Writing Shanghainese

May. 25th, 2016 06:21 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

The recent discussion of different ways of writing Chinese reminded Jeff K of two books of Shanghai expressions that he had come across.  See here for scans of a few pages.

The first only provides English and Chinese characters (Hanzi), and is nearly useless for anyone who wants to learn to actually speak the Shanghai topolect, while the second provides English, Hanzi, and two different types of pronunciation guides, so would be much more useful for someone who is serious about learning to speak Shanghainese.

During the 80s, I was in touch with Dunwoody Press, the publisher of these books and many other dictionaries and textbooks for the study of less commonly taught languages.  I visited their offices in Maryland and told them that, while I was very grateful for their works on Sinitic languages, I hoped that they would always provide transcriptions, not just give characters and English translations.  Also, I encouraged them to use a single sort alphabetical order, which I had long advocated, but had not yet published on, nor had I realized it in any dictionaries or other reference works of my own.

Not long thereafter, my call for a Mandarin-English dictionary in single sort alphabetical order went out as the very first issue of Sino-Platonic Papers in February of 1986:  "The Need for an Alphabetically Arranged General Usage Dictionary of Mandarin Chinese: A Review Article of Some Recent Dictionaries and Current Lexicographical Projects" (free pdf). Not long thereafter, with the help of John DeFrancis and other friends, we published our first dictionary in that arrangement, the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary from the University of Hawaii Press.  There are now many other dictionaries in that series, including An Alphabetical Index to the Hanyu Da Cidian (2004).  For a description of the complete (and continuing) ABC Chinese Dictionary Series, see here.

While we can all be grateful to Dunwoody for the transcriptions in their second book on Shanghainese, they are too elaborate to be practical for use as a regular romanization.  For that I would recommend the system of Richard VanNess Simmons described in this post and the comments thereto:

"Shanghainese" (5/16/13)

See also Simmons' Shanghainese-English/English-Shanghainese Dictionary & Phrasebook .Those who would like to hear a good chunk of Shanghainese as read out by three different native speakers may listen to the recordings in the post cited above.

[syndicated profile] thesartorialist_feed

Posted by The Sartorialist


Angelo Bonati, CEO Officine Panerai 


I was very honored to be invited to Panerai’s Florence exhibition “Dive into Time”, for the premiere of their LUMINOR DUE watch, the newest and most slimmed down version of their iconic Luminor design.


I probably knew less about watches than almost anyone else there, which no doubt led to a bigger reaction from me than anyone else, when I saw the incredible precision and craftsmanship it takes to make a watch like this.


However I have to admit, like most of these events, although I’m very curious and interested in the product, I’m usually struck by the people that surround and create great craftsmanship. Mr. Bonati (photo above), is what I would consider your typical ideal of an Italian gentleman (if something like an Italian gentleman could ever be typical). Soft-spoken and gentle until the subject of his passion, in this case watches or apparently boats are brought up, and then you see the classic Italian passion ignite.


I learned a lot about high end timepieces that day. I won’t try to make you feel small by spouting out how much I know (this might cover for not being able to pronounce or spell most of the words), but I will let the images below speak to what a charming occasion and what charming people Panerai invited to the event. Also sending a big thanks to everyone involved, hopefully we’ll have the chance to participate in another event soon with this wonderful team and company.



Francesca from Panerai


Carlo Montanaro, director of THE LIFE, Italian Magazine


 Wei Koh, founder of Revolution and The Rake Magazines.


The Bakery At The End Of The Universe

May. 25th, 2016 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks2_feed

Posted by Jen

[announcer voice]

Here at The Bakery At The End Of The Universe, we want our intergalactic guests to have a personal connection with their cakes. That's why all our sugary creations are given sentience before serving, so they can introduce themselves before dessert!



To begin your End Of The Universe experience, you'll be treated to the sweetest song and dance number this side of Betelgeuse - and our petit-fours almost always finish before crying and/or spitting up their last meals!


Next, the parade of pastry, as each of our delectable kitchen creations tries to convince you to eat them first!


They're so happy you're here!


They can't wait to be picked!

Those are tears of joy, promise!



Once you've picked your lucky morsel, it will be whisked to the back for a quick, joyous farewell:


....then painlessly chopped up and plated for your dining pleasure:


Now that's sweet!

Yes, The Bakery At The End Of The Universe guarantees a dessert you'll remember for all your lifetimes. So come on by! Starships and Vogon liners welcome. Intergalactic AAA discounts available. Reservations recommended.

You monsters.


Thanks to Anony M., John D., Katherine R., Baillie L., Bailey D., Joy M., Rachel L., & Kevin F. for helping me celebrate Towel Day like a total hoopy frood. Now I'm off to eat a salad.


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Daily Happiness

May. 25th, 2016 12:39 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. I actually got out of work on time! And since the accounting lady is back from her trip to Japan, and we now have an assistant accounting lady, which means that I no longer have to do the accounting on the main accounting lady's day off, I will have an extra hour to hour and a half tomorrow that I would have been doing accounting stuff, so I should probably be able to come home on time tomorrow, too! Tuesday and Wednesday are the days where I almost always end up staying late, so it's always a pleasant surprise to come home on time.

