asher553: (Default)
Via an academic friend who wishes to remain anonymous:

'From ******** University's "Diversity of Human Experience" requirement guidelines: "In this scoring guide, 'diversity' refers to differences in ethnic, religious, and cultural perspectives, class, race, gender, age, sexual orientation and ability."

This term I had my students critique the university's stated educational requirements (alongside C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man). When we got to this sentence one student asked: "Is it just me, or would an Oxford comma be helpful here?"'
asher553: (Default)
"Sea salt" and "evaporated cane juice" are the health food industry's version of Don Draper's "toasted".

ANGLO

2013-02-27 17:55
asher553: (asher63)
I haven't decided yet whether to style it in all caps or not, but I've been working on a system to transliterate modern English into Hebrew characters. (Well, you WERE wondering what I do with my free time, weren't you?) (Don't laugh, somebody has got to do it.) Anyway, I call the system simply "Anglo". It's based on Yiddish and Modern Hebrew, but it is its own thing.

Details here:
http://anglohebrew.blogspot.com/
http://asher813.typepad.com/anglo_word_list/

The short vowels were the biggest challenge, because no other major language has to deal with the sounds of "cat in the hat" and "dot com" and "up above". Hebrew in particular is utterly unequipped for it. Vowels in general are the biggest problem. Modern Hebrew, like Spanish, has only five vowels (represented by three letters) whereas English has around 12 to 15.

This is mostly an idle pursuit for my own amusement, but it's not entirely without practical value. If you happen to be a native English speaker who has gone to Israel with a smattering of Hebrew, you know how desperately the Israelis need a consistent way of representing English words in Hebrew. Anyway, it's a work in progress, but there it is.
asher553: (Default)
After my last trip to Israel, I promised myself that I wouldn't let more than a year go by before doing it again. That was last November, this is October, and here I am.

I'm staying at a decent, budget hotel on Allenby Street in southern Tel Aviv, and I'm upstairs from a bar and two pizza shops. I get a kick out of this area because it's so much the opposite from the pictures of Israel that you see in tourist guides. Anyway, I'm not far from the bus station, and I expect I'll catch the 405 to Jerusalem in the next couple of days.

I've been sleeping intermittently since about 6pm. They had some loud music downstairs around 1 or 2am, I think the cops made them turn it down.

I'm feeling a LOT more comfortable getting around in Hebrew, this time around. Ate breakfast at the Bialik Cafe, on the hotel's voucher, then went back there for dinner. The waitress handed me an all-Hebrew menu so I really felt like a native. It's not a kosher place and I'm pretty sure Heh-Aleph-Mem spells "ham" (which figured prominently on most of the items), so I ended up getting a green salad, and that was pretty good.

It's probably safe to say there's not much that goes on in this neighborhood that's kosher, but if I can find a place that's K, or vegetarian, it'll make my life easier. Burger Ranch isn't vegetarian but it is K, and I'm thinking of checking it out. I'm going into carnivore mode for this trip.

But, no ham. Even if the menu is in Hebrew.
asher553: (Default)
If you're wondering about those cryptic verbal constructions I posted the other day, it's sort of an experiment, mostly a gimmick to jump-start my creativity. I wrote a Mathematica script to produce a series of random English words, and then selected and arranged words from the list - in other words, electronic refrigerator poetry. Milton it ain't, but it's strangely addictive.

In case you're curious, the Mathematica code for a 20-word list is

RandomChoice[DictionaryLookup[],20]

and it gives you something like

{rendering,Ham,reconnoiters,insulter,luvvie,confectionery,jounce,miscarries,untruth,starfruit,Iranian,cytology,sectaries,provender,affirmatives,shoved,weirdo,shoats,scrounger,excretions}

or

{foxily,unrewarding,congruous,indentations,discouragements,baht,chewiness,enduring,legrooms,sum,rhymester,modernist,Sherrie,surd,moues,orchestrated,piggy,Cameron,repentant,nightgown}

And now it's time to get out of my repentant nightgown and get ready for work.
asher553: (Default)
"Hi, this is Tracy at the agency, I just wanted to reach out to you and find out how the new job is going."

OK, I realize I've been out of circulation for a while.

But so help me. I will officially gag if I hear one more person in the office world talk about "reaching out" to me as if I were a wayward teenager.

Is this some new buzzphrase that's going around? I am deeply and desperately sick of it.

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