March 30, 2010

linguistics is good for business, that is.

Direct from

A BREWER has won his fight to market a beer named after the Austrian village of F**king. The Sun reported today European Union officials originally rejected the brand "F**king Hell beer" on the grounds that it contained a swear word. But after the brewery proved the village actually existed, officials were forced to back down. Brewery spokesman Stefan Fellenberg said: "In German the word for a lager beer is a Helles Beer, so we have also patented the name F**king Hell, which means lager from F**king of course.
"I don't understand why the patents office think of something else. They must have dirty minds."
The village of F**king, to the north of Salzburg, close to the German border, has been in the headlines in the past, because of its unusual name. Now it seems the village has tired of fighting its popularity and is set to cash in. Last year Mayor Franz Meindl complained that tourists were flocking to the village to steal the road signs. The bizarre name is understood to come from a sixth century noble called Lord Focko, with 'ing' being old German for 'family of'. The German pronunciation is different from the English. Mr Meindl added: "I am looking forward to getting the first-crate. Until then I'm reserving judgement. But maybe it could be good for local industry." Read more about F**king Hell beer at The Sun.

It's all true-- GoogleMaps has verified the city's existence. Thank you GoogleMaps.

the sugar momma and the prostidude?

Read the latest on Language Log about our dilemma-- or not really, but it's tangentially related and completely hilarious.
Mangling the prostidude.
I know. I KNOW. I'm supposed to be writing insightful and smart things about lexicalised depiction.

But the going is slow.

Plus, we still don't have a ceiling. And my hip is still broken.


So, why don't you cut me some slack and post it to me. To show me that you care.

... after you read about prostidudes though of course.

March 24, 2010

gettin' the sugar

What do you call a pretty boy, a handsome boy; but a who does not have a job and is the boyfriend of a woman who is wealthy.
This question was posed to me today by a student working on a translation assignment (only god knows for which language or which class). The student thought you might call this person a 'gigolo,' but I suggested that might mean something else.
My first guess is that it's a sugar momma's lover. But does English have a specific lexical item to designate that person? We have sugar daddy and sugar momma...but what do you call the people getting the sugar?!

HELP! I cannot possibly concentrate on my PhD when this pressing question is taking up all my brain space. I thank you in advance for your thoughts on this matter.

March 3, 2010

glenbrook: an entrance to a wonderful wilderness

When George and Agnes invited me to tagalong on an upcoming bushwalk to investigate some aboriginal cave art, I of course said yes. I mean, who doesn't love a 4 hour hike that's kind of difficult in the Blue Mountains during the summer?* And cave art?! BRING IT!

Our hike started in Glenbrook:

I knew right then that this was going to be a tough day. Glenbrook was no joke--they even had the cutest nursery right next to the train station (where I later bought some super cool plants to take home with me).

Then, not five minutes into things we see our first signs of wildlife; a blue mountain puma! Vicious for sure and just a little bit pretentious.

We hurried by, praying the little crazy cat stayed put so we could continue our hike without looking over our shoulders every three minutes. But then it got more interesting.

An albino Australian dingo (that apparently just had a perm)! These buggers are almost extinct-we could not believe our good luck! I snapped a photo before it became aggressive and started chasing us for any small children we might be hiding in our bags or bacon Cheetos. Dingos love Cheetos.

The minute we entered the national park, the scenery changed. All the concrete gave way to narrow, unkept trails with ferns and gum trees and wildflowers reaching up over our heads.

I love the forest. It's so peaceful and quiet...and green...and full of.... AGHHHHHH!!

I'm so glad Em and George had the lead at this point--and I have to admit it was quite confusing to see them running for their lives while having a strange chuckle on their faces. At first I thought we might be running from a wombat. But then I thought, "George would never run from a wombat." That's when I realised it was an 8 foot diamond python--> actually, I take that back. We had no idea it was a diamond python. It could have been the most fatal taipan on the planet for all we knew. But it was at least 8 feet long. Steve; the most bravest man I know, fended it off for us with a big stick. After that we picked up the pace to our halfway point where we stopped for some refreshments and to look at the "surely this is a crime scene" tree.

After resting a bit from the last two hours of super-excitement (oh yeah--i forgot to mention that I took a typical-linzi-fall on some slippery rocks while examining some aboriginal tool grooves etched into the river rocks), we headed to Red Hands Cave.

Get it? Red Hands? This is some of the only existing aboriginal art in New South Wales. The park has had to put a fence up around it so people don't vandalize it. Why in the world a person would vandalize an archeological treasure such as this, I have no idea. Humph. But, the cave and the art were beautiful and I'm so glad we made the hike to see it!

Halfway done. We looped back and made the final few kilometers on the same path we started on. The day was getting hot, and we were getting a bit tired. Finally arriving back in Glenbrook, some ice cream and sugary drinks went down nicely (while we waited for a few others in our party to come back from a hilly de-tour).

The best part of the day came last.

A yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Sigh.

Stay tuned for more bushwalking adventures! ::dramatic musical exit::

* Actually, Vincent might not--he blew us off to go play tennis. (To be honest, he's just probably still scared to hike with me after the incident in the Royal National Park. ::coughchickencoughcough::).

** George, Agnes, Emily, Steve, and me!

March 2, 2010

i heart cricket.

Not really-- I just said that to get you interested. Lindsay loves cricket? Whaaaa?

But how can I pass up tickets to a 20/20 game between Australia and the West Indies. I mean c'mon--a three hour cricket game is as good as it's gonna get!

You see, Bec and her dad has season tickets to the Sydney Cricket Ground. And I'm about a 15 minute walk away from the Sydney Cricket Ground. Plus, they sell beer there. A match made in heaven I say.

Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Vincent came too. While I love beer, he actually is interested in the game; i.e. he knows the rules and can figure out who's winning based on the score. Bec and him talked allllllll night about hitting wickets, making sixes, and how many overs some dude got. I know right ::rolls eyes::.

I got as far as knowing Australia were in yellow and the West Indies were in red... And that Australia kicked the West Indies' butt. That's not too bad considering I never watch sports*.

Maybe there's hope for me yet. I think Bec believes I have potential because at every sporting function we go to, she calmly and clearly explains the rules to me and helps me follow the game. She's a good friend. One day she'll learn.

* Except tennis. But that's for the cute boys.