2. I finished another manga chapter. That's it for all the stuff I "need" to release this month, I think. Now to concentrate on other stuff for the last few days of the month. :D

3. I was poking around Amazon trying to think of something to get my mom for her birthday and saw they had the first two seasons of Murder She Wrote for $10 each, so I got her those. Plus they had Prime next day shipping so I ordered last night and they arrived today!

4. I'm trying to stop drinking soda again and today I managed to get through the day without any. Now if I can just keep this up.

5. Molly face!

[syndicated profile] deardesigner_feed

Posted by deardesigner


What does it take to entice us off of the sofa and away from our on-line shopping habits these days? We’re so used to getting everything we need at the touch of a button or a click of a mouse, we’ve forgotten the pleasure of browsing, touching, feeling, in a real life shop. We’ve forgotten the thrill of finding something unexpected. The anticipation of watching it lovingly wrapped. And then the joy of taking it home. There and then.

catesby's exterior

Shops have to be more than a place to buy these days. To weather the retail storms they have to offer more. Be a destination. Offer something extra. They have to entice you in, and get you to stay. And then keep you coming back.

catesbys-independent interiors retailer

And that’s exactly what Catesby’s have been doing for the past five years. An independent home interiors brand, they are situated in a 17th Century town house in the heart of Cambridge. Instagram moment anyone? Their aesthetic is timeless, tranquil interiors with French, Belgian and Scandinavian influences. And their philosophy is inspired by the French concept of l’art de vivre, or The Art of Living. It’s the antithesis of ‘fast retail’, they prefer to encourage their customers to buy less and love it longer.

catesbys-interiors store

When sourcing, they cast their net wider to source hard-to-find products with a story to tell, and they collaborate with designer-makers to produce exclusive products.

And if that’s not enough to tempt you in, they have an in-house cafe with an emphasis on locally-sourced produce.

And they do sell on-line too!

Catesby’s, 10 Green Street, Cambridge, CB2 3JU

Setting injustice back

May. 25th, 2016 05:09 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Mitch Albom, "Austin pastor’s false cake charge sets real injustice back", Dallas Morning News 5/23/2016:

Brown set back every future case of intolerance, allowing critics to ask if it’s real or fabricated.

As Albom's column explains, Jordan Brown is the openly gay pastor who accused the bakery at Whole Foods of adding an anti-gay slur to the decoration of a cake that he ordered there. Store surveillance video from the check-out line demonstrated that part of his story was false,  and eventually he confessed to having fabricated the claim.

What motivated Vance Koven to send in this link  was the use of the verb set back in the headline and the body of Albom's column. Wiktionary defines the relevant sense of set back as "to delay or obstruct"– and Albom obviously meant that Brown's attempt at deception will delay or obstruct future campaigns against the type of "injustice" or "intolerance" that Brown claimed to have suffered.

But Albom's column leaves out the "campaigns against" part, so he ends up asserting that Brown's lies delay or obstruct intolerance, rather than delaying or obstructing  campaigns against intolerance.

Although there's no overt negation involved, this seems similar to the phenomenon of misnegation. Here we have valence oppositions between truth and lies, tolerance and intolerance, action and reaction — and just as with instances of misnegation, it's easy to lose track of how the semantic equation comes out in the end.

It wouldn't surprise me to find other examples of the same reversal of values. But a scanning a few dozen example of sequences like "set back every" or "set back the" in recent news stories, I don't find any.

I wondered whether words like injustice and intolerance have come to have extended meanings along the lines of "campaigns against injustice/intolerance".  But no — I don't think Mitch Albom would identify himself as "supporting injustice" or "supporting intolerance", as opposed to "supporting campaigns against injustice" or "supporting campaigns against intolerance".


Rapping Karl Marx in China

May. 25th, 2016 02:20 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

In Sixth Tone, Fan Yiying has written an article that leaves me reeling:

"Hip Song Gives Karl Marx Good Rap:  Theme music for a Marx-focused television show is a hit with Chinese youth."

The video of the song is posted here (unfortunately, you have to wait 40 seconds to get through the ads). And here is the audio:

The conceit that Marx is a millennial ("Mǎkèsī shì jiǔlíng hòu 马克思是九零后 [Marx belongs to the Post-90s generation]", the title of the song) is not what strikes me most about this song, nor is the irony of using postmodern Western rap to promote communism.  What hit me hardest about this song is the sheer amount of English they mix in — lots!  Furthermore, in light of the vigorous discussions about the use of Pinyin and the emergence of digraphia on Language Log over the course of the last week, the use of Pinyin in the midst of Chinese characters in the subtitles to write the most frequent Mandarin morpheme, de 的 (particle for showing possession, nominalization, and relativization), really stands out.

We have often cited instances of mixing Chinese and English for special effect and also of using Pinyin when one forgets how to write various characters, and we have also touched upon the use of romanization or other phonetic symbols for high frequency morphemes in Taiwanese, Cantonese, and other topolects for which there are no known characters.  But what would prompt rappers to use "de" for 的 smack dab in the middle of a Mandarin sentence (actually it happens in two successive sentences, which are repeated twice more the same way later in the song for a total of six times)?  What is that telling us about the state of writing in China today? That it's cool to use Pinyin to write the most frequent morpheme in Mandarin?

