The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Em

I'm reading The Epicene Prounound on Kuro5hin and about the lack of a gender neutral prounoun in relationship with people—it not having the right connotations for people. The example being used in the discussion, “When the president calls, tell [insert pronoun for president] to call me back,” replacing [insert pronoun for president] with it changes its meaning (what? The president is a bug-eyed alien?).

In the discourse, solution was “When the president calls, tell'em to call me back.” Em. A bit of linguistic play going on there. The general (possibly incorrect solution) of using they as a singular gender-neutral pronoun is still in effect, but maybe there's something there. “Let em who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Not too bad, but it only covers him/her and not he/she. Possibly ey?

Then again, I should probably read the Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ.


The Chaos

The Chaos

by Charivarius (G. Nolst Trenité)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation—think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough—
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!


The Lesson

Never drink Coke after you've been detoxed of caffiene and need sleep.

Sigh.


The Drop

Amazing. I just watched Spring's cat Spodie bat a plastic bowl in the kitchen sink to empty the water out of it (never mind that it's his water bowl—he only drinks out of it if he thinks it's not for him you see) then grab it with his mouth, hold it over the edge of the sink and ceremoniously dropping it onto the kitchen floor.

The Diner

I remember when I went away to college down at Villanova in Pennsylvania… there was the Villanova Diner located on the main strip within walking distance from campus. It was like my second weekend during my freshman year, when I and a bunch of fellow Jerseyans I had become friends with excitedly decided to go there after leaving a party. As we got closer, we couldn't help but notice that the lights weren't on in the place. “How can this be?”, we wondered. As we got to the door and looked at the operating hours of the establishment, we couldn't help but be bewildered that a building that clearly had the word “Diner” hanging above it closed at 10 pm?!?! Everybody's reaction was the same‥ “This isn't a XXXXXXX diner.”.

The Beauty and Allure of … the Diner.

All I can say is that the Boca Diner isn't. Neither is Lester's Diner or the L&J Diner. The Clock is. The Starlite Diner is (with two locations in Moscow).

Denny's isn't. It's a place to go when there are NO other places to go at 3:00 am in the morning.

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