Today’s incomprehensible headline

Par souci de briéveté, les titres de journeaux cultivent un laconisme qui frôle parfois l’incompréhensibilité. Ce phénomène est particulièrement évident en anglais, où en rencontre parfois un joli imbroglio sémantico-syntaxique.

  • 2004-08-27
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This is the third time the following has happened to me. I see a particularly obscure headline in the feed aggregator I use for reading news and blogs (Bloglines — I am quite happy with the service) and of course hasten to blog it. But checking the original on the news outlet’s site leads to an article with a different, usually quite understandable title. Do they think they are going to escape this blogger’s sharp-nailed keyboard-striking fingertips? They won’t any longer.

Today’s confusion arises from the headline Pole seals walk treble. “Furry maritime critters living right on the pole?” I wonder. “Walking funny?” No, as it turns out. The BBC article in question talks about the men’s race walk results at the Olympics. Still, I am not sure how it is possible to seal a hat-trick.

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More Scots

Lien vers un beau document audio en anglais écossais.

Yet another English audio document in an accent other than Estuary English (also known as “BBC English ”) or what is sometimes called “General American”: Here are excerpts from several of poems by Robert Burns read in a Scottish accent.

Via Blogging in Paris, from where Claude Covo-Farchi remarks on the “translation” of the film title Ae Fond Kiss into Just A Kiss for the French audience. Not that this only happens in France. In the USA, the Swedish film Fucking Åmål, a sweet girl-meets-girl story, came out disguised as Show Me Love. The original title doesn’t refer to sexual intercourse, but reflects one of the protagonists’ opinion of her home town.

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Grod has an interesting project: opening hooks — a collection of literary beginnings. He [after a lengthy discussion on #wordpress a 95% probability for Grod being male was collectively determined] started small. But since the site got boingboinged, ie mentioned on the apparently popular blog that goes by that name, the number jumped up to nearly 300 within two days.

You can browse the opening hooks, submit one you appreciate, or vote on the hooks already in the database. I wonder, however, if many readers aren’t just entering the opening sentence or paragraph of their favourite book instead of their favourite opening passage of any book, even if they wouldn’t rate it all that highly overall.

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Björk en vidéo ; suiviez le lien.

  • 2004-08-19
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Jim Gilliam a co-producer of the Outfoxed documentary, has Björk’s performance, at the Olympics opening ceremony in mp3 audio and Quicktime video format. It’s a song from her upcoming album. Not revolutionary, but very much Björk. Jim Gilliam’s blog is full of information, links and thoughts about the US media, their political role, copyright questions […]

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Are women human?

Une longue diatribe contre un ami qui a osé critiquer ma traduction anglaise d’une citation de Térence.

The other day, Dr Dave at unknowngenius passionately disputed something I had said earlier. My crime? Having suggested that in Terence’s line Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. the word homo should be translated as human being. I should, of course, know better than to reply to a post in which the term “PC” […]

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Another WotW, for the only reason that I stumbled over it two days ago. This one is in French, so you might want to read the full story in the French version of this post. Moineau de Lesbie, literally Lesbia’s sparrow is the title of a bust of Rachel (Elizabeth-Rachel Félix, dite Elisa) (1821-1858), who was […]

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As you can see on the left, I have taken a leaf, no, a page out of rogblog and added links to “word of the day” services. The Robert link is much less slick than the others, though, and I will have to change the code every few days by hand. Is there really no […]

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We ate, shot and left, or: kind of jealous more than possessive

En anglais, comment la grammaire entre inopinément dans des forums de discussion en temps réel.

#wordpress is an irc channel, ie a real-time discussion forum, for users of the WordPress blogging software. Its raison d’être is to provide help, advice and support, and it counts people from all over the world among its regulars, confused beginners and lead developers alike. Conversation doesn’t stick to blogging or programming questions, though. What […]

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Tutoriel en anglais sur les caractères API (alphabet phonétique international) dans les pages web et les navigateurs. Trop fatiguée pour le faire en bilingue, désolée.

The Tensor at Tenser, said the Tensor (if I’m going to link to him or her in the future I will have to find a better naming scheme) has an enjoyable post on pseudo-IPA in advertising. You will have to be able to view phonetic symbols in your browser. Look up to this site’s logo […]

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Thanks to the great people who give advice on and write plug-ins, add-ons and hacks (yes, that’s the term) for the WordPress software that runs this blog, ˌser.ənˈdɪp.ɪ.ti has acquired a few new features: At the bottom of the left column, there is a window you can use to send me an instant message via the […]

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