Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
An Italian court has ruled that a couple could not name their son "Friday" and ordered that he instead be called Gregory after the saint whose feast day he was born on..."We named him Friday because we like the sound of the name. Even if it would have been a girl, we would have named her Friday," the boy's mother, Mara Germano, told Reuters.
When the boy was about five months old, a city hall clerk brought the odd name to the attention of a tribunal, which informed the couple of an administrative norm which bars parents from giving "ridiculous or shameful" first names to children.
Really. Talk about ridiculous. I like the name, too. What do you think? (Thanks to shpilkes for pointing this one out and supplying the headline.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
"How Language Works" (Avery, $17.95), by the formidable British linguist David Crystal, more than lives up to its ambitious subtitle: "How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die." It's a wide-ranging introduction to the study of language, touching on virtually every aspect from neuroscience to dialects to language death....
Remember those Latin conjugations? A lot of Brits apparently do; Harry Mount's tribute to the undead language, "Carpe Diem" (Hyperion, $19.95), was a bestseller in England last year. Subtitled "Put a Little Latin in Your Life," it purports to be a workable introduction to the language, with basic grammar brightened by illustrations (John Belushi in a toga), whimsy (the Latin bit from "Life of Brian"), and fun facts about Roman emperors. But Mount's affectionate ramble, with its tributes to teachers past, seems more likely to lure nostalgia trippers than budding classicists.
Croatia rose to the occasion in their crucial Euro 2008 defeat of England - after an apparent X-rated gaffe by an English opera singer at Wembley.
Tony Henry belted out a version of the Croat anthem before the 80,000 crowd, but made a blunder at the end.
He should have sung 'Mila kuda si planina' (which roughly means 'You know my dear how we love your mountains').
But he instead sang 'Mila kura si planina' which can be interpreted as 'My dear, my penis is a mountain'.