rhu: (Default)
When I was in college, one of my acquaintances had the practice of ending every declarative sentence with a rising inflection. I was told by a mutual friend that his parents, both psychologists, had experimented when he was a child by speaking to him that way, and poor soul, he was never able to break the habit.

I am now hearing this more and more in general society. My daughter has picked it up, I think from school. I heard it on an NPR report on Monday. I've started to notice several of my friends doing it. I even caught myself doing it the other day.

My hypothesis is that this is the ultimate fate of ending every sentence with "y'know?" I think that the speaker wants to make sure that the listener is following and doesn't disagree. Back in the 1980s, lots of people would use the interrogative "y'know?" at the end of sentences to provide that opportunity to check in, but now it seems to be done with just intonation.

But I have to say? This drives me nuts?

Y'know?
rhu: (Default)
I encountered an interesting language quirk during Yom Kippur. [This is a post about the English language, not about Yom Kippur.]

I was reading a brand new translation into English of a German commentary on the piyyutim, the paraliturgical poems added to the services on Yom Kippur. And the phrase "wake-up call" leapt off the page at me.

There was nothing wrong, technically; it was an appropriate metaphorical translation. But it was jarring because Rabbi Breuer wrote the original German commentary in 1928. Looking at the Google n-gram chart shows almost no usage before 1970, then exponential growth.

It raises an interesting question about translation, I think. I certainly wouldn't expect a translation of the Bible to only use English words from 3,500 years ago (ha, ha). But somehow the use of a 1970s coinage in a translation of a 1928 text struck me as incongruous.

[I hope to post a full review of the Feldheim machzor later, and also of the Koren/Sacks machzor. Yes, this year I had TWO new machzorim for Yom Kippur!]
rhu: (Default)
I encountered an interesting language quirk during Yom Kippur. [This is a post about the English language, not about Yom Kippur.]

I was reading a brand new translation into English of a German commentary on the piyyutim, the paraliturgical poems added to the services on Yom Kippur. And the phrase "wake-up call" leapt off the page at me.

There was nothing wrong, technically; it was an appropriate metaphorical translation. But it was jarring because Rabbi Breuer wrote the original German commentary in 1928. Looking at the Google n-gram chart shows almost no usage before 1970, then exponential growth.

It raises an interesting question about translation, I think. I certainly wouldn't expect a translation of the Bible to only use English words from 3,500 years ago (ha, ha). But somehow the use of a 1970s coinage in a translation of a 1928 text struck me as incongruous.

[I hope to post a full review of the Feldheim machzor later, and also of the Koren/Sacks machzor. Yes, this year I had TWO new machzorim for Yom Kippur!]
rhu: (simpsonized)
Here at Adobe Boston, we're mostly settled in to our new building. Often, people take food from the cafeteria back to their desks, and then leave their dirty dishes on the counter in the kitchen at the end of the floor; the building staff collects them at the end of the day and brings them back downstairs.

This week, they announced that we would now have "bussing tubs" in each kitchen. And all I could think of was, "Aren't those usually called Jacuzzis?"
rhu: (Default)
I've noticed recently that instead of saying "This is X", radio announcers (for a sample size of two) have switched to "It's X." Specifically, on Monday I heard Steve Inskeep say "It's Morning Edition from NPR", and yesterday afternoon I heard "It's Ray Brown."

So what's up with that? Cut for length )

In any case, he's Andrew Greene, and he thanks them for their attention.
rhu: (Default)
Recently, I've found myself reaching for Talmudic terms in conversations with friends and co-workers, because there's no good English equivalent.

nafka meenah -- the practical consequence that turns an otherwise academic distinction into a question whose answer matters. (This came up in the discussion of the wording of a rule in a game, where there was an edge case where the interpretation of the rule affected the strategy of play.)

kal va-khomer -- if you think it's important in the case we've been discussing, it's even more important in this other case that I'm about to bring up! (This came up in a discussion of turning off write access to a source code branch.)

And of course there's the classic machatunnim, who are your child's parents-in-law.

Conversely, I had to explain retconning in shul a few weeks ago when it came up in a discussion of the narrative of Judah and Tamar.

So now I'm curious: What jargon have you used in a general context because it's the most precise or concise way of explaining something?
rhu: (Default)
Recently, I've found myself reaching for Talmudic terms in conversations with friends and co-workers, because there's no good English equivalent.

nafka meenah -- the practical consequence that turns an otherwise academic distinction into a question whose answer matters. (This came up in the discussion of the wording of a rule in a game, where there was an edge case where the interpretation of the rule affected the strategy of play.)

kal va-khomer -- if you think it's important in the case we've been discussing, it's even more important in this other case that I'm about to bring up! (This came up in a discussion of turning off write access to a source code branch.)

And of course there's the classic machatunnim, who are your child's parents-in-law.

Conversely, I had to explain retconning in shul a few weeks ago when it came up in a discussion of the narrative of Judah and Tamar.

So now I'm curious: What jargon have you used in a general context because it's the most precise or concise way of explaining something?
rhu: (torah)
Twice recently I've seen non-Jews writing "G-d" instead of "God". So I'm curious enough to do an informal poll (since I have a free LJ account and can't do real polls :-)

* Do you write "God" always, "G-d" always, or do you mix them?
* Why is that your practice?
* What is your religious background?
* Narf?
rhu: (torah)
Twice recently I've seen non-Jews writing "G-d" instead of "God". So I'm curious enough to do an informal poll (since I have a free LJ account and can't do real polls :-)

* Do you write "God" always, "G-d" always, or do you mix them?
* Why is that your practice?
* What is your religious background?
* Narf?
rhu: (Default)

From The New York Times "City Room" blog:

Although it would seem likely that Senator Clinton might capture the lioness’s share of voters in her stronghold state....

OK, so it might seem weird at first blush to award Mrs. Clinton the "lion's" share, but the whole point of the idiom is that the lion, who hasn't done much in the way of hunting, gets first pick at the carcass and the largest portion, while the lioness, who has actually felled the prey, has to wait for the leftovers.

Or maybe the Times is subtly trying to say that they expect Sen. Obama to win New York even though Sen. Clinton deserves it....

ETA: I posted the same comment on the blog entry there, and they have now changed the wording to "... capture the larger share ..." (12:36pm)

rhu: (Default)

From The New York Times "City Room" blog:

Although it would seem likely that Senator Clinton might capture the lioness’s share of voters in her stronghold state....

OK, so it might seem weird at first blush to award Mrs. Clinton the "lion's" share, but the whole point of the idiom is that the lion, who hasn't done much in the way of hunting, gets first pick at the carcass and the largest portion, while the lioness, who has actually felled the prey, has to wait for the leftovers.

Or maybe the Times is subtly trying to say that they expect Sen. Obama to win New York even though Sen. Clinton deserves it....

ETA: I posted the same comment on the blog entry there, and they have now changed the wording to "... capture the larger share ..." (12:36pm)

Asbesto?

Aug. 9th, 2007 10:29 am
rhu: (Default)
“It was part of the process to ensure that the asbestos are safely removed.” (Newton mayoral spokesman Jeremy Solomon)

Asbesto?

Aug. 9th, 2007 10:29 am
rhu: (Default)
“It was part of the process to ensure that the asbestos are safely removed.” (Newton mayoral spokesman Jeremy Solomon)

Profile

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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