January 29th, 2012
Contrast these English and Spanish sentences
||“s” in Spanish
||“s” in English
||“s” in Spanish.
||“s” in English
This general notion that verbs for the second person end in “s” and for the third person do not end in “s” is fairly standard in Spanish. The reverse is fairly standard in English.
The obvious question follows: is this kind of conjugation fairly common in the respective Romance and Germanic families? Is the contrast a common contrast between those families?
January 22nd, 2012
Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
If you like this one, then also consider watching the Nando’s chicken breast commercial.
January 18th, 2012
As the Wikipedia begins its 24 hours blackout, internet users are being urged to oppose the SOPA (“Stop Online Piracy Act”) and PIPA (“PROTECT IP Act”). Why should the users oppose acts with such noble-sounding names? We all want to stop online piracy. We also want to protect the IP, I presume.
A few years ago we had a slightly related problem – how could a true American oppose the Patriot act.
The problem is that these bills use a name that may or may not be consistent with the content. We need to urge the congress to use a simple number, such as “Bill 239203923″, to describe each Bill. Many states already force that. The name itself creates a bias. If we want the people to be more knowledgeable of what they are voting on, then let us start with a neutral sounding number. At least some one has to ask the question – “What does Bill 239203923 stand for?”
January 17th, 2012
View this toon at ToonDoo
If you are the kind of person who is interested in these fuzzy topics like reality and perception, then you may want to consider watching the Adelson checkerboard video:
Here are a few more proofs of Adelson checkerboard illusion.
January 12th, 2012
All of us have a conscious or subconscious focus on etymology that serves us well, except at times when it doesn’t! See this video for an example.
Once in a while we come across a phantonym – a word that sounds opposite of what it means. The word “suffrage” is an excellent case in point, even though it wouldn’t qualify as a phantonym. The word root has been lost and the word sounds similar to “suffering” and has a negative ring to it. That combined with the age of the kids, I don’t take the video too seriously, I think it just makes a good joke, that’s all.
A similar confusion exists between bondage (bad) and bonding (good). I know that there is at least some confusion about this topic, because even one of our recent Presidents has said that “Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”
January 1st, 2012
Here is one thing that I observed that has been interesting even to native speakers.
Firstly, the first person present tense marker usually is “o”. For example: “yo hablo”, “yo pienso”, “yo camino”, “yo digo” etc. This is especially true for regular verbs. Typically, in these cases, the 3rd person marker ends in “a” or “e”, for example: “el habla”, “el piensa”, “el camina”, “el dige” etc.
Now, consider the pretérito for the same, and the situation is sort of reverse. For example: “yo hablé / el habló” “yo pensé / el pensó” “Yo caminé / el caminó” “yo dije / el dijo”