Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Take the Dialect Survey. Yes, you all...or you guys...y'

Even though the maps are disabled temporarily, it will make you stop to think a bit about the way you speak and where you picked up your dialect's idiosyncrasies.

The further along in the survey I got, the more I began to understand that I've learned a lot of esoteric vernacular by living in very linguistically distinct and geographically widely-dispersed cities and towns-- so I know what a drive-through liquor store looks like, but have no special word for it; and I call it a 'crayfish' but spell it 'crawfish' and when catching them as a child would go out with friends who called them 'crawdads'.

I think this makes me an argot mutt.

It's too bad that my birthday is already past... I'd love a number 8.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
From now on, I swear, I'll treat my lighting with respect and compassion.

Monday, October 07, 2002
Someone's been reading J.T. Leroy, I think.

Sunday, October 06, 2002
Every once in a long while, you're in the right place at the right time to witness something strange occur where it normally never does.

Case in point: watching LWT (which is ITV on the weekends)-- and yes, I'm still angry with them over l'affaire Hazel (see below)-- when I hear the cello-deep tones of their regular weekend announcer, faceless to the world, announcing her upcoming retirement from the job she's held forever. At the end, she signed off with her name-- Trish Bertram-- and I've managed to track down a photo and a voice sample so that you can hear her gorgeous voice once more before she shuffles off to Voiceover Valhalla.

Speaking of the South:

I honestly don't know what's more depressing-- the fact that Chickenman is from the same place where I went to high school, or the fact that he states that one of his goals is 'Edctutating'. I guess when life as a power washer doesn't pan out, there's always poultry.

But the movies of him with the chickens are hilarious.

For once, I'm in the know about something juicy that won't be on television until tomorrow (well today actually, as it's 3.30 in the morning)-- it seems that the cliffhanger about one of the Popstars: The Rivals being given the boot is exactly what you expected, but not for the reasons you expected.

Hazel (the turgidly pregnant one) has been dismissed, not because of her pregnancy, but because she's been discovered to be 10 days too old.

Honestly now, this is just like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion.

Anyone up for a rousing chorus of 'We Shall Overcome' at the ITV headquarters? (Note that I'm not even linking to them.)

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
In response to the recent mini- fracas over the disconnect between perceived Southern (US) gentility and Northern (US) crassness, I was thinking about weighing in-- explaining how my experience of being sprouted in the North and then hothoused in the South taught me to appreciate being insider and outsider to Dixie.

But really, everything I ever learned about North/South tsouris came from my favourite short story, written 82 years ago by a man with a wife named Zelda (there's also a link to the full text of the story on the page).

Tuesday, October 01, 2002
So here it is-- the first aliquot of course material from MIT's ambitious Open Course project. They've promised to have nearly full inclusion of every course offered there by 2007.

Some of the course content looks fantastic (viz. Graduate Biochemistry), and some of it looks pretty anaemic (viz. all their economics offerings). It will take more than this small sample to really get a good sense of how successful this programme might be, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they'll fill out the offerings in short order.

This may well be the face of higher education's future.

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