A Sydney radio station is advertising ‘Better music, and more of it’. Presumably that means they play Continue reading
A few months ago I asked on an online forum whether people’s dreams match their extrovert v introvert type. I think I asked because I’d just had an unusually extroverted dream. In most of my dreams, I am either alone or with people but not interacting with them.
One dream last night involved a choir rehearsal (one of my former choirs, but in an unfamiliar church building). During our supper in the foyer, someone miraculous quickly totally decorated the main part of the building in bright red tinsel. Almost everyone else oohed and aahed and rushed to take photos, but I sat down on a couch in the foyer, marking up my choral scores, assisted by another chorister. I like taking photos, but I don’t like scrambling among other people to take them, and I really don’t like bright red tinsel anywhere, let alone in church buildings. The chorister who was helping me is also a keen photographer.
Another dream involved being caught up in a James Bond story, but not interacting with the characters, just ducking out of the way whenever they came by. James Bond got shot and killed for real.
When I was drafting my previous post, I realised that I wasn’t sure about the exact wording of the funeral/memorial sentence Rest eternal rest grant (unto) them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine (up)on them.
The Latin original is Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Latin adjectives standardly follow the noun they modify (though word order in Latin is relatively free), so requiem (rest) aeternum (eternal) and lux (light) perpetua (perpetual). I searched online for an English translation. About half said rest eternal and light perpetual, and half said eternal rest and perpetual light. English adjectives standardly precede the noun they modify, but can follow them in certain circumstances, one of which is to produce an air of formality, perhaps because of the echo of Latin. (From a brief browse, no source switches word order mid-way: rest eternal and perpetual light or eternal rest and light perpetual.)
I noticed that the sources which use rest eternal and light perpetual tend to be Anglican/Episcopalian, and those which use eternal rest and perpetual light tend to be Roman Catholic. In fact, the Wikipedia article about this prayer says that Lutherans use the noun-adj order and Methodists use the adj-noun. I’m not sure what conclusion, if any, we can draw from that.
On two different occasions since I got back from Korea I have met two different elderly women whose respective husbands were ailing when I went away. How do I inquire about their life and health?
Is [Fred] (still) alive?
Is [Fred] dead?
Has [Fred] died?
Did [Fred] die?
How is [Fred] (these days)?
I said something like ‘I haven’t heard anything/any news about Fred recently’ (awkward pause), and each woman told me that her husband had died, one while I was in Korea and one since I got back. I knew each couple through a different organisation, and it’s possible that the deaths were announced on those organisations’ social media. If so, I missed them. The older I get, the more often this is likely to happen.
It must also be awkward for a widow or widower, too. Do they say ‘Oh, did you know that [Fred] died?’? If so, for how long?
I’m honoured to have known those two men, and to know those two women. Joe and John – Rest eternal rest grant them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on them.
I previously mentioned that a student said his favourite movie was The Fast and the Fabulous. Yesterday another student said her favourite tv show was
So begins Fox in Socks, by Dr Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel), a series of increasingly intricate tongue-twisters. Along the way, whether Seuss intended it to or not, it illustrates many points of English pronunciation and spelling.
Each of the words has four phonemes (distinct sounds) in pronunciation, represented by three, four or five letters in spelling, so immediately there is not a direct correspondence between sound and spelling. Each of the words starts with one consonant phoneme /f/, /s/, /b/ and /n/. The first three are represented by one letter, but the last is represented by two letters kn – the k is silent. It used to be pronounced but now it isn’t (long story). (In fact, the k is silent in all English words starting with kn.)
Last night my wife pointed to a Youtube video about the new president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and asked ‘Did you know he married a woman 24 years old?’. I’d read headlines about ‘an older woman’, so ’24 years old’ didn’t sound right, but ’24 years older‘ didn’t sound much righter. Except she is. My wife really did know that Brigette Macron is ‘older’ and really did mean to say ‘older’, but either her pronunciation failed at the last syllable or I wasn’t paying attention.
It is perhaps more likely that a 39-year-old man would marry a woman 24 years old than a woman 24 years older. Thinking about it, I was grateful that she isn’t, for example, 15 years older than him. ‘Did you know he married a woman 15 years old?’ really doesn’t sound right.
Some time ago, she was reading about a host/judge on a cooking competition program here in Australia. She said ‘His wife is 19 years old!’ (he was then in his 40s). This is possible, but I wanted to check. The article said ‘his wife of 19 years’. (I remember, many, many years ago, being confused about this phrasing as well. It that case, it was something like ‘his wife of 13 years’.)