|Screenshot of a tweet saying "Yeah if you're standing |
in front of a Bentley at a Bentley dealership,
I'm going to go ahead and know that's not your car."
Monday, 25 May 2020
Monday, 18 May 2020
Watching the #WorldCup during working hours could have costed as much as US$10.4 billion in lost production time (in 2010).— The Conversation (@ConversationUK) June 12, 2018
But there are multiple ways employers can make up for this by embracing the tournament: https://t.co/qyewW8oxVQ pic.twitter.com/apqvOr9zgF
|It has cost||Perfect|
Tuesday, 12 May 2020
I was stumped on one:
Party leader pursues old educational institution's growth.Pretty quickly I spotted that 'party leader' meant 'p' – the first letter of 'party'. I also knew that 'pursues' meant that the 'p' would be chasing after the rest of the word. Already, you may notice my problem here.
If it had said 'follows' then I'd have been looking for a pattern like ___p. The 'p' follows the rest of the word, coming at the end. No worries. But because it said 'pursues', that has a more literal or contentful meaning than 'follows' (which can be entirely metaphorical as in this case), meaning 'chase after at speed' or something. So then, somehow, my odd little mind flipped the direction from the act of writing the word (beginning at the beginning and the rest follows) to something like reading the word from left to right, where the end of the word is ahead (yet to come) and so 'pursues' means that the 'p' is behind it, at the start of the word.
So I was thinking it must be 'Palma', because of 'alma mater', but didn't see how that meant 'growth', and anyway it's clearly 'polyp' - 'poly' is an old educational institution, with 'p' following it.
Friday, 24 April 2020
The first reply was best: it said simply 'Twix'. But the other replies were really interesting to someone who has recent experience of doing linguistics in public and aspirations to do more of it.Wordy fact of the day for kids: the number ‘two’ may have a silent ‘w’, but it’s part of the same ancient family that gave us ‘twin’, ‘twice’, ‘between’, ‘tweezers’, ‘twenty’, and ‘twelve’: all of them have something to do with that number 2. #homeschooling— Susie Dent (@susie_dent) April 20, 2020
There are lots that are comments, reactions, unrelated replies, of course. The ones I'm interested in fall into two groups: questions, and related facts. Both of them fulfil the same locutionary role: to show that the tweeter has some knowledge of language, to convey enthusiasm, and something else slightly undefinable about interacting with celebrities that you don't know personally on twitter.
The related facts, first. Let's give these gentlemen the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were not mansplaining Susie (i.e. assuming that they, as non-experts in this field, can educate her about her literal field of expertise). So they're doing something else – the fact is to add to the original one, give more detail, add more context, and it's for the benefit of other readers of the original tweet. This is not how 'replying' works in normal conversations, but it's how it often works on twitter.
German has the same root but the "w" is still pronounced in Zwei (Two) and we also get Zwilling (Twin), zweimal (Twice), zwischen (between), zwanzig (twenty) and zwölf (twelve) although tweezers are usually "Pinzetten" which shares a root with pincers.— Rod Maxwell (@RodericMaxwell) April 20, 2020
And in Dutch ‘twee’ with the W pronounced and the ‘ee’ pronounced as ‘ay’. All the same root. Love how the histories of different languages are intertwined.— Xander Mol (@Xander_Mol) April 20, 2020
Then there's the questions. Some of them are simply information seeking – the fact prompted the asker to seek more information about something that occurred to them. But many of them also have a secondary purpose of showing off a bit, being a bit clever, making an observation and wanting to share it but also doing that in a deferential, face-saving way, to indicate that they are aware that Susie Dent is an expert and already knows this (a question implies that the asker believes the answerer knows the answer).My wife who speaks Scots pronounces it tway.— James Beaton (@jjb3621) April 20, 2020
(This one is also cute and interesting because they don't mean that the /tw/ would be pronounced /twə/ in the word two, but to say the sound /tw/ on its own you would say /twə/, with an unstressed vowel at the end to make it pronounceable, and I like this a lot.)Does that mean the 'tw' would have had a twə sound originally, rather than pronounced to? So literally two (twoo).— Zoe Defoe (@ZoeDefoe1) April 20, 2020
This one is a perfect example of the 'question as knowledge-sharing' tactic (though I think in this case the answer is no):
Is the 'in' from 'twin' related to the 'en' plural ending, like in children or brethren or eyen a few hundred years ago?— John Moynes (@JohnMoynes) April 20, 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 2020
A refund for most UK students would need to be paid against their student debt. They take out a loan to cover their fees and living costs, and it’s paid back once they start earning over a threshold. So they haven’t actually paid anything up front; the government gives universities some amount of money according to how many students they have. Therefore, for these students, a refund really means writing off a year of student debt (which is what Ibrahim has asked for). So who should bear the cost of this? Would universities be asked to pay back that money, or would the government cover it in the same way that it is supposedly covering a proportion of salary for furloughed staff?
Monday, 24 February 2020