Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My blogging replacement activity

So the fact that I don't know German keeps coming up as a career-stopper. I've decided to do something about that finally and take Anatoly Liberman's advice. (He was the first one to ask that crushing question "Can you read German?") He recommends reading children's books to acquire reading ability in a new language. Just read regularly without stopping to look things up. I don't know how it's supposed to work, but I'm giving it a shot. I don't have any children's books in German, so instead I'm reading the Gospel of Mark (available on I read a passage in Spanish (to help refresh those skills) then in the Elberfelder translation. After I leave Trinity, I'll add Greek to the mix, but I get plenty of Greek right now.

In order to squeeze in this new daily activity, I have to squeeze out some others. I decided to stop reading blogs--mostly blogs of people I don't know (Lileks, Steyn, ...). I don't even read the news online anymore. I will still try to read my peeps Linus and Pirate Jimmy. And post here from time to time. But for know I must go the way of most bloggers....

Pax Christi, yo

Monday, January 22, 2007


where did everyone that used to contribute in here go?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You know I ran across
An old box of letters
When I was bagging up some clothes for goodwill

But you know I had to laugh
At the same old struggles
That plagued me then are plaguing me still

'Cause I know the road is long
From the ground to glory
But a boy can hope he's getting some place

But you see I'm running from
The very clothes I'm wearing
And dressed like this I'm fit for the chase

Monday, January 08, 2007

Breaking Silence

I've been busy reading Anatoly Liberman's new book on etymology. I bought it back at the U of M bookstore--it was selling so well that they had to get my copy out of the back. I haven't finished it yet, so I can't give a full review, but I think a lot of the people who bought it based on the subtitle "Etymology for Everyone" will be disappointed. It's not the easiest read.

Of course, maybe I'm just bitter because Liberman disagrees with part of my etymology of kitty-corner below. He thinks the origin of "cater" with the French "quatre" is unlikely. He suggests instead a Dutch word that means "left" as in "left-handed." I don't remember the spelling at the moment, something like ketje. Right is normal or straight, while left is abnormal, not straight but diagonal. I don't know if this is a better semantic explanation than the French derivation. If I remember the OED entry correctly, there is documentary evidence of the four dots on a die being called a "quatre" or "cater"; in that case cater-corner would be transparently related to the French word for four.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

um ?

here's a dumb question: does anyone live here?