bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Spring Equinox

  • Being head of a household is time-consuming, but rewarding.

  • Smart Watches are pretty dang fun.

  • Getting a business license is an annoying process.

  • If you fill a ping-pong ball with one hole in it with liquid nitrogen and then drop it into a pan of room temperature water, it'll flail around like a groundflower.

  • Kittens are busy.

  • They also flail around like groundflowers if you put collars on them.

  • A holomictic lake is one in which the layers of water mix at least once a year. A meromictic lake's water layers never mix.

  • You may actually be able to feel pneumonia in your lungs. Weird.

  • Dandelion champagne has a nice bite to it.

  • I can wear a cocktail dress if I get some leggings.

  • Carroll Spinney/Big Bird was almost slated to go into orbit, but the costume was too big. Which means he didn't get to go for his scheduled ride on ... the Challenger shuttle.

  • Being the "coach" for shows is almost as nerve-wracking as being the student.

  • There is such a thing as Nutella-flavored gelato.

  • The name "Saoirse" is pronounced "SEER-shuh."

  • Nikki Akuma-Bird needs to star in her own action space opera.

  • The term for oxygen-carrying blood cells is "erythrocyte."

  • At 3:00 a.m. or so in early June I can see the Milky Way unaided if I concentrate!

  • Kidney failure is one of the most common ailments of senior cats.

  • Trimming grape vines is a nice meditative process. You trim a lot, but it does grow back.

  • The bearded vulture is the only known warm-blooded osteophage--it eats actual bones. It has one tough gut.

  • A "ginger bug" is like a starter for sodas that makes use of wild yeasts.

  • Sun conures really are friendly little buggers. And loud. So loud.

  • And not all of them are really into toys. Some just want to chill on your shoulder.

  • Unless you're chewing something. Then they will bite your ear.

  • They can be potty trained after a fashion, though. Which is nice.

  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrom is another weird disorder that leads to things like oversized bones, stretchy skin, extreme flexibility, and other such strange effects.

  • Social change is messy, slow and difficult, but it does not do to get discouraged.

Dub Love

Mar. 21st, 2014 09:35 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Elsa Lets It Go)
Aw, yea, have acquired the Frozen DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack. I will now watch Frozen and "Get A Horse" nonstop for roughly the next couple of years.

And why, yes, I am translating Frozen's "Let It Go" into my own conlangs. To, uh, test them out. Yeah, that's it.

Okay, actually, this isn't really new--I've been doing Disney dubs and writing my own lyrics to songs since I was in junior high. And because I am totally fascinated by multilingual Disney songs. I can get lost for hours watching one song in multiple languages,* and I want in on that action! But this is a first for a couple of my newer languages, and I'm having a blast. Can't decide if I prefer the crazy polysynthetic Sprite Language Mark II version or the Modern OGYAFEse fossilized triconsonantal roots** with their esoteric rhymes, but they're both terribly fun to mess with.

Yeah, I know, I'm a nerd. But hey, we nerds know what we like, and there's nothing wrong with that!

*It is an eternal bummer to me that there are no official Swahili dubs. There's a Zulu dub of The Lion King, but that's as close as we get.

**Well, not quite triconsonantal roots, but rather overdone semantic derivations with the same sort of consonant radicals and ... yeah, you stopped caring, didn't you? Having a phenomenally boring hobby is a terrible burden.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
Trying to do a real honest-to-god diachronic language and getting TOTALLY ENTHRALLED by the etymology of every single word I come across. Complete fascination with the way rooms and their defining features ("stove" refers to both the room and the object! And don't get me started on the shifting semantic categories of bathroom words!) probably makes me a colossal nerd. But hey, who says that's a bad thing?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Summer Solstice

  • It was totally the gallbladder, y'all.

  • Doctors are totally just making up estimated recovery times for surgeries.

  • The worst part about recovering from surgery is how it fucks up your brain.

  • When your iPod breaks down and forces you to back up its entire library, it may be foreshadowing.

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs didn't just write about Mars; he also wrote about all the other planets. Guy was MANIC.

  • The ghost in Mama, who gets a bad rap for its unconvincing CG, is in fact for the most part played by Javier Botet, an actual guy with a terrible debilitating congenital disease called Marfan Syndrome. I have to hand it to Botet for making a miserable situation work for him. "Disease," he says, "It is not you who owns me; it is I who own you."

  • Paul Verhoeven's entire commentary track for Starship Troopers consists of him and Edward Neumeier exasperatedly pointing out that the message of the film is "Nazis are bad"--something Verhoeven, growing up in the Netherlands during WWII, was personally aware of. But apparently the only part of that thesis critics heard was "NAZIS!" * At least it made for an entertaining commentary.

  • Boötes is supposed to represent a herdsman. It always looked like a kite to me.

  • My name, "Amelia," was the #1 name for baby girls in the UK in 2011. I strongly suspect that this fresh crop of little Amelias is a direct result of Doctor Who.

  • You can collect tokens at national parks and historic sites and things! HOLY SHIT Y'ALL ROAD TRIP VIDEO GAME.

  • Ebay purchases can be supremely entertaining.

  • Too much enthusiasm for CrossFit can make your muscles melt and your kidneys explode and then you die. The irony is palpable.

  • Before Super Mario Bros. 2 was famously not a Super Mario title, it was actually being developed as ... a Super Mario Bros. title. I guess it didn't pan out. And then it did.

  • That baffling -ject morpheme that shows up in so many words and that I've always meant to look up is from the Latin word iaciō, meaning "throw" or "cast."

  • "Augie's Great Municipal Band," that fun song during the parade at the end of The Phantom Menace, is a bouncy, upbeat version of the Emperor's terrifying theme song. Which is actually kind of awesome.

  • Anesthesia, man. It's WHACK.

  • French cliticizes its pronouns, which is both far less dirty and far more interesting to me than it might sound.

  • For weird legal reasons, Idaho owns the top 39 feet of Jackson Lake, which is apparently a thing you can do.

  • Fishing vests are the way to go, man.

  • Book lice are not actually lice, nor do they feed exclusively on books, which I found out when a few of them showed up to chew on a secretly moldy basket in my bathroom. Little creeps.

  • The main character in H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy is a bit more Sam Elliott than his reboot counterpart, and that is also pretty awesome.

  • There is an actual linguistic term for Talking Like Donald Duck.  It is called buccal speech, on account of the air is in your cheeks, not your larynx, when you do it.**

  • I now know how to identify a barn swallow!

  • Bookstores categorically hate self-published writers.

  • Colorful umbrellas are apparently an intolerable challenge to the masculinity of male pheasants. Female pheasants, of course, could not care less about the umbrellas.

  • Those individual servings of cake-inna-mug you can make with standard cake mix and a microwave are DELICIOUS.

  • Breaded fish is better than battered when you are making fish and chips.

*Which is ridiculous. Well, the whole movie is ridiculous, but I can't believe anyone would miss the sarcasm dripping off its propaganda reels.

**Assuming you can do it.  I sure as hell can't get any phonemes out except for some kind of lateral fricative.  Clarence Nash was a goddamn genius.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
Nobody ever gets to bitch about how the latest generation is Ruining English again.

The Fife, Lute, and Drum Edition of "You're the One That I Want" is a particularly hilarious touch.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
Why doesn't Worf's name follow Klingon phonology?


Apr. 7th, 2013 10:04 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
Today's horrible realization: the maddening pronunciation of 'escape' as 'excape' is actually etymologically sound.

I mean, I will still fire several rounds of Nerf darts at you if you pronounce it that way, because if you want to get into that wasps' nest then you could also argue that it's LATINIST, and by damn I DESPISE Latinism. And also, it's really goddamn obnoxious. But I will admit there is some history to it.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Winter Solstice

  • Dyslexia can cause difficulty in word retrieval in speech as well as in writing.

  • The original edition of The Hobbit mentioned policemen. For some reason, I find this far weirder than the business I already knew about the Riddles in the Dark scene being so much less awesome at first.

  • Lisa Frank is still around, but she's gotten rather weird.

  • Retired AG items are on eBay for reasonable prices, and apparently inside I am still ten years old and WANTING them.

  • Yuri Gagarin's flight into space was even more awesome than I thought, because it turns out his reentry strategy was basically to jump back to Earth.

  • Fi, from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, apparently does have real arms under her wings/cape.

  • Netting requires its own special knots.

  • The history of matches is long and crazy, and features poison, disintegrating jaws, and explosions. Which is kind of awesome.

  • I don't have astigmatism; I just have myopia. This means I do not have football-shaped eyeballs; they are simply oblate spheroids.

  • It is possible to get completely absorbed just classifying the hell out of images of distant galaxies. For SCIENCE!

  • Snow can smash up your roof pretty impressively.

  • You can totally make yourself a fluffernutter on the International Space Station.

  • Prescription sunglasses are the bomb.

  • MRI chambers act as Faraday cages to keep out external radio forces.

  • Speaking of MRIs, apparently dybbuks show up on them.

