An article on the Sydney Morning Herald website (and presumably in the print edition) states:

Stand-up paddle boarding lives up to the hype
I’ve discovered just how much work it takes for what I mistakenly assumed was a mainly sedentary sport.

Sedentary, as in “requiring or characterised by a sitting position” (from Latin sedēre, sedēns)? Maybe,  because’s second definition is “accustomed to sit or rest a great deal or to take little exercise” (emphasis added). Etymology isn’t destiny.

And cheers to the writer for actually doing it. Because of my (non-)sense of balance I wouldn’t be able to stand up, let alone paddle.

(Note: the writer/subeditor uses stand-up paddle boarding. The Wikipedia article is titled standup paddleboarding.)


Typhoon Soulik

For the past few days Korea has been battered by a typhoon, though fortunately the damage seems to have been contained.

I looked at the Korea Herald website for information. I noticed that the story contained information which seemed to be superfluous, for example, “Daejeon, South Chungcheong Province, about 140 kilometers south of Seoul” and “The southern port city of Busan”, as well as “Busan, some 450 km southeast of Seoul” in a photo caption.

Given that the Herald’s readership is predominantly a) Koreans who want to practice their English, b) English-speaking people in Korea, and c) English-speaking people elsewhere who are interested in Korea and have gone to the Herald instead of any other news site, I would have thought that the Herald’s readership would probably know where Busan is and possibly know where Daejeon is. 

On the side of the page was a list of the top 10 recent stories. Among a number of typhoon-related stories, was: “Filipino-Indian couple caught stealing plastic bins from kimchi factory.”


English is an international language, but each speaker, community and country stamps its own idiosyncrasies on it. Today’s front page of a well-known search engine had an image related to the 2018 Asian Games, about which I knew nothing, so I searched online using the well-known search engine, and the first result was a headline from the Times of India:

From sweeping a dhaba floor to playing for gold at Asiad

I infer that a dhaba is a building of some sort, rather low on the prestige scale. (Is sweeping a floor ever high-prestige?)

The story itself is about a kabbadi player named Kavita Thakur, who:

[f]or most of her life … lived in a cramped dhaba at her village [in northern India].

The 24-year-old … spent her childhood and teen years washing utensils and sweeping floors at the dhaba, which is run by her parents. Father Prithvi Singh and mother Krishna Devi still sell tea and snacks at the dhaba …

Utensils, tea, snacks — a small eatery or drinkery, maybe? Yes, a roadside restaurant or café. The Times uses the word in the headline and seven times in the article, fully expecting its readers to know what it is.