Monday, August 25, 2008

Top 50 Websites of 2008

Time Magazine's list and poll for the fifty best websites of 2008:
50 Best Websites of 2008

There are some good site there, check out this one, Urban Dictionary, with the words all defined by users:
The Urban Dictionary

Here are the words I authored at Urban Dictionary:
Author Jose Sinclair at Urban Dictionary

There's some very interesting stuff out there, check it out.... Jman

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bad Translations

A computer was once asked to translate “out of sight, out of mind” into other languages and back into English, and came up with “blind insanity”.

Due to English confusion, an Italian film with English subtitles had a policeman asking a motorist for a sweater – a “pullover”, get it?

In a Spanish film, a man asking “if he could bring a date to a funeral” was translated into “if he could bring a fig to the funeral.” (date = fig, or some such fruit… rather than “a companion of the opposite gender for possible romantic interaction”)

A sign in a park somewhere in Asia

A Congressman once told a Joint National Committee on Languages in 1988 that “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me.” He’d better be learning Aramaic and Hebrew and giving up pork as well!

The Oxford English Dictionary sells as much in Japan as in America, each one third more than in England.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

That's Insulting in Other Lands

Not every culture uses the same insults, here are some from abroad.

China: To be called a turtle is the worst possible insult
Norway: devil is highly taboo, one letter worse than four letters
South Africa: The Xoxa tribe hates “your mother’s ears
France: a cow or camel is pretty bad, but preceded by espèce de (“kind of”) is even worse
Germany: don’t be a schweinehund, or a “pig dog”
Spain: tu madre, or “your mama” (ie, yo momma)
Finland: the word ravolintolassa covers all swearing; it means “in the restaurant

In Dixie (a foreign land within the US!): a shooter is someone who will do anything for money; usually spoken of minimum-wage earners

The Japanese, Malayans, most Polynesians, and Native Americans do not have swear words. Hit your thumb with a tomahawk and apparently you have to blurt out something like “crow barks” or “horse feathers” or “my mother-in-law

Wik Monkan natives of the Cape York Peninsula (like many cultures) have two levels of insults or swearing:
● Mild: big head, long nose, skinny arms
● Severe: plenty urine, vagina woman mad

In Vietnam, something great is "Number one", while "Number ten" is the lowest possible number, as in "Don't drink paddy water, paddy water number ten!" (thanks to Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" for this line; I never heard this in the US!)

I can imagine this argument:
"Hey turtle, don't you be in the restaurant!"
"Yeah? Well, your mother's ears are number ten, shooter!"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Famously Funny Quotes

Anonymous is the most prolific writer in English

The poor became ‘needy’; the needy were elevated to ‘deprived’; and the deprived were promoted to ‘underprivilaged’. They still have no money, but they acquired a vocabulary. – William Lambdin

Patriotism is your conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it. – George Bernard Shaw

A refrigerator is a place where you store your leftovers until they’re old enough to throw out. – Al Boliska

Fashion is a form of ugliness so unbearable that we have to alter it every six months. – Oscar Wilde

Mother Nature is wise enough to give us twelve years to love our children before turning them into teenagers. – anonymous

The biggest mystery of life is how the idiot that married your daughter can be the father of the most gifted grandchildren in the world. – anonymous

Gossip – that which no one claims to like but everyone enjoys. – Joseph Conrad

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a poor memory. – Albert Schweitzer

Insurance is something you pay now so that when you’re dead you’ll have nothing to worry about. – Joseph Rosenbloom

City life is millions of people being lonesome together. – Henry David Thoreau

A leader is a man who has the ability to make other people do what they don’t want to do and like it. – Harry S. Truman

Money is the poor person’s credit card. – Marshall McLuhan

A neurotic is a person who builds castles in the air; a psychotic is the person who lives in them, and a psychiatrist is the one who collects the rent. – anonymous

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity. – Winston Churchill

Originality is the art of remembering what you heard and forgetting where you heard it. – Tommy Douglas

A pessimist is an optimist on the way home from the racetrack. – Red Smith

Love is the quest, marriage the conquest, divorce the inquest. – anonymous

Twenty-five is the proper age for a woman; if she is not proper by that age, she never will be. – Oscar Wilde

The U.S. is the only country where a housewife hires a woman to do her cleaning so she can do volunteer work at the day nursery where the cleaning woman leaves her child. – Bob Phillips

If man is not called upon in his employment to exert his understanding or exercise his invention in facing challenges, then he generally becomes just about as ignorant and stupid as it is possible for a human creature to become. – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)

The Venus de Milo is the “goddess of disarmament”. – Robert Louis Levinson

We’re all in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars. – Oscar Wilde

If God had wanted us to use the metric system, he would have given us ten fingers and ten toes. - comedian George Wallace

The shortest poem in the world
Madam, I'm Adam - e.e. cummings ("The First Spoken Words")

The Wisdom of a Yogi
If you come to a fork in the road, take it. – Yogi Berra
A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore. – Yogi Berra
Nobody goes there any more cuz it’s always too crowded. – Yogi Berra

...and perhaps the greatest comeback in history:
Lady Astor: Sir, if you were my husband, I’d poison you.
Winston Churchill: Madame, if you were my wife, I’d let you.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Movies We Want to See

Homage to Art Fern

Fay Wray, Danny Kaye, Doris Day, Milo O’Shea, and Joel Gray in Cabaret
Billy Zane, Carol Kane, Marjorie Main, Nathan Lane, and John Wayne in The Andromeda Strain
Ethan Hawke, Claudia Cardinale, Robin Penn Wright, and Jay Mohr in The Birds
Red Foxx, Michael J. Fox, Jamie Foxx, and Robert Foxworthy in Never Cry Wolf
Joan Rivers, Veronica Lake, John Waters, Billy Ocean, and Ice Cube in Waterworld

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

How Illiterate Are You?

