singular inflexion of the verb: 'He shivers with respect to his teeth'
</digression>

Report from the Word-Face 

Here's a new addition that I've written for the hardcopy version of #WVGTbook only:

About this edition

This book was originally designed for online use; each word listed was linked to an online dictionary definition. It seemed to me that there was no need for a hardcopy edition; indeed, a traditional paper book seemed to me to be of dubious value.

But several readers of the Kindle version asked whether there would be a traditional book. I now realize that not all schools (not all classrooms, and – in some parts of the world – not even all staffrooms) have access to the Internet. And this justifies a hardcopy version.

However, its design for network use leaves some features that may seem odd in this book. Among such features, two are notable:
  • When words are linked to online resources, they are underlined. The underline has no significance. This applies predominantly to words in the main lists, but also sometimes to dictionary names.
  • When tables extend across two or more pages, the columns have not been ‘reshuffled’; so that, for example, tailspin at the foot of one page is immediately followed on the next page by aileron.
<comment>
I was tempted to make a wisecrack here about aeronautical engineering. But
a) I thought better of it†
b) I couldn't think of any bon mot good enough to tempt me to override my better judgement.
</comment>

b
Update 2014.02.17.13:40 – Added PS
PS † My resolve wavered: here's the guilty text:


         ...tailspin at the foot of page 21 is immediately followed at the top of page 22 by aileron (suggesting the intervention of a gremlin with an interest in aeronautics!)
 
Update 2014.05.08.10:20 – Updated footer
Update 2014.07.20.22:05 – And again
Update 2015.02.03.16:50 And again; and added embedded PPS in maroon.



 Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?) 

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each vowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common pairs of vowels used to represent the /i:/ phoneme, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: nearly 40,000 views  and over 6,000 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with over 2,200 views and nearly 1,000 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.