  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is the most adorable plushie ever made.

  • The term for delicious potato chips and cream puffs and other such things is "supernormal releaser," which is a fancy way of saying "too much of a good thing," since back in Ye Olden Times it was really difficult to come across fat and salt and sugar, so your body is still convinced it should stuff them into your face whenever you come across them. That I knew, but I didn't know the term for them.

  • Writing on a deadline, even a self-imposed one, is rough.

  • Horror movies in theaters are a very different experience from horror movies alone in your room in the dark.

  • Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major is an impressive bit of music to watch being performed.*

  • Cats and toy trains are natural enemies.

  • My confusion regarding a certain specific idiom in Irish accents is a direct result of David Eddings' confusion regarding the same.  When I learned that the phrase "I'm after [verb]ing" meant "I've just been [verb]ing," I thought for some reason it was counter-intuitive--it seemed like it should mean "I'm gonna [verb]"--but I didn't know why.  It's only after rereading The Belgariad and Malloreon that I realized that it's because Eddings uses the expression in his "Wacite brogue" accent, where it does mean "I'm gonna [verb]."  I picked up that meaning in junior high and it stuck with me after I'd forgotten the source.**

  • In Tolkien's mythos, Fëanor was the one who came up with the Tengwar. Yet another addition to the list of atrocities he perpetrated on the Firstborn of Ilúvatar.

  • Popes can retire.

  • Mister Rogers answered every single letter he got. Which is a gargantuan task, because by god he was MISTER ROGERS.

*I've always rather wanted to see that one. It gets mentioned on an episode of M*A*S*H and I was always intrigued by the idea of writing a concerto for someone who had lost their right hand. So when my friend invited me to the symphony, I was not disappointed when they changed the program due to the pianist's having an injury on his right hand because hey, that meant I finally got to hear the left-handed piece.

**Even back then I knew that Eddings had some fanciful ideas about linguistics, but I did not notice that one specifically.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
You all will be happy to hear that I now know the correct pronunciation of Daja's name. All these years I've been using an affricate for the j, and it turns out it's a straight fricative.* ALL THIS TIME I'VE BEEN LIVING A LIE.


This revelation comes straight from a seemingly rather jet-lagged Tamora Pierce, who was the guest of honor at CONduit, Salt Lake City's slightly pathetic attempt at a big geek con. Normally I stay the hell away from cons, because I never have been able to grasp the fine art of milling around and am baffled by the format of panels.** But this was Tamora Pierce, so I put up with the milling so's I could ATTACH MYSELF TO HER LEG AND ASK IF SHE'D READ MY MANUSCRIPT urbanely say hello, show off Daja, ask a few writing questions, and listen to some panels. I even managed not to be the most obnoxious person at those panels! Good for me!


So for years I've had this big ball of hemp twine sitting in my desk drawer next to a whole bunch of little rubber bouncy balls, for reasons unexplained. Finally I figured I might as well use them and did the only logical thing I could: learned how to braid a shepherd's sling. Now we'll see who's man enough to try stealing my radishes.***


Been trying to create some more folktales for OGYAFEland. At the moment I'm working on their version of Santa Claus, because it's never too soon to start Christmas. It's been fun coming up with an origin story for him with folk elements, cultural assumptions, and of course bears. Everything's better with bears.


My sister, the incomparable [ profile] sunshine_shaman, has been posting a whole bunch of photos of her Euroventures. I must be hungry, because my favorite one at the moment is a photo of a bunch of cupcakes. You can't eat Notre Dame, after all.


I have discovered that the most irritating thing about trying to get an agent isn't rejections. Everyone always tries to make me feel better when I get rejected, but I just think, "Oh, well, onto the next one!"

No, the obnoxious thing is just waiting for an answer. Rejections are responses. But no response? That way lies Dorothy Parkerian madness.

*For those of you who care, that means it sounds like the French j, or the s in vision.

**When I'm interested in a panel, I tend to just start conversing with the panelists like I'm one of them. I don't know how to help it. I had the same problem with interesting classes.

***Perhaps I could also do something about those goddamn barking dogs all over the neighborhood. Like, hypothetically, clocking their idiot owners upside the head with a rubber ball whenever the poor mutts start yapping their fool heads off.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
I rarely link to Cracked, because I'm sure y'all are already stuck there anyway, but god dammit I wish to share with you 7 Commonly Corrected Grammar Errors That Aren't Mistakes. Because even before I spent my college years examining how language changes, I was in high school wondering if I should point out that Strunk & White were full of shit.*

I agree with everything on the list--even the "literally" argument, although I admit it does make it harder to explain when you mean "literally" literally. I can think of a few to add, too. (I always use "lay" and "lie" carefully simply because I like the way they're constructed, but it does not matter at all how you really use them as long as others understand you. And in the continuing theme of "English is not Latin," by all means end your sentences with prepositions. It might be impossible in Latin, but in English it's quite a bit less awkward than the gyrations used to avoid it.)