This is but the latest in a series of CCP-sponsored, youth-oriented, propaganda songs modeled after contemporary Western musical genres.  See also:

"The mysteries of 13.5 " (10/27/15) (that one is in English with just a little bit of [badly pronounced] Mandarin mixed)

This Week in Fandom, Volume 10

May. 24th, 2016 04:33 pm
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by James Baxter with a calendar icon and the text This Week in Fandom on a white background

‪‎This Week in Fandom‬: Aussie Intellectual Property, ‪#‎SaveAgentCarter‬, Gillian Anderson Tumblr Q&A, and fandom "trash" linguistics: http://bit.ly/25f6ETy
[syndicated profile] thesartorialist_feed

Posted by The Sartorialist



**UPDATE: Click here for the live streaming link, if you can’t make it to the talk in person!


Finally I get a chance to introduce my audience to Amy Arbus, a woman whose book “On the Street”, is made up of a collection of images she took for The Village Voice, from 1980 to 1990. She shot street style before it was called “street style.”


Even though her choice of subject and style of photography is very different from mine, I’ve always found it very inspiring and it helps me to understand how I want people to look at my images both today and 10, 20, & 30 years into the future.


So please join us at The Strand TOMORROW to hear Amy and myself discuss  fashion, photography, and street style, over the last 30 years.


Event Details:


Rare Book Room (3rd Floor)

828 Broadway

New York, NY 10003

WEDNESDAY May 25th 7-8pm




Harry Potter slash or gen fic

May. 24th, 2016 10:38 am
[personal profile] devon
I've been reading the wonderful Harry Potter stories that Astolat has been posting recently, and I am now more interested in Harry/Draco. Where can I find some of the good, old classics?

Stuff that has plot *and* porn? I don't really mind the proportions of the two, but I prefer at least 25% plot. I really enjoy the use of magic and things that came from the books but didn't make it to the movies, plus magic that has been created by fans. I know there were many, many, long Harry/Draco stories back in the day. The question is: do you remember any of them fondly? Is there a resource besides AO3 where I can find recs without having to wade through a list of thousands?

thanks so much in advance! Any recs are welcome!

edit to add: Gen is okay, also. Or Hermione/someone appropriate. Or light romance withot porn.

If you care at all, I can rec some Teen Wolf stories according to your preferences. I've been going through a lot of them. I know many good ones that don't include any A/B/O, plus a few good ones that do.


May. 24th, 2016 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks2_feed

Posted by Jen

I once mentioned on Twitter how much I love rainy days, because I never have to go outside. Then I might have said something about going 5 or 6 days without leaving the house, and hellooooo, Judgey McJudgersons!

Look, internet people, I don't need your pity. I HAVE CATS.

Besides, I DO leave the house on occasion. Sometimes even voluntarily. However, with Florida basically a giant steam sauna filled with mosquitoes right now, I prefer getting my sunshine through a window - and with the A/C at full blast, thankyouverymuch.

Some people think a lack of live social interaction can make you go a little funny in the head, but I say the opposite is true. In fact, every day I see perfectly socialized bakers churning out silent, frosting-soaked pleas for psychological intervention:

The sign says, "Turkey shaped cake." Tell me this isn't a cry for help.


And I'm not talking about special orders here, where you could understand, say, Darth Vader riding a My Little Pony. I'm talking the stuff they put out in the display cases, for all the world to see and quietly back away from, being careful to make no sudden movements.  

We call it, "Someone please just make the voices stop screaming."

[P.S. - Two words: "Blue boobs."]
[You're welcome.]


And now, edible ghost chickens, because, yeah, that's perfectly normal:

 "Bok Bok B'WoooOOOooo!"


The person who made this deals with people all day. 


Let's all take a moment to really let this one sink in:


This, too:

 And these:

Let's just say I wouldn't invite this baker over to babysit.

(Why are there ghost flies around the edge? And two monsters hiding beside the crib? WHY?)


For all the days I've spent peacefully working at home, it's never once occurred to me to make edible toes out of gummi rabbits. 

...and that almost makes me sad; I bet this baker's head would be a fun place to visit.


I clearly remember my pre-blog days, of course, back when I had "normal," people-riddled work places. The worst was the return desk at a TJ Maxx. After a day of dealing with deranged customers who insisted the waffle iron that still had waffles in it was "never used," I'm pretty sure even these would've looked like a good idea:

The trick is to eat them before they start talking.

So remember, extroverts, before you judge us hermits hiding behind the blinds and dressing our cats as Stargate characters, sometimes getting out of the house isn't always the answer.

Sometimes people just do better on their own. 

And sometimes the mutant Strawberry Ladybug thing just needs to die.



Hey Jill E., Niomi W., Anony M., Brocha S., Kelly W., Susan K., Carolyn T., Bethany, & Dani S, party at my place? Doctor Meow-Kay and Tail-La would love to meet you!


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

About those grilled fevers…

May. 24th, 2016 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

From Steve Kass:

My brother is traveling in Portugal and posted this on Instagram. That’s all I know.

I bet our readers can figure out what Portuguese words were naively mistranslated to create this list — and perhaps even finger the dictionary or translation app responsible.

For example, I suspect that "Interspersed" might be a mistranslation of (the Portuguese word for) mixed in "mixed grill", which I guess would be "misturado". But Google Translate — often the villain in cases like this — shows no interest in rendering misturado as "interspersed".

Daily Happiness

May. 24th, 2016 01:11 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. I had a nice, relaxing day off.

2. I got another chapter of manga finished, as well as some other stuff. Not as productive as I had hoped to be, but whatever.

