Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Mental Floss links

I got an email from Mental Floss with links to some really great articles and I felt the need to share.  Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

  • 38 Wonderful Foreign Words We Could Use In English  and they are totally right about every last one of them.
  • 14 Words that Are Their Own Opposite. We've got a really complicated language.  This is why Dave Kellett, genius creator of the adorable webcomic Sheldon claims English was cobbled together by a bunch of drunks with a German dictionary, or something along those lines.  The search feature on the sit was down so I couldn't get the absolute correct quote. 
  • 11 Common Words You are Probably Mispronouncing  I would've never put two and two together and come up with the fact that bo'sun which I've seen in seafaring and pirate tales is the same as boatswain.  
  • 12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms.  I refuse to believe that anyone would let a word like "lurch" fall out of use.  For the record, it was the name of my first beach cart.  My mom had a beach chair with wheels and it was called a "beach butler", after dragging my little wheelie cart, down to the ocean, I named it Lurch. Partly because of how hard it was to drag down the beach and partly because of The Addams Family.
  • 9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems. Number 6 is one of my favorites and represents the one thing I really wanted to see, but missed when I was in Rome. Michelangelo sculpted a Moses with Horns based on this, they are really supposed to be holy rays of light or something.  The statue is hidden in a church up a hill and down an alley across the street from The Coliseum.  By the time I found it, the church was closed for the day and I was out of time.  I have the directions etched into my head. I just have to get back there while I still remember them.
  • 20 Words We Owe to Shakespeare.  We all know about all the phrases he coined, but I had no idea he was responsible for these.  "Bedazzle"?  Really?  Why am I picturing him attaching rhinestones to his ruff now?
  • The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma War so much fuss over a little wiggle.  I usually only use it when it would cause confusion otherwise.  I'm an MLA rules girl, myself.
Okay, that's them.  Enjoy! I love that Mental Floss!  Oh, and watch their videos with the Green brothers on their YouTube channel.  I can't get enough of John and Hank Green!

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