But then, I'm the kind of person who assesses linguistic competence in LOLcat, so I may just be a loony descriptivist. Lotta fun, though.

*I also hated when an English teacher would get so carried away with them that they'd circle every use of the passive voice in red pen on my essays. It got so bad one year I turned it into a game: I strunked my essays till they followed the rules exactly, and made sure they were SUPER BORING. It got kind of fun doing ridiculous linguistic gymnastics to avoid a perfectly simple and understandable passive construction.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Breach Hull All Die)
So not too long ago I sent off an application for grad school because why the hell not, and among my linguistics credentials I explained about my conlanging hobby and that I've learned a lot.

Only today does it occur to me that I should've SENT them an outline of one of my conlangs.

Oh, well. Maybe next time.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
I have begun referring to random meaningless apostrophes in fantasy and sci-fi stories as "prepostrophes."

On another note, maybe the more conscientious spec fic conlangers may want to start representing glottal stops with hyphens instead. I know I connect the sound to hyphens far more readily. Howbout you?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
Thanks, y'all, for the ghoul/ghost responses. I'm not sure what got me thinking about this, but realizing my own definitions made me wonder how much they matched up with others'.

Turns out there is some overlap. A lotta folks said that tbe big difference was corporeality--one of the two defining things for me, too. I'm a bit weird, though--my ghouls seem to be stuck halfway between ghosts and zombies. They may be able to hover and fly like ghosts, but like zombies they look like rotten corpses.

The other big thing is their attitude. That had some overlap, too--the term "soulless" was bandied about. Maybe that's why I consider ghosts to to be more like people in their emotional ranges. Ghouls are, well, ghoulish. They aren't human and never were, they have no empathy, but there's a spark of intelligence there (unlike with zombies) that gives them a nasty sense of humor.

So, yeah, basically all my ghouls are variations on the Crypt Keeper. I wanted to see if that was just me.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Death)
Hey, guys, what's the difference between a ghost and a ghoul?

I have my own thoughts, but I want to see what you folks say before I contaminate the data.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Cube Love)
I’m not sure why, but this video absolutely mesmerizes me:

Do you remember learning how to dial a telephone? Yeah, neither do I.* Funny how cultures themselves have curricula. (So do TV shows: over the 20 years of Law’n’Order’s run, they went from carefully explaining how The D. N. A. works to assuming you know what it means when the lab reports that the perp and the victim have seven alleles in common. TV shows are still dumbed down, but notice what they dumb down.)

Also, I love the idea that wrong numbers would have caused people to panic in Ye Olde Dayes.** I don’t think she even uses the term “wrong number”—which makes me realize that at some point, the lexicon didn’t have a standard term for it. I love that, too—how language evolves. Makes living at the beginning of the Digital Age that much more fun.

And yes, I’m a complete dork watching vintage shorts without commentaries now. I can’t help it! They’re just so damn fascinating!

*Hell, I’m even past the Screaming Abuse At The Automated Voicemail Instructions Lady For Repeating Instructions EVERY DAMN TIME When EVERYBODY KNOWS THEM ALREADY (c’mon, who doesn’t know by now that “When you have finished recording, hang up”?) Stage. I’m on the stage where I’ve learned the combo hit that automatically KOs her.

Also: Dear phone companies, please hire Ellen McLain to do your future Automated Operator recordings. Take advantage of the Stockholm Syndrome so many gamers have developed!

**Nowatimes it's more a source of hilarity, like the time I kept getting calls from people asking for a guy named Juan. If you don't think I found it funny to tell them "There is no Juan at this number" or to hang up and explain to friends "It was a wrong number. They were looking for some Juan I don't know," then you haven't been paying attention.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Beastly)
[Poll #1583171]

Also, this one’s not as official, but you’re welcome to use the comments to fill in the hilarious current ironic internet slang term that will take on another layer of irony when the next generation finds out our dorky selves used it back in the day!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Wharrgarbl)
Well, lately the most interesting thing in my life has been the weather. Fortunately, it's the kind of interesting that doesn't involve flooded basements or felled power lines; it's the kind of interesting that makes you scream "WHAT THE HELL IT IS MAY 24TH WHY DID TWO INCHES OF SNOW JUST SPLAT ONTO EVERYTHING OH GOD SOMEBODY KIDNAPPED SUMMER."