3. I finished reading another book! That makes a whopping six this year, but considering how dire the last several years have been for me readingwise, I'm pretty excited about it.

4. I finally got my ballot filled out and mailed. As always, I'm eternally grateful to live in a state where you can vote by mail. It just makes things so much easier.

5. Lately Chloe has been enjoying this box that [personal profile] kiwimusume sent her all the way from Japan.

Summer Aubergine Rolls

May. 24th, 2016 07:39 am
[syndicated profile] greenkitchenstories_feed

Posted by Green Kitchen Stories


Hi friends, today we are sharing a dinner recipe that we prepared over the weekend. Some of you might recognize these aubergine rolls as they are a summery version of our Involtini di Melanzane recipe. It has always been one of our favorites and there is also a winter version of it in our Green Kitchen Travels cookbook.

This one has a brighter and tangier filling than the original and is baked without the tomato sauce. The filling is made with a mix of asparagus, rhubarb, pesto, pistachios, feta cheese, raisins and cooked quinoa. It is a really delicious filling that could also be served on its own (but it looks so much more impressive tucked inside the aubergine rolls). We served the rolls with a green salad drizzled with a little yogurt dressing. It was totally delicious and would be quite an impressive dish to do if you have friends coming over for dinner. I know we always say this, but do save some time (and effort) and let everybody get involved and help roll. Cooking and eating is so much more fun when the experience is shared.



We also have some news about upcoming events.

  1. First of all, we are going to Lisbon this coming Sunday (29 May) to promote the Portuguese edition of our first book. We will be doing some interviews and a talk and book signing in the Praça Leya at the Lisbon book fair. The talk is at 7 pm. We’d love to meet some of our Portuguese readers there, so please come by and chat with us!
  2. We also wanted to share some more dates for our exciting launch of Green Kitchen Smoothies in London.
    We will be doing a supper club and Q&A with Mae Deli x Deliciously Ella on Tuesday 7th June and tickets can be booked here (only a few left!). We will also be talking at the Good Roots Festival on Saturday 11th June but unfortunately that is already sold out. There will be one or two more opportunities to get your books signed and have a chat and we will announce those as soon as we have more info.




Summer Aubergine Rolls stuffed with Quinoa, Rhubarb & Asparagus

2 large aubergines, thinly sliced (approx. 24 slices in total)
olive oil, to brush
sea salt
2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
10 asparagus spears, thinly sliced

½ cup / 100 g uncooked quinoa or 2 cups cooked quinoa (any color)
1 cup / 250 ml water
1 large pinch sea salt

1 cup pesto dressing (see end note)
50 g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
150 g feta cheese, crumbled
1 handful raisins

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Arrange the aubergine slices (not overlapping) on two baking trays lined with baking paper. Use a pastry brush to brush each slice with a thin layer of olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until very soft and golden. Thinly slice the rhubarb and asparagus and spread out on another baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven and bake for 5-8-minutes, or until soft and juicy.

Meanwhile cook the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa in a saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat immediately and simmer for about 15 minutes, set aside. When slightly cooled, stir through ¾ of the pesto dressing, ¾ of the chopped pistachios nuts, ½ of the feta cheese and raisins. Then carefully fold in the baked rhubarb and asparagus.

Roll the aubergine: Place the grilled aubergine, one by one, in front of you. Add a large spoonful of the quinoa mixture at the bottom of it and roll up lengthwise away from you. Place the rolls on a baking tray with baking paper. Scatter over the remaining feta cheese, a drizzle of the pesto dressing and sprinkle with the chopped pistachio nuts. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C/400°F. Ready to serve. Serve with a simple green salad of choice and drizzle with yogurt. Enjoy!

Note about the pesto dressing: If you make a batch of homemade pesto, simply add more olive oil and lemon juice to make it thinner. Alternatively buy a store-bought pesto and thin it out with more olive oil and lemon juice.

Firestorm over Chinese characters

May. 23rd, 2016 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

It began with a one page think piece by Ted Chiang in the New Yorker (5/16/16) that we describe and discuss here:

"Ted Chiang uninvents Chinese characters" (5/13/16)

That very quickly led to a withering critique against Chiang by Tom Mullaney, essentially accusing him of "(self-)Orientalizing" (which is meant to be pejorative, for those who are not familiar with the works of Edward Said and his epigones):

"Chinese Is Not a Backward Language:  Critics who say it's unfit for the PC or the iPad are peddling a rebooted version of Orientalism."  (5/12/16)  (That's not what Chiang's essay is about.  Aside from his misplaced complaints about Orientalism, on the technological merits of his argument, see especially this comment by J. M. Unger, author of The Fifth Generation Fallacy [Oxford 1897] and Ideogram [2003])

David Moser then offered the following reply to Mullaney:

"Backward Thinking about Orientalism and Chinese Characters" (5/16/16)

Moser's rebuttal not only elicited a tremendous response from Language Log readers, a debate that is still going on as of this moment, it also led to a vigorous flurry of give-and-take on many different forums for Chinese language, history, and culture studies.  Some of the rhetoric was over the top and missed the point of Ted Chiang's original essay, which is where the current ruction all began.