I ain't illiterate, my parents were married by the justice of the peace - Jean Hagen, Singin' in the Rain

These are likely what kids or the semi-literate think the meaning of these words are when they first hear them. Just my guess, I haven’t been a kid or illiterate since last millenium, and purposely never had any, illiterate children that is.

Anarchist – someone who wants to be like Noah
Bigamy – playing two games at the same time
Cardiac – a small Cadillac pedal car for kids
Claustrophobia – Fear that Santa Claus will skip your house this year cuz you were bad
Climatologist – experts on climbing trees, poles, and ladders
Cosmology – study of professional makeup for stars
Curator – the guy in the museum who keeps bad art from making visitors sick
Deadline – a line that, if crossed, might get you killed
Dietician – an expert on dieting
Diversion – distracting someone with math
Dogma – the study of female dogs
Electrical engineer – someone who drives electric trains
Economist – an expert at saving money
Executor – the guy in prison who pulls the switch on the electric chair
Fantasy – when Fanta is your favorite soft drink
Flexology – studying how flexible people are
Fracture – a course in the math of tiny numbers
Gastronomy – the study of gas in the air
Gastronomist – the pilot of hot air balloons
Greenhouse effect – when all the plants go crazy growing all year and get real big
Holy ghost – what God sends to scare you if you have no ‘fear of God’
Hyperbole – a really big cereal bowl
Impale – someone’s telling you that they don’t feel so well
Infraction – something broken on the inside, like a rib
Jesuit – an expert on Jesus
Linguistics – the art of cooking Italian pasta
Mammals – animal mothers
Marathon – a bunch of the same tv show back-to-back, like a Star Trek or Twilight Zone marathon
Medium – the next stage after being a minor
Meteorologist – an expert on meteors, where to find them in the sky and after they hit the earth
Minuet – to eat something really fast
Numerology – the science of counting stuff
Nun – what they call women who give up everything for God: “got nun left”
Nutritionist – an expert on all types of nuts
Paradigm – a nickel short of a quarter
Pheromones – maybe the pharoah ain’t dead yet
Pianist – a word that kids shouldn’t say until they’re in college or the army
Pluresy – when you have more than one illness at once
Politics – the science of poles
Politician – the guys who put up and fix all the poles
Racist – someone who runs from foreigners
Radiologist – the guy who fixes radios
Rocker – someone who likes loud dance music
Sadist – someone who won’t be happy no matter what
Sailor – the people who make sails for sailboats
Sociology – the study of people talking and partying
Steeplechase – a horse race to the church, first rider to climb the steeple wins
Terminal illness – something you catch at an airport or train station
Theology – the study of guys named Theo
Topology – the study of the movements of spinning tops
Treasurer – someone who hunts for lost or buried treasure
Vice president – the person in charge of vice
Zero - the last row in the ballpark
Zoology – the science of running zoos and feeding animals at the right times

________________ (c) 2008, William L. Sinclair _______________

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Word Misnomers for Funny Bones

These are all either misnamed or our perception has been faulty regarding what these really represent.

A peanut is not a nut, it’s a legume.
A panda is not a bear; it’s a relative of raccoons. Neither is a koala, which is a marsupial, like kangaroos.
There are no bald eagles, they simply have white feathers as adults, brown until then.
A firefly is not a fly, it’s a beetle.
A prairie dog is not a dog, it’s a rodent.
A lead pencil contains no lead, just wood and graphite, which resembles lead in color.
India ink is not from India, it’s from China and Egypt.
A Guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig, it’s a rodent from South America.
A shooting star is not a star, it’s a meteorite entering the earth’s atmosphere. Most burn up before reaching the ground, but all the earth’s platinum comes from meteors.
A Turkish bath is not Turkish, it’s Roman.
Mocha java is not a type of coffee, it’s any coffee shipped from the port of Mocha in Yemen; most of it is African.
A silkworm is not a worm, it’s a caterpillar.
A banana tree is not a tree, it’s an herb.
Mincemeat has no meat, it’s made of fruit.
A Mexican jumping bean is not a bean, it’s a seed with a larva inside.
Catgut is not from cats, it’s usually from sheep intestines.
Camel hair brushes are not from camels, they’re made from squirrel hair. However, red sable brushes are actually made from sable minks.
An English horn is not a horn, and it’s not from England, it’s an oboe from France. So why is it not simply called a French oboe?
A horned toad is not a toad, it’s a lizard.
A Douglas fir tree is not a fir, it’s a type of pine.
The funny bone is not a bone, it’s a nerve, the ulnar.

Myth-Information for Dinner
Chop suey is not a dish in China, it was invented in California by Chinese immigrants.

Pizza is not from Italy, it was invented in the United States. Italians invented tomato sauce because Europeans would not eat tomatoes, brought back from the new world, because they ate them raw like apples and they were a mess.

Hamburgers were invented in San Francisco which were preferred by sailors from Hamburg, Germany; they were eaten raw, which is also called Steak Tartar, so they can charge more.

Frankfurters were invented in the U.S. and named for sailors from Frankfurt, Germany; disputes abound over the original locale, New York City and San Francisco are the most likely cities.

Buffalo wings are not from the American bison, they originated in Buffalo, New York. (thanks, Judy!)

..and the pen is not mightier than the sword, it's lighter and easier to write with but too small for battle! This was probably said of Thomas Paine's pamphlet 'Common Sense' which sparked public interest in the American Revolution.

____________ (c) 2008, William L. Sinclair ____________

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