Today it's bright and sunny and warming up. Now, that's just not fair. Pick a season, Utah. We're at war.

In other news, this here Language Construction Kit is a ton of fun. It inspired me to finally get around to making relative clauses in Rredra, and caused me to have a double revelation when I realized that the structure I had come up with for relative clauses in this conlang mirror my own informal idiolect--and that my own informal idiolect is mutating relative clauses. For example, instead of saying "the doctor who is wearing a coat," I wind up saying "the coat-wearing doctor," or changing "it's a bakery that makes delicious English pastries" into "it's a delicious-English-pastry-making bakery." Not an unusual phenomenon, I suppose, but I think I've been doing it more now than I used to, and with a broader range of possible clauses that can be switched around this way.

It's making me wonder if I've seen it around. I can think of one person online who does this all the time, but I don't know if I just picked it up from him, if I had it before him, or if it's a broader phenomenon.

This book also allows me to feel terribly clever when it gives the basics of semantics and I realize I am quite savvy about how to make words that aren't all just English equivalents. I think Mark gets a little carried away at times with linguistic deconstruction, but then I've always been a bit impatient with some of the sub-fields of pragmatics.

Meanwhile, I'm also getting impatient with sitting around in Dad's office listening to the sounds of inactive phones and shrieking children discovering the joys of vaccination on the other side of the wall. I think I'll see if I can go home yet.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I have this long-standing theory that English is the Borg of languages.

“We are English. We will add you semantic and syntactic distinctiveness to our own. Your phonology will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

Makes an eerie amount of sense, doesn’t it?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Beastly)
MOM: I had the strangest experience on Facebook recently.


MOM: Yes, it was bizarre. You see, I am in a group with some of my old classmates from school, and I posted a long comment about my views on healthcare. I have to admit, I was doing it partly because the guy who runs the group is a die-hard conservative, and I may have been baiting him a little. But the rest of the group started commenting on it, too, and they were getting a pretty good debate going, along with some jerks who were simply throwing insults. But then, a day or two later, I got on and found that my comment had been deleted! The guy said it was “irrelevant.” You are laughing—why?

AMELIA: You were trolling?

MOM: What?

AMELIA: You were trolling! You posted a rant on a messageboard, wank ensued, and then the mod put on his Mod Hat and baleeted the thread, declaring it OT.

MOM: What the hell did you just say?

AMELIA: The same thing you just said, only in jargon.

MOM: You mean this happens a lot?

AMELIA: Enough that it’s got its own vocabulary, yes. Welcome to the internets.

MOM: Oh, god.

And this is why I’m an anthropological linguist—I find it fascinating how very much language can adapt to describe the remarkable breadth of human experience. Mom can describe things totally out of my depth (the Sixties, for example, or Catholicism); and I have simple terms for things new to her experience, like the internet. Language is wonderfully flexible, and the stuff we come up with is infinitely creative.

Plus, there’s just something hilarious about being able to yell, “HEY, GUYS, MOM STARTED A FLAMEWAR!” Gives you warm fuzzies all over.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Beastly)
Meanwhile, while I was sick my meme backlog has piled up. I hereby must respond to the memes or my ego will be unsatisfied I will have failed the internet. So let’s see, in order that they were received:

[ profile] nobleplatypus demands my handwriting answer the following questions:
1. Write your username.
2. Write your 2 favourite bands/groups of the moment.
3. Write something you ♥, AKA lemme see your heart!
4. Write the name of your favourite person of all time.
5. Write the name of your recent favoured person.
6. Tag 6 people to do this meme.

She did not, however, stipulate that I had to answer with the truth.
That’s right, dudes, I have a LISA FRANK notebook. You are jealous.

[ profile] bottledgoose had this meme:
1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like your favorite lyric to your current favorite song.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.

… and asked me these questions:
1) write a letter to me in one of your fun alien scripts!
2) tell me what it means, lol


In the Roman alphabet:

Kwiryi Andee
Ka gwŕkarris mezhwubnug ashthekyu,
ishŕl mezhyak midzandghŕa Gherresa.
Lye ka sŕlash rrañif Rroerth tan ethlyi,
dher ki kipal ozkorris olye,
ish juvei esa ghesh frodha sŕyul olye kipal rrañirris ka.
Prat rroareafishŕl jeltsughazho.

And it means:

Hah! Now you HAVE to click! )


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July 2016

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