Feb 21, 2003

in which the merm makes a brief disappearance


Feb 14, 2003

Feb 12, 2003

Coca Cola- Bite the Wax Tadpole. Another urban legend related to translation.


Feb 7, 2003

Feb 5, 2003

From the February Issue of Vanity Fair. Tickle me, I'm not laughing.

Dear Dame Edna,
I would very much like to learn a foreign language, preferably French or Italian, but every time I mention this, people tell me to learn Spanish instead. They say, "Everyone is going to be speaking Spanish in 10 years. George W. Bush speaks Spanish." Could this be true? Are we all going to have to speak Spanish?

Torn Romantic, Palm Beach

Dear Torn:
Forget Spanish. There's nothing in that language worth reading except Don Quixote, and a quick listen to the CD of Man of La Mancha will take care of that. There was a poet named Garcia Lorca, but I'd leave him on the intellectual back burner if I were you. As for everyone's speaking it, what twaddle! Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help? Your leaf blower?
Study French or German, where there are at least a few books worth reading, or, if you're American, try English.

The Association of Hispanic Journalists issued a letter of protest. If anybody finds Dame Edna's response remotely funny, he/she must be a very sick person.

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Translators for Peace. Translators for Peace is a free association of translators from all countries and of all nationalities. The Association was established in order to publish, as far as possible in every language and by whatever channel, every message against: war in general; and in particular, against the use of war as a means of resolving international disputes.


Feb 4, 2003

Granta 80. I'm reading the current issue of Granta that brings readers a nice selection of narratives and essays deconstructing group photographs. I especially liked On the Roof and Mummy.

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Lingua ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the human brain You can read it online. This is what Saffire had to say about it: "For linguistic heavy hitters, M.I.T. Press offers "Lingua ex Machina," subtitled "Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the Human Brain," a cross-discipline debate by the neurophysiologist William Calvin and the linguist Derek Bickerton. They try to (not try and) resolve "the apparent paradox that has hag-ridden the human sciences for centuries: that we were produced by the same forces as other species, yet behave so differently from other species."


Feb 2, 2003

Riding cathode waves last Thursday. A wide selection of channels showing good movies last Thrusday had me glued to the box until late hours. Put the blame on these flicks:
Children Underground - street kids in Romania
La Piscine - Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin. Eye-dazzling.
The Straight Story - David Lynch Disneyfied.