We all want a golden ticket

I've seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory many times (the original 1971 version, not the remake, which I've never seen), and even saw a special DVD with commentary and interviews with the stars, which I highly recommend. Well tonight I saw the movie for the umpteenth time, and realized that it's very popular because both kids and adults want a golden ticket--something really great that's given to them that leads to a better life. I think that's why we identify with Charlie: all of us may not be living in poverty, but we often want something to come along that that will improve our lives in a surprising way, especially for being a nice person, because it seems that sometimes it's the jerks who get ahead and achieve success.


Guess the accent

Mad Minerva told me about a game where you guess the accent from videos of people reciting a couple of lines from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If". You have to guess which county they're from, and of course the more points you get, the better accent-guesser you are. Good luck!


How can a non-English speaker say that native speakers don't speak correct English?

Someone told me that their European relative who came to visit the US said that many people didn't speak "correct" English. Sorry to say this, but that's a stupid comment from someone who has never lived in the US, and doesn't speak English as a first language. What's unbelievable is that the person who made that comment doesn't even speak English well, so how would they know that people don't speak English "correctly" here?

I think it's because they assume that if Americans don't speak like a textbook, then they're not speaking English "correctly". If they'd bother to spend a decent amount of time here, they'd notice the varieties of English and not hold people to their high, unrealistic standard. Most people don't speak like textbooks, no matter what language they speak.

I'd like to see that person interact with a wide variety of Americans, and see how the Americans would react. I doubt the Americans would walk away thinking, "That person speaks correct English."


John McEnroe freaking out with French subtitles

I found this when for some reason I wanted to know more about John McEnroe: a collection of his hissy fits with French subtitles and French explanations. I didn't know they cared about him so much :D



I just realized that I've been posting stuff here for FOUR years. That's quite a long time for a baby blog such as mine. I'm just wondering why I haven't made the "blogs of note" list at Blogger if I've been around so long. And where's the book deal and interviews? Oh well, I'll continue toiling in obscurity....which is fine with me, because it seems like some quality people have visited this site!

So thanks for reading and there's more language fun to come! And nerdiness too!


It's over!

Here's some tragedy: I've just seen the LAST Inspector Lynley! I guess the Brits weren't into him anymore, so they didn't produce any more shows.

Yes, I'm bummed, even though I think I missed some along the way. But the bottom line is we won't see any more Inspector Lynley episodes! (Unless we want to watch reruns--but there will be nothing new!)


Got a blog book

I was in a bookstore looking at the front table with new releases, and saw a book that seemed to be an enjoyable read. As I was checking it out, I kept thinking that the writing style reminded me of well-written blogs, because it was breezy and friendly. So I got the book, and found out that it came from a blog by an anonymous waiter. So I was right: the writer was originally a blogger, and he'd attracted so many readers, the PIC (Publishing Industrial Complex) noticed. And he's probably making a very good living from something that started as a venting vehicle.


The uptight man

Someone just told me about a guy (I have to keep it vague lest they find out) who will over-analyze someone's speech. So for instance, if someone says, "Everyone took their books," the guy will get all wound up and point out that "everyone" doesn't match with "their."

Lighten up, dude. I can understand if someone writes comments about such grammar use, but to get uptight in a casual conversation? That's almost psychotic!


Interviews posted

One of the reasons I've sometimes lapsed in posting here (other than having an odd work schedule) is because I've been working on the anthology I'm putting together (which will be released later this month), and now there's been a new development: interviews with some of the authors! I've posted the audio at my site--check it out, and enjoy :D


Got rejected but got a book

This is different: I applied for a scholarship to a seminar (to attend the seminar for free instead of paying the big bucks), but I got rejected. I was sort of bummed, but I figured LIF (Life Isn't Fair) and moved on, even though I thought it was ironic that they wanted bloggers, and since I've had this blog for a while, they'd see I was legit. But I guess I'm not business-y enough for them.

Then yesterday, I received a book that was about the topic they were going to discuss, and basically they said thanks for applying, here's a book, feel free to review it on Amazon. So I started reading it and it's not bad, but I think I'm going to review it elsewhere online because it's easier to do that.

That was the first time that happened: getting rejected from something but getting a freebie for at least trying. So now I'm thinking that maybe life isn't so unfair after all :D


Didn't recognize Ethiopian

I screwed up today: I saw someone drinking a Coke with a non-English script on it (I think it's an Olympics-related series), and I couldn't figure out what it was. I thought it was Burmese, but the Coke's owner said it was Ethiopian. Which I should've recognized, because I did a post a while ago about how pretty Ethiopian was. I'm going to attribute that mind slippage to lack of sleep and a full plate of non-language things to do :D


Travel shows

Even though I love traveling (though I haven't been able to do it very much in recent years), I'm not a fan of travel shows. I'm interested in what they're talking about and want to discover new places, even if it's just via the TV, but what I find annoying is when the host does everything, to let us know, "Watch me--I'm having a great time!"

Yesterday I was watching something about Southeast Alaska, and I thought we were going to get different information and insight into the isolated life there. But we ended up getting images of the host introducing himself to the people, and in other scenes, he was struggling to drill holes and attempt difficult tasks. I'd much rather see information and images of the people in Alaska doing things, not the host bumbling through, giving us running commentary of his struggle.

Other shows will show the host swimming or taking crazy rides, exclaiming "I'm so scared!" or eating food, saying "This is delicious!" Well duh, it's supposed to be--I don't have to watch you eating it to understand that concept.

The "host having a good time in front of your eyes" structure must work, otherwise they wouldn't use such a gimmick in so many shows, on various stations. But it still doesn't make me want to watch.