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Saturday, October 31, 2009

I loved it pretty immediately, what do you think?

This song has been on regular iPod rotation this week. I particularly enjoy the rhythm for walking to the bus stop on the way to school. It's a little bit Tears for Fears, little bit Queen, little bit eunuch, and maybe even a little bit The Who.

Wild Beasts - The Devil's Crayon


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do you like your eggs short or long?

Usually I play the critic in language debates, but today, Ian flipped the criticism onto me over the word eggs.

I say "ayggs", long vowel sound.

Ian says "ehggs", short vowel sound.
Normally I would agree that Ian's version is correct, because in general, you will have a short vowel whenever a double consonant follows. But this is how I have always (or oh-weez, as I say), pronounced the word, and so naturally I feel my way is correct.

Ok, ok, I concede. It must be fun to win for once, eh M'Love? But I'm still going to say it my way.

How do you, dear readers, think "eggs" should be pronounced?


Here are further samples of my idiosyncratic pronunciation and understanding of language, from back when I was first learning to read:
  • I used to say "enn-velope" instead of "on-velope" (which, you must admit, is understandable).
  • I thought the T in "often" was silent, and argued as much when my pronunciation was called out by a fellow classmate in about 2nd grade.
  • I also used to think there were two distinct words for the two uses of the word "used":
used as the past tense of the verb meaning "to implement"
  • Pronounce: youzed
  • As in: "I used the Kleenex."
used as an adverb of time when combined with "to" to mean "at one time but not anymore"
  • Pronounced: youst
  • As in: "I used to go there often."
In first grade, I didn't comprehend that these two words were even related, although I didn't know how the second one would have been spelled. When I very first read a sentence like the second variety, I thought there was something missing between the used and the to, such as, for instance the bus.


What are your language idiosyncrasies?


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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Columbus Day

When I was a child, Columbus Day was another day off from school. Aside from the fact that I could really go for a bit of a holiday from school right about now (come on, you know you'd appreciate a day off too), I think it's a shame that we stopped observing the date.

I'm sure the break in observance was brainchilded (if I can verbalize a weird noun) during the overcorrective political correctness movement of the 90's. Columbus was a bad man who brought disease and death to the native peoples of this continent. And, on top of that, he didn't even DISCOVER America, despite what they taught when I was a kid.

Yes, yes. True. And Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had slaves, but we don't entirely discount their value to our history, now do we?

Nor should we completely discount the historical significance of Columbus coming to America. Columbus's trips to the Americas were the catalyst of European colonization of the Americas. Maybe if we are to be decent human beings, we ought to wish that colonization never happened, for the sake of the native peoples that arrived here long before the Vikings and the Lamanites made their way to the American continents. But in life, bad things sometimes, nay often, lead to good things. Sure, our history is replete with darkness, but I am here today in part because of the darkness that was the Europeanization of the American continents. And I don't feel bad about celebrating that.


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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tremors

Wikipedia tells me that tremors -- an involuntary rhythmic shaking,
frequently of the hands -- may be exacerbated by stress.

This is good to know, because I thought maybe I've been drinking too
much caffeine lately, and I rather don't like that explanation.

I have tremors, likely thanks to genetics on my father's side. It's
most perceptible in my hands, particularly on my right side. It's not
usually very bad, but, there have been quite a few people in my life
who have noticed it without my mentioning the fact that I have it.
Usually they ask if I'm nervous, which, shy and quiet though I may be,
nervous I generally am not. I just shake.

When it's particularly bad, I feel it in my body like a pulse of
rhythmic energy. When it's not bad, I usually don't notice it unless
someone points it out, or I happen to hold both my hands in front of
my face and notice the discrepancy in stillness.

Lately it has been bad. I'm righthanded, so every time I reach for a
pencil, or hover my finger over the trackpad on my laptop, I see the
shake. I worry that maybe my classmates are seeing it and wondering if
I'm nervous about being called on in class. I'm not really. Sure, I'm
not keen on the socratic method, but after the sadistic questions I
just fielded in civ pro and contracts this week, I think I can fairly
say I'm not nervous about it. In fact, just today, I actually raised
my hand and VOLUNTEERED an answer in class. If you knew me from junior
high through undergrad, you would know this is unheard of for me.
Something to do with being called a know-it-all teacher's pet in
elementary school. Fine, then, I will introspect myself, if you can't
appreciate my participation. (Yes, I blame elementary school for much
of my social retardation.) But today, before I could even think about
it, or tell myself not to, my hand shot up in the air and I answered a
question. It was like someone else had taken over my body.

Maybe that's what the increased tremors are. I have been possessed by
a more self-assured person (at least intellectually speaking). Or
maybe it was just one comment in class and nothing to get excited about.

Maybe these increased tremors, that I feel pulsing through my body
even as I tap these letters out on my iPod, are just as wikipedia
says: stress-induced.

Maybe I ought to try to fit some yoga into my routine.

On a side note, if you've read this far, apparently the sentences I
write are too long (per critique on my first legal memo). What do you
all think? Is my syntax overly hard to follow in general? As always,
comments addressing this or anything else may be left anonymously.

I want to further disclaim this post by saying that I had two beers
before writing this. Two PORTLAND beers, mind. In Utah I could have
three beers and come away from it with a slight buzz and a lot of
bloat, but here I'm feeling it after half a pint. So I recognize the
fact that there is no organization and plenty of tangentialism here.
But that, my friends, is par for the course when you've been drinking.