People Words

Yod-dropping Bugbear

Such a petty bugbear too, but when student is pronounced ‘stoo-dunt’ it really grinds my gears. I expect it more in American English where yod-dropping is more predictable but in the UK it just sounds so wrong to my ears!

Luckily in my line of work I only have to hear the word student several hundred times a week.

* Not quite as catchy as ‘scruffy-looking nerf-herder’

People Politics Words

Terrorism for Martians

Me: Look, we’re just trying to promote stability.

Martian: On Earth, war makes things more stable?

Me: It’s…complicated. But really, America is a peace-loving culture.

Martian: But you have more wars than anyone. On Mars, this does not seem peaceful.

Me: Okay, but it’s not terrorism. Terrorism is when, you know, you terrorize people.

Martian: But did you not, alone among the peoples of your planet, use atomic weapons against your fellow humans, when you bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Me: Only to end the war.

Barry Eisler on the how you would explain the difference between war and terrorism to a Martian. Well worth a read.

Film Words

Hail, Caesar!

People Words



Genuinely guffawed at this one. Discover your own Definitely Real Quotes.

(via Last Week Tonight)

Food Words

Clitoris Festival

It was meant to be a culinary festival celebrating grelo, the leafy green vegetable that is a staple in the Galician town of As Pontes in north-west Spain.

But for the past few months, the small town was marketing a very different kind of festival after it used Google Translate to put the Galician word grelo into Castilian Spanish, ending up with it inviting people to take part in a “clitoris festival”.

The translated announcement read: “The clitoris is one of the typical products of Galician cuisine. Since 1981 … the festival has made the clitoris one of the star products of its local gastronomy.


For reference this is what they were actually celebrating (very SFW).

(via Richard Woodfield)

Edit: Clitoris Festival is either the name of my bi-monthly automatic writing fanzine, or the second album by my acid jazz fusion band.

People Words

Explaining intangible concepts to a blind person

Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, asks people to describe things that are intangible.