More than one participant stated that Chiang's problems with the characters must have resulted from a bad experience at Chinese weekend schools, as though he were just bellyaching about having to memorize hundreds of characters.  Before we reduce Ted Chiang's imaginative counterfactual hypothesis to such a simplistic level of personal grievance, we need to put it in the context of exactly who he is and what might have motivated him to write on this particular topic when he was invited by the New Yorker, along with five other notable authors, to contribute to their symposium on uninvention.

Ted Chiang, as was pointed out by myself and several commenters to the first Language Log post introducing his New Yorker essay, is one of America's most distinguished and most highly appreciated science fiction writers.  If he were not a creative thinker and skillful writer, he could not have achieved such a status.  Consequently, we should not reduce his counterfactual hypothesis to a petty gripe against having to memorize hundreds of characters, much less to some sort of benighted self-orientalizing.

I am intimately acquainted with Chinese weekend schools, because my son went to them, my wife occasionally taught in them, and the children of many of my Chinese friends also attended them.  From hanging around these schools for many years, it was obvious that most of the kids really didn't like to attend them, but they submitted to them out of filial duty or fear that if they didn't go their parents would be really angry with them.  The parents would often show me the certificates declaring that their son or daughter had memorized / learned / mastered so many hundred characters, a thousand characters, and in one case I remember vividly, the father and mother proudly showed me a certificate which stated that their son had memorized 2,000 characters (he was a character memorizing champ [guànjūn 冠軍] at that school).  The boy hated it, and now he is in his forties and can only write a handful of characters.

Now, if someone like Ted Chiang would rather not submit to that sort of rote, purposeless memorization, his resistance has meaning and repercussions.  It's not simply that he was unfilial or lacking in stamina for aimless memorization, it may well be that his mind had a higher vision and he did not want to be constrained by an activity that  he, young though he was, considered to be a waste of his time and his spirit.

In "The future of Chinese language learning is now" (4/05/14), I related how, when I began to learn Mandarin, I fiercely resisted having to memorize characters, and I explained how I eventually did learn them, in a much more benign and user-friendly fashion than was the custom in regular classes.  In the same post, I also recount how my wife, Chang Li-ching — whom I always say was one of the best Chinese language teachers ever to walk the face of the earth — told me that her most brilliant students at the University of Washington (Seattle), Harvard, Penn, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford resisted having to memorize characters.  Like me, they wanted to learn the language.  The failure to distinguish between Chinese characters and Sinitic languages is one that plagues pedagogy and polemics alike — and it lies at the very heart of the Chiang-Mullaney-Moser tangle.

The second half of "The future of Chinese language learning is now" (4/05/14) summarizes a lecture titled "Is Character Writing Still a Basic Skill?  The New Digital Chinese Tools and their Implications for Chinese Learning" given at Penn on April 1, 2014 by David Moser.  This should prove useful for those who are searching for the most advanced and enlightened ways to deal with Chinese characters.

Moser also has an exciting book from Penguin that has just been published:

A Billion Voices: China's Search for a Common Language

It may not be available in some parts of the world yet, but I think you can find it on Kindle from Amazon Australia.  Only a hundred pages long, A Billion Voices is a tour de force packed with insights and information about key issues pertaining to language and script in China.

And now the Chiang-Mullaney-Moser thread has made it into Chinese; someone did (fairly good) translations/condensations of all three articles.

[Thanks to Kathlene Baldanza]

On the Street…Malasaña, Madrid

May. 23rd, 2016 03:52 pm
[syndicated profile] thesartorialist_feed

Posted by The Sartorialist



A beautiful day in Malasaña, Madrid last week!


I love the tats and the dress but it’s the delicacy of her hands that is so alluring. If you know any Spanish ladies with a dance background then you know just how beautifully they’ve learned to move their hands.

A Reptile Dysfunction

May. 23rd, 2016 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks2_feed

Posted by Jen

In honor of World Turtle Day, let's take a moment to meet some of the lesser known turtle cake varieties.

Because nature is beautiful, people.


The Slimy Nope Tail:

Also collects spores, molds, and fungus!


Snootless Flipper Swaddles:

They do a mean sloppy swish.


The Hardboiled Nubby-Teeter:

The candy coating makes it go down easier.


The Majestic Elephant-Pawed Flirpity Floo:

So named for its magnificent flirpity-floos.


The Squeaky Noodle Squelcher:

Watch out; they squeak!


Hypno Danger Piddle:

Try not to stare.


And finally, and most majestic:

The Dong-Headed Stumpy Trunks:

Truly the pokiest of them all.


Thanks to Kathryn S., Shannon K., Megan B., Liz K., Kyna H., Jamie L., & Sara M. for really coming out of their shells.


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Stone Service

May. 23rd, 2016 10:44 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

I'm in Portorož, Slovenia, for LREC2016; and so far the most interesting linguistic aspect of the place is the sometimes-surprising mixture of languages on signs. For example:

The longer explanation of the side of the van is in Slovenian — Restavriranje, brušenje, čiščenje in impregnacije naravnega kamna = "Restoration, grinding, cleaning and impregnation of natural stone". But the short version is in English: STONE SERVICE.

Skosal seems to be a Slovenian company,  and I'm not aware that sawing up pavement — which is what Skosal's workers were doing — is a characteristically British or American domain of activity. For that matter, it's not clear that "Stone Service" is what a British or American company would call this kind of work.

Maybe some readers can explain the motivation behind this particular signage code-switching, or the general framework that it lives in.


Daily Happiness

May. 23rd, 2016 12:58 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. Really looking forward to my day off tomorrow!

