This is what happens when copy editors type what they're feeling and then forget to take it out again before it goes online:
Archive for Slang
For Bob Dylan connoisseurs, the release of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 is a momentous occasion. It encompasses the studio sessions that gave us the albums Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde On Blonde, and it's available as a 2-CD sampler, a reasonable 6-CD version, and an ultra-comprehensive 18-CD collector's edition for the true Dylan obsessives. The collector's edition, which compiles every outtake from those crucial 1965-66 sessions, may have been released by Columbia primarily for copyright reasons, but for those willing to slog through the 19-hour runtime, there are some unexpected pleasures.
For a Billboard review, Chris Willman listened to the whole 18-CD set in a marathon session. Here's how he describes one track:
Dylan grows increasingly frustrated by how he feels the Hawks are mangling "She's Your Lover Now." "Aw, it's ugly," he says. "I can't. I can't even." Did Bob Dylan just invent the 21st century catchphrase "I can't even"? I think he did!
Of the many websites dealing with contemporary Chinese language and culture, chinaSMACK is one of the best. So eye-popping is chinaSMACK's content that I could very easily spend nearly all of my time immersed in it.
One chinaSMACK feature that undoubtedly will be of considerable interest to Language Log readers is this glossary of terms frequently encountered on the Chinese internet.
In recent years, this has been one of the most common modifiers and exclamations in Chinese. You can say just "niu" by itself, where "niu" actually means niú 牛 ("cow"), but that's an elision of "niuB" or "niubi", which in turn means "cow pussy". Although "niu(B/bi)" is used so frequently, in mixed company, on packaging, and so forth that it has lost much of its original shock value, it now means not much more than "awesome". Nonetheless, I would recommend scrupulously avoiding it in situations where you are expected to be polite and formal.
Although "niu(B/bi)" may amount to "awesome", it is far more colorful and crude. The origin of this usage is quite vulgar; for explanations, see here, here (with links to other posts in which the term is treated), also here and here. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
When Tom Mazanec came home from Fudan University in Shanghai a few nights ago, he found this leaflet in a baggie hanging on his door: