Jan. 14th, 2013

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Sorry, revsolutions. Normally I don't really bother with these, but lets see how these work out, OK? They're not exactly huge life changes in any case. )
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I've just added "The Meaning of Tingo" to the pile of books to be got rid of.

I can only assume that the "Absolutely Delicious" attributed to Stephen Fry on the cover was either relating to something else entirely, or an explanation that the best thing to do with the book was shred it finely and use it to add some bulk to your "absolutely delicious" cheesy mash.

The author starts off by observing that the Albanians have "no fewer than twenty-seven words for [...] mustache, ranging from mustaqe madh, meaning bushy, to mustaqe posht, one which droops down at both ends."

That's not 27 words for mustache. It's 27 adjectives that can be used to describe mustaches, like "bushy", "extravagant", "feeble", and so on. I suspect that with a bit of effort, anyone likely to be reading this could come up with at least another 24 examples in English.

And it didn't honestly get any better from there. Well, I suppose possibly it did, but I got bored after trying half a dozen dips that weren't any more interesting or revelatory. Spanish, he reveals, has a word to describe the job of someone who is paid to climb telegraph poles and fix problems with the wires at the top. So does English ("Lineman" is the correct technical term), but presumably he doesn't know that. (Possibly because the specialised job has now largely disappeared and been subsumed into the more general purpose "Engineer", leaving Lineman little-used). I'd expect a decent modern dictionary to still contain the older term (and, on checking, my Concise OED does indeed give it with that meaning, followed by one to do with sport). Did you know some languages have words to distinguish between food that's "stale" and food that's "rotting"? It may sound amazing, but it's true!


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