2. I've been doing some redrawing/typesetting the past couple days and remembering how much I enjoy that aspect of scanlating. It's faster if I just do the translating and farm out the rest to a bunch of people, but I do enjoy it. (The person I was going to work on Baby, Kokoro no Mama ni! with seems to have crapped out on me so I've decided to just do it myself.)

3. I have such cutie kitties.

[syndicated profile] deardesigner_feed

Posted by deardesigner


I wish I’d termed the phrase ‘Nordic Nomadic’ but I’m afraid I can’t take the credit. It does so perfectly encapsulate this global trend which has been beautifully realised by Barker and Stonehouse.


Credit for main image: Fayette Maxi Sofa in Leather/Fabric Mix, £3,285

This image: San Quentin Cascade Sideboard, £1,055; Fayette Midi Split Sofa in Leather, £3,139; Skull with Horns, £299; Matt Grey Lace Detail Lamp, £59; Biba Vase, £29; Crackle Hyde Vase 27cm, £15; Alba Vase 41cm, £59; Recycled Raffia Vase 31cm, £18; Autumn Leaves Print, £35; Belle Rug 120x170cm, £150

This latest collection captures the excitement of the exotic with reclaimed woods, eclectic accessories and rich textures. There are distressed leather sofas, faux fur rugs, geometric prints and carved furniture. All tempered by a colour palette straight from Northern climes. You could be in a souk in Marrakesh, a lodge in the Serengeti or a temple in India. You can pretend to visitors that you are well travelled and worldly wise.

I won’t let your secret out.


Top: Rustic Wooden Bowls, £35;  Calabash Bowls, £49

Bottom Left: San Quentin Cascade Sideboard, £1055; Skull with Horns, £299; Matt Grey Lace Detail Lamp, £59; Biba Vase, £29; Crackle Hyde Vase 27cm, £15; Alba Vase 41cm, £59; Recycled Raffia Vase 31cm, £18; Autumn Leaves Print, £35

Bottom Right: San Quentin Wynn Side Table, £295; Matt Grey Lace Detail Lamp, £59; Biba Vase, £29; Crackle Hyde Vase 27cm, £15


San Quentin Ruskin Small Bench, £285; Shard 50cm cushion, £30; Dorado Cushion, £20; Rustic Wooden Bowls, £35; Solas Rug 120x180cm, £189, Calabash Bowls, £49


Top Left: Moroccan Hanging Pendant, £99; San Quentin Cascade Sideboard, £1055; Matt Grey Lace Detail Lamp, £59; Biba Vase, £29; Crackle Hyde Vase 27cm, £15; Alba Vase 41cm, £59; Recycled Raffia Vase 31cm, £18; Autumn Leaves Print, £35


Whiteleaf Kingsize Bedframe, £1065; Whiteleaf Bedside Table, £215


Left: Whiteleaf Upcycled Chest of 6 Drawers, £669; Loch Sloy Print, £32; Industrial Wire Table Lamp, £99; Biba Vase, £29; Crackle Hyde Vase 27cm, £15; Autumn Leaves Print, £35; Sloan Rug 120x170cm, £99

Right: Whiteleaf Kingsize Bedframe, £1065; Whiteleaf Wardrobe, £1135

All from Barker and Stonehouse.

The uses of Hanyu pinyin

May. 22nd, 2016 08:45 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

Hànyǔ pīnyīn 汉语拼音 ("Sinitic Spelling") is the official romanization of the PRC.  It also comes with an official orthography which provides guidelines for word separation, punctuation, and how to deal with grammatical constructions.  An English translation of the basic orthographical rules by John Rohsenow can be found at the back of the various editions of the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary from the University of Hawai'i Press.

Despite the fact that pinyin has often been invoked, both by opponents and proponents of Chinese script reform, especially in the firestorm of discussions that has taken place on Language Log and in other venues during the past week, most people probably do not realize to what extent pinyin has already become an essential part of life in China.  To remedy that lack of understanding about what pinyin is actually used for every day, I will simply list a few of its applications in education, commerce, science, manufacturing, architecture, construction, and countless other fields.  There is no particular significance to the order in which I list these applications.

1. to teach children and illiterate adults the basics of reading and writing

2. archeologists use pinyin to designate cemeteries, tombs, houses, waste pits, and other elements of the sites they work on

3. in museum labels and catalogs, pinyin is used to annotate the pronunciation of very obscure terms for bronze vessels, weapons, etc.

4. to annotate the sounds of unfamiliar characters in written materials of all sorts

5. in advertising and on packaging

6. braille

7. semaphore

8. road signs

9. teaching Mandarin to non-native speakers

10. designating components and parts of items to be assembled

11.in mathematics, physics, and chemistry

12. in dialectology, phonology, and other sub-fields of linguistics

13. inputting texts in computers, cellphones, and other electronic devices

14. to write down expressions for which there are no known characters or for special effect, particularly on the internet

15. book titles, publication data, and cataloging

16. indices of books

17. ordering of dictionary and encyclopedia entries

18. spelling the names of Chinese citizens on passports and other official and unofficial documents

19. for retrieving passports of citizens who have applied for exit permits

See "Passport pickup by pinyin" (3/02/12)

20. ordering names in lists of people

When I first started studying Chinese 50 years ago, some of these latter functions did not yet use alphabetical ordering.  Instead they relied on radical plus residual stroke count, total stroke count, category, etc.  Increasingly, however, and especially in recent years, such ordering functions are being taken over by pinyin.  Naturally, pinyin's role as a device for transcription has only grown with time.

