Whilst not a website that is particularly safe for work given the language and images contained therein, Lamebook.com is a dazzling showcase of “the funniest and lamest of Facebook” – and it certainly lives up to its tagline.
My (least) favorite category would have to be the “TypOH!s” section, where, along with an avalanche of unintented typing errors, the poor spelling and grammar that is ubiquitous on everybody’s favorite social networking site is celebrated. Some of the posts are next to incomprehensible.
Nevertheless, the site is still great for a laugh if you have the time and inclination to dig through posts that will gradually make you lose any remaining shred of faith you might have had in the future of humanity.
What I want to know is, where is the site that showcases the brightest and best of Facebook?
June 21, 2010 at 7:06 am
· Filed under languages · Posted by Matthew Fallon
My Austrian friends have been giving me some great German tongue twisters to try, and in exchange I’ve been introducing them to some of the more famous English ones… suffice to say, we were both pretty terrible at them. How easily can you say these three times fast?
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.
Der Braumeister zu Zipf zapft zehn Fässer Zipfer.
(“The brewer to Zipf taps ten barrels of Zipfer”)
Der Dachdecker deckt dein Dach, drum dank dem Dachdecker, der dein Dach deckt.
(“The roofer decks your roof, so thank the roofer who decks your roof”)
Drei dicke dumme Damen donnern durch das dicke doofe Dorf.
(“Three fat stupid women thundere through the thick stupid village”)
Do you have any tongue twisters in your own native language?
This is quite an interesting development I found today in the LA Times: starting this week, Disneyland will be making sign language interpreters available to all – without prior booking, as was the case until now.
The sign language interpreters will be on hand to interpret the stories told in such attractions as Jungle Cruise, Jedi Training Academy, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Celebrate: A Street Party, Billy Hill & The Hillbillies, Turtle Talk with Crush, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” and eventually at “Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular.”
It’s great to hear that global institutions like Disneyland are eager to cater for deaf people, as well as people from all over the world who come to visit their theme parks!
June 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm
· Filed under culture · Posted by Matthew Fallon
With the noise of the crowd in every World Cup soccer match being drowned out by these irritating horns, to most people they are an annoyance. But Neil van Schalkwy, the man who mass-marketed the ear-piercing 130+ decibel horn to the country starting 10 years ago, heralds the vuvuzela’s tone as something of an ‘international language’ in the multi-lingual country of South Africa.
Since the competition began, the vuvuzela has been criticized by many not only for drowning out the noise of the crowd, but also for being the only thing you can hear on TV during the game, disrupting the coaches’ ability to instruct players mid-game, and for causing permanent damage to fans’ hearing.
Mr Van Schalkwy claims that the vuvuzela is as much a part of the culture of soccer in South Africa as singing is elsewhere. In much of South America, drums are played throughout matches, though this kind of “tubthumping” is nothing compared to the incessant, almost brutal drone of the vuvuzela.
However, with two ties in the World Cup so far, Team USA will have to do more than rely on just loud supporters. The last match against Algeria is a must-win for Americans!
June 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm
· Filed under culture, languages · Posted by Matthew Fallon
When both the Oxford English dictionary and Merriam-Webster added the verb “google” to their pages in 2006, Google were surprisingly irked at the development. They felt that they had to protect their brand, and even made a blog post to that effect, saying that people should only describe it as “googling” when they were specifically using the Google search engine – not simply as a general word for searching the internet for a particular term.
However, contrary to their wishes, four years later the word has become something of a universal term for searching. While most people -myself included – use Google for all their searching needs, the phrase “google it” is not usually specific to the search engine, but searching the internet as a whole.
Google is, of course, certainly not the first brand name to enter the dictionary – “hoover” is nowadays synonymous with any brand of vacuum cleaner, much as “tannoy” is sometimes used to mean any kind of public address system.
June 10, 2010 at 7:40 am
· Filed under vocabulary · Posted by Matthew Fallon
One thing that angers me about the current situation in the Gulf of Mexico is BP’s constant use of euphemisms to downplay the severity of the disaster.
The main – and most anger-inducing – one of these is continually referring to it as an “oil spill”. It is most certainly not a spill. According to dictionary.com, a “spill” is:
(of a liquid, loose particles, etc.) to run or escape from a container, esp. by accident or in careless handling.
This is not oil escaping from a container – this is oil escaping from a well. Pedants may argue that a well is a container or sorts, but the main difference here is that “spill” implies that it is a finished event – if you spill a glass of milk, the spill is limited to how much milk was in the glass.
However, when the ocean awash with millions upon millions of gallons of oil that is still spilling, it is a leak.
At least we can all agree on one word that describes the situation: a disaster.
June 5, 2010 at 10:18 am
· Filed under idioms, languages · Posted by Matthew Fallon
My European journey will soon take me to Austria, where German is the spoken language (although, as you might imagine, the dialect and vocabulary differs from the German spoken in Germany itself). While brushing up on my German, I came upon some interesting German idioms – some of which have similar sayings in English, but others are a little odd for English speakers to comprehend. Here are some examples!
Schwein haben – literally “to have a pig” – means “to be lucky”
A while ago I posted a link to a site called Translation Party, a site that used machine translation to translate your given phrase back and forth from English into Japanese, until it reached ‘equilibrium’, when both translations came back the same. This usually resulted in a totally garbled translation of the original phrase.
Sadly, this site seems to be down now, but I recently came across Bad Translator – it’s a similar concept, except that it translates to and from English through a variety of different languages, further warping the original phrase… too often, way beyond recognition.
Simply type in your phrase, set the number of languages you want to hop to and from, and click the ‘translate’ button…
“Learning languages is fun!” ended up as “Life?” … go figure!
Rose Ramraj languagetrainers.com
Rose is a Blogger of all things fascinating. Her educational background is in writing and business studies. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two mischievous toy poodles.