Archive for Humor

Seeding Mars

Comments (3)

Wordplay of the week

https://twitter.com/jessica_roy/status/1197934195508572160

Comments (4)

"Voracity"

Freudian typo?

 

Comments (8)

The Volfefe Index

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Ironically swapped subhead

From a recent email enticing me to read the current edition of The Atlantic magazine:


Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (10)

Sign-off alignments

ICYMI:

Comments (9)

Spiritually Japanese

A cartoonist and her collaborator have been arrested in China for being "spiritually Japanese" (jīng Rì 精日).  They have also been accused of "insulting China" (rǔ Huá 辱华).  The latter term is transparent, and I've been hearing it a lot for the last couple of decades, whereas the former term is morphologically more difficult to understand (lit., "spirit Ja[pan]") and is new to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

"I have come from Rome, and all I brought you was this stylus"

So, kurzgesagt, reads the text that runs along all four sides of this two-millennia-old iron writing instrument excavated from an archeological site in London six years ago:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (9)

The meaning of meaning: kaput

The poor fellow in the following short video is taking a Mandarin listening comprehension exam:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (4)

Nicknames for foreign cars in China

"Porsche and BMW are known as 'broken shoes' and 'don't touch me' in China", by Echo Huang

Many of these names are off-color and some even quite vulgar, but they are all affectionate:

Audi's RS series:  xīzhuāng bàotú 西装暴徒 ("a gangster in a suit"), inspired by the car's smooth look and impressive horsepower (some links in Chinese).

Bugatti's Veyron: féi lóng 肥龙 ("fat dragon").  The French car manufacturer's high-performance Veyron sports car earned the moniker for its round-front face design, and because "ron" in Veyron sounds like "lóng" ("dragon"), just as "Vey" sounds like féi ("fat").

BMW: bié mō wǒ 别摸我 ("don't touch / rub me").  The German acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werke forms the basis to create a Mandarin phrase that expresses how precious people consider the car to be.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (4)

The battle of the airports

Donald Trump's July 4 speech included this puzzling passage:

In June of seventeen seventy five
the Continental Congress created a unified army
out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York
and named after the great
George Washington commander in chief
The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter
of Valley Forge
found glory across the waters of the Delaware
and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.
Our army manned the air((ports))
it ranned [sic]
the ramparts
it took over the airports it did everything it had to do
and at Fort
McHendry [sic]
under the rockets' red glare
it had nothing
but victory.
and when dawn came
their star spangled banner
waved defiant

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (35)

Linguistic purity in the EU

"Europe heroically defends itself against veggie burgers", The Economist 6/29/2019:

The european union gets a lot of flak. All right, it isn't literally blasted with anti-aircraft fire, but you know what we mean. One ongoing battle (ok, nobody died) involves the use of words. Earlier this year, the European Parliament's agriculture committee voted to prohibit the terms "burger", "sausage", "escalope" and "steak" to describe products that do not contain any meat. It was inspired by the European Court of Justice's decision in 2017 to ban the use of "milk", "butter" and "cream" for non-dairy products. Exceptions were made for "ice cream" and "almond milk", but "soya milk" went down the drain, lest consumers assume it had been extracted from the soya udder of a soya cow. The court has yet to rule on the milk of human kindness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (41)

Chinese language jokes

These are jokes circulating on the Chinese internet.  Not all of them have to do with Chinese languages per se in the narrowest sense.

Mandarin

Guānhuà 官話 (lit., "officials' talk", "Mandarin")

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (13)