This is just to get the ball rolling.  I'm sure that Language Log readers can think of many other ways in which pinyin is used.

Incidentally, all of these applications contribute to the growth of digraphia in China.

[Thanks to Neil Kubler]

Scanlations: All Out!! ch. 7

May. 22nd, 2016 12:22 pm
[personal profile] torachan

Title: All Out!!
Author: Amase Shiori
Publisher: Morning Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Anima Regia
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Gion Kenji is short and perpetually pissed off about it. Iwashimizu Sumiaki is tall but timid. Although it's bullies that bring this unlikely pair together on the first day of high school, it's the rugby club that will make them friends.

Chapter Summary: Oharano decides to take things into his own hands, but is the rest of the team good enough to keep up with him?

Chapter 7: Good Rugby
[personal profile] cereta posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
DEAR ABBY: My family is colorful, to say the least. Many co­workers, neighbors, friends and in-laws have asked me why I haven't written a book about my life because of the stories I have told them over the years about my family. I have always wanted to, and feel there are enough stories to not only fill one book but several. Some of them are so funny, scary, sad and outrageous that I see a miniseries or a movie being possible.

My dilemma is how my brothers and sisters will react to my putting it all on paper and the world seeing it in print. I kept telling myself, "Just wait till Mom (many stories start with her) passes away, so she won't be hurt." Well, now she's gone.

What do you think? Should I write it all down or not? If the answer is yes, how do I tell my brothers and sisters? Or should I not tell them at all? -- FAMILY SECRETS

DEAR FAMILY SECRETS: If you would like to write the stories down, that's your privilege. However, if there is anything in them that could be hurtful or embarrassing to your relatives, I recommend you change all the names and locations, and publish it under a pen name. Some of the greatest writers of the past have done that with great success.

Bitchin Party con report

May. 22nd, 2016 12:25 pm
[personal profile] aethel
I used to go to all the panels at cons and take detailed notes and then go home and write them up ASAP. Then I decided that I was missing the entire point of cons and stopped doing that. I did actually jot down a few things at Bitchin Party this year, but I'm not sure what to make of them. For example: keerawa talking about writing John's healing cock as angsty -- "Who do I heal with my cock?!" That might have been in the inverted tropes panel.

Anyway, in April I attended my second Pacificon aka Bitchin Party aka "Pacific Writers' Conference" (the "official" printable name as given to the hotel). For the second time, Seattle was warm(er) and sunny, in direct contrast to Massachusetts; my flight home was delayed due to a snowstorm in Boston, so I hung out in the airport with akamine_chan and argentumlupine, later joined by lucifuge5 and mizface(?). romantical/Laura was the saint who made multiple trips to the airport to drop us off. So at this con I talked to lots of Bandom fans and other people I hadn't talked to before, but may or may not have been at the previous Pacificon. I also saw people I remembered from previous cons. But this was the last Pacificon, so I'll probably never see most of them again. So that's depressing.

Read more... )

Read more... )

Sunday Sweets: Rockin' Rockabilly

May. 22nd, 2016 01:01 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks2_feed

Posted by Jen

Pin some victory rolls in your hair and break out the red lipstick, ladies, 'cuz today we're going ROCKABILLY.

(By Rock Cakes)



Rockabilly is a style from the 1950s that keeps coming back, hipper than ever. There's a big rockabilly community in California, of course, but sometimes I spot those stylish lovelies even down here in Orlando. (Of course, usually they're at Disney... visiting from California.)

Rockabilly has a classic retro vibe mixed with punk rock edge that - who knew? - looks pretty dang Sweet on cake:

(By Laura Barton, I think. Anyone have a site for her?)


There are lots of elements to rockabilly: you've got a little classic 50s jukeboxes and milkshakes thang going:

(By It's A Piece Of Cake)


A dash of the retro bowling shirt crowd:

(By Sweet Heather Anne)


And a healthy smattering of classic tattoo art and cute lady pin-ups:

(By Ivana Guddo)


Cherries, polka dots, and checkerboard are popular:

(By Rebecca Sutterby)


And there's also a big nautical influence, which I'm really diggin':

(By CiccioCakes)


Check out this beauty someone's Super Mom got for Mother's Day:

(By Cake My Day)

A perfect homage to Rosie the Riveter!


It's probably no surprise that Rockabilly wedding cakes are on the rise:

(By Ben The Cake Man)



I love all these reds and blues:

(By Black Cherry Cake Company)


But if you really want your wedding to be rock-and-roll, then this is my fav:

(By Sassa's Bespoke Cakes)

Check out that shading! SO GOOD. It's like a painting coming to life... during a shreddy guitar solo. :D

Happy Sunday, everyone!


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Needed to be shared

May. 22nd, 2016 10:39 pm
[personal profile] vass
[quoted with permission]

vassraptor: I have been having a notcope because of the computer stuff
kaberett: I saw some of that yeah :-/
vassraptor: my executive function is a house of cards
vassraptor: and moving it to a different room or table does not work well
kaberett: it is DELICATE and PRECARIOUS and very attached to its niche, ugh
vassraptor: it's a panda.
vassraptor: my executive function is a panda
kaberett: ...
kaberett: that is a brilliant description and I am delighted
vassraptor: thank you! i got it from your "attached to its niche" thing
kaberett: :D
kaberett: flompy, useless, not very good at eating grass
vassraptor: needs to spend a lot of time and energy doing unproductive tasks to (barely) generate enough oomph to do anything else
vassraptor: not good at growing more executive functions

Daily Happiness

May. 22nd, 2016 02:13 am
[personal profile] torachan
1. I slept in this morning until like eleven. Guess I really needed to catch up on some sleep! Usually even on my days off/late days I don't really sleep in that long, so I was surprised. (And now tonight I'm going to bed pretty late again, lol, although this time I have the excuse of staying up to do actual work stuff, rather than just faffing about.)

2. There've been a lot of people sick at work lately, but thankfully I haven't caught anything. I had a bit of a sore throat last week one day and thought maybe that was the start of a cold, but it never went anywhere. Crossing my fingers this keeps up.

3. Look at this Chloe just chilling on the couch.

Myth & Moor update

May. 22nd, 2016 08:47 am
[syndicated profile] terriwindling_feed

Posted by Terri Windling

Tolkien at Oxford

Re-posting this in case anyone missed it:

I will be delivering the 4th Annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford University this Thursday at 6:30 pm. The Pembroke Fantasy lecture series "explores the history and current state of fantasy literature, in honour of JRR Tolkien, who wrote The Hobbit and much of The Lord of the Rings during his twenty years at the college." The lecture I'll be giving is Tolkien's Long Shadow: Reflections on Fantasy Literature in the Post-Tolkien Era. Admission is free, but you need to register for a ticket and space is limited. Go here for further details.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

I am taking a short break from Myth & Moor this coming week to deal with other pressing matters, and to prepare for Oxford. May 30th is a holiday here in Britain, so the Hound and I will be back on Tuesday, May 31st.

May 30th is also the date of the annual Two Hills Race here in Chagford, a gruelling route up and down two steep hills, with brambles and a bog in between. Our nine-year-old friend Fynn has decided to run this year to raise money to support wounded veterans. If you can spare a few pennies to pledge to this young man's heart-felt cause, it would encourage him greatly (and make those of us who care for him very happy too). The site takes Paypal and credit cards in any currancy, and even very small amounts are welcome. More info here.

Have a good and creative week.

At the gateIllustration by Arthur Rackham.

Light and shadow, part two

May. 21st, 2016 05:05 pm
[syndicated profile] terriwindling_feed

Posted by Terri Windling

Path 1

"When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening." - Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water)

Path 2

Path 3


I'd been looking forward to a solitary, calm, work-focused week while my husband was up in London...but it turned into one of crisis-management instead, the quiet of my creative voice drowned out by a louder chorus of life's demands. The stress level rose in my studio, and by Friday Tilly had clearly had enough. Normally if I'm too busy or tired for our morning walk she accepts it with good grace, but this time she would simply not give up. She stared and stared. She tapped my knee with her paw, eyes wide, her intention clear. She walked to the door and back, over and over, and then tapped me on the knee once more. And so, at last, I gave in, closed down the computer and laced up my boots.

Path 5

I followed her out the garden gate, through the woods and onto Nattadon Hill, carpeted now with bluebells and swaths of stitchwort like little white stars.

Path 6

Path 7

Work fell away. Words fell away. Heart-ache and worry slowly fell away too. We climbed, and climbed, the air tasting of flowers, and I grew a little lighter with every step. Re-discovering, as Madeleine L'Engle would say, time for being. And for listening.

Path 8

Path 9

Path 10

Path 11

Path 12

An hour later we came back down, following the path through wildflowers and bracken back to the studio. The problems pressing on me hadn't solved themselves, the work on my desk hadn't disappeared, and I wasn't magically flooded with new insight and energy for tackling both those things...but it was better. A subtle, almost imperceptible change, but it was enough.

Path 13

Path 14

As long there are moments of beauty on the hard, dark days, I know that I can keep on going.

Path 15

Path 16

And that you can too.

Path 18

Path 19

Path 20The Madeleine L'Engle quote is from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith & Art (Wheaton Literary Series, 2001). The poem in the picture captions is from Where Many Rivers Meet by David Whyte (Many Rivers Press, 2004). All rights reserved by the authors.


May. 21st, 2016 12:09 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Today's Pearls Before Swine explores the consequences of flapping and voicing in American English:

Grammatical error of the week

May. 21st, 2016 09:57 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

According to the 2016 Texas Republican Party platform (or more exactly, the "Report of the Permanent Committee on Platform and Resolutions as Amended and Adopted by the 2016 State Convention of the Republican Party of Texas"),

Homosexuality is a chosen behavior […] that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

Restoring the elided material:

Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

Structures of the form [[N that S] that S], where the second relative clause modifies the initial noun, are awkward but not uncommon. And in this case, the awkward structure is forced by  the plural noun truths and the singular auxiliary verb has. Plus the opportunity to mock mean and small-minded people.

Interestingly, the 2014 Texas Republican platform doesn't have this problem:

The corresponding clause from the 2016 platform:

This is not the first time that the anti-homosexual agenda in Texas has run into grammatical problems:

"Is marriage similar or identical to itself?", 11/2/2005
"Does marriage exist in Texas?", 11/19/2009


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