Sunday, January 16, 2005

Mrs DoyleHaving spent a bit of time yesterday on Blog Explosion, I have come to realise that it is a very small world. One guy in Gloucestershire was amused by the keywords on Neil's site [View, Page Source, or similar]. Which makes me wonder just how unobservant I am, as I have nicked bits of code from his page so many times, and never noticed the keywords. Did I say nicked? Um, of course I meant been inspired by.

By the way, qu'est-ce que un spätzle? Other than sounding like the Yiddish for one who has soup spilt upon themselves, which cunningly brings me to the next person. Karma asked for the definitions of various words. This being the internet, and it being a Saturday afternoon, she got them and more. Hence the brief lesson in Yiddish in her comments section. She even linked to me on the contents of one comment. How fabulous is this woman?

Although there is one problem brought up by her site: she makes me wonder how many swearwords I do not know about. Also, is darn swearing? I always assumed it was something said in place of a swear word, like blimey (although I would not have said bloody was proper swearing either). But different people, and different groupings attach differing levels of importance and insult to each word. Where I grew up the ultimate evil was the c word. Then came uni, and a Welsh friend (ex-Monmouthshire really, but he gets cross if anyone points that out), who, along with his by-tha's, look-you's and boyo's flung it around in every semantic position possible. By the third year, I gave up caring that one of our new flatmates was habitually referred to as cuntface. In mitigation, he did have a wispy, dark, curly beard (that made him look like a 13 year old trying to look 16. When he shaved it off, he started looking 15), and he was Cornish.

I'm not all that sure why hideous insults are deemed to be appropriate names for Cornishmen. But they were, so that's ok. And it did mean we could have fun rearranging the keys on his computer keyboard to leave nice messages for him. One such involving the phrase "inbred hogfucka", but I cannot remember the rest of it. Charming bunch weren't we? And this, children, is why having ELC fridge magnet letters are bad. Especially when the cleaner asks about the messages left on the fridge, because he doesn't know what some of the words mean. Bagsy not explaining Felch yo'self (the r's having been used elsewhere, and the apostrophe being blue-tack), if only because I had to have it explained to me. I think the felcher is a position in yoga.

[And it is to my great delight that I find that Felch is a town in Michigan. On route 69 in Dickinson County no less. There's even a Creamery Road. I'll stop now, as there are quite a few other sniggers in that part of the world].

Now I see someone else in the world of Neil describing Hotmail as a bunch of cunting wankers. Which they of course are. Would I like a address? Um, I already have my .com one, which I've had since before Hotmail was bought by Microsoft (back when it had just the one round portcullis-like graphic). Oh, but go on, you know you want to. Um, maybe, er, nah. Oh go on, go on, go on. Sorry. You will, you will, you will, you will. Why? Huh? Because you can. But what about that bit I noticed, completely independently, the other day? You know, the bit that says the new bigger inboxes (now a quarter of the size of gmail, Woo!) are restricted to the USA only? Hello? That's odd; it's all gone quiet.

All of which is quite some way from my guaranteed method of making American girls laugh. Use "Bugger!" in earnest. Cracks them up every time. It's not even funny. I usually don't help matters by telling the girl in hysterics to sod off, which causes more mirth. Cue: It's bloody well not funny, as they start needing an inhaler. I can't even use wankstained bastards on them as they are the wrong sex. Damn, and I know that if I go any further I'll end up Captain Haddock-ing in a world of "Blistering barnacles". It's not like they have any decent swearing of their own: it's all about donkeys, shower-bags, and the ever-popular "Holy shit" always sounds like it is missing a "…batman!" As for their un-rude fannypack, I have no idea how fanny crossed the body as it crossed the Atlantic.

Unfortunately I'm now wondering if there is in fact a compendium of all the swearwords known to mankind (but rather too nervous about the potential consequences of sticking that query into Google). Which reminds me, that bit in the second Matrix film [crap wasn't it? What's the third one like?], where whoever the hell it is claims that French is the best language for swearing, that's just complete bollocks, isn't it? Merde: that's just mud. Salope: extra-large skiing trousers, or the diocese of Shropshire. Putain: lover of the Russian queen.

Oh, I should probably put some warning in about this post not being suitable for all audiences. But as most of you are American, you won't know what much of this means, so you can't take offence (not even with a free stile).

And I swear I was intending to be much more serious and grown up, not least because an apparently intelligent woman just linked to me for no reason, but somehow I cannot quite recall my intended content.

I wonder what this post will do to Google's treatment of this site. Will I forevermore be banished into the land known solely as "Unsafe"? Or will my stats suddenly improve, if only because there will always be people out there searching for "stupidly named towns in America", or possibly, as someone recently requested "Dar es Salaam Pussy". If only they'd noticed that after the pussy quoted came the word willow.

So, what is America's worst named town? Spread Eagle, Wisconsin, or is there worse?

And where was I? Oh yes, small world. Another site that turned up on BE is the most recent addition to the sidebar, which is currently chronicling Busted being bust.

In an effort to drag this blog back towards more decorous things, where do you stand on split infinitives? Or more precisely, what do you make of the following extract, which is the first line of the first section of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything:
As I sit here, in early 2003, I have before me several pages of manuscript bearing majestically encouraging and tactful notes…
Is that majestically encouraging, or bearing majestically? Working from the cliché, and from the anti-example of "to boldly go", I presume it is the latter, so the former in the sentence. But for a first sentence is ambiguous and a bit confusing really the best option?

Drat, drat and double drat. So near posting, and then I worry about getting the bit of French right. Which means I have hit the age-old puzzle of how many extraneous that's, it's and which's to stick in. I know what is that is pronounced kesker-say. I just can't remember what corresponds to which noise, and how many do not have a noise. I have a hunch my French French teacher would have a fit if she knew that I now think of is there…? as "eskiliya…?" So apologies if I have got a ce and a que the wrong way round, or do not need one or the other (it's the que that makes no sense). Zut alors! See I said swearing in French was not worth the effort.


PS. Immense pleasure can be had from fathoming out the MS Word spell checker's inability to cope with non-American swearing.

And she says you're, or at least that's amazing! And I must to admit to a love of Yiddish words, "Schmuck", "Dreck" and "putz" being of course in German "Jewellery, "Dirt" and "to clean". When one uses the Yiddish words in spoken English it really throws native German speakers who may be listening in.

And spätzle? Well it's either a form of noodle/pasta popular in South-Western Germany, or else and I'm going to have to use the "D word" and link to scientific papers here.... "Spätzle is one of 11 dorsal group genes identified by their completely dorsalised phenotype, lacking ventral, lateral and dorsolateral pattern elements. The dorsal group genes activate the Dorsal transcription factor, expressed in the ventral part of the embryo and responsible for ventralisation of the embryo." I could be really sad and give you an Armstrong et al reference, but the Interactive Fly
has a pretty good overview, although they only quote me twice, the cunting, wankstained bastards.
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