Monthly Archives: February 2015
It’s interesting, is it not, to consider how many ways the English language has developed for saying that something is not something else. Now it seems that to get anywhere these days an article has to have a list of ten items in it. Let’s see if I get much of a readership by jumping on that bandwagon…
1. !=, ≠
In mathematical notation, we have for instance != or if someone wants to go to the trouble of finding the classical symbol ≠ (Unicode numer 2260) then they have a very elegant way of noting “is not equal to” in a mathematical or logical sense.
2. In-, im-, un-
Then we have the classic prefixes, which encapsulate the diglossia in English: un- prefixes grace Germanic roots in the main and in- or im- go with the Latin or French roots (the latter if the root begins with b, p, or m but for some reason not the other labials f and v) However, the cut-off is not strict, because in- can refer to something going into something also. So “information” does not mean a lack of formation – to get back to that idea you can non- or borrow un- from the Germanic stock for it, so for example you could comment that you found this whole article “uninformative”.
3. Dys-, dis-
Or there is disinformation. This dis- is an additional Latin based prefix showing that something has gone off in all directions, or in a wrong direction, with a more common version of that being dys- from Greek, which isn’t fussy about attaching to Latin roots either, so that you get dysfunctional people … Read the rest of this entry
The teacher said, “Let’s begin by reviewing some American History. Who said ‘Give me Liberty , or give me Death’?”
She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had his hand up:?’Patrick Henry, 1775’he said.
‘Very good! Who said ‘Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth?”
Again, no response except from Chandrasekhar. ‘Abraham Lincoln, 1863’ said Chandrasekhar.
The teacher snapped at the class, ‘Class, you should be ashamed. Chandrasekhar, who is new to our country, knows more about our history than you do.’
She heard a loud whisper: ‘F ___ the Indians,’
‘Who said that?’ she demanded. Chandrasekhar put his hand up. ‘General Custer, 1862.’
At that point, a student in the back said, ‘I’m gonna puke.’
The teacher glares around and asks ‘All right! Now, who said that?’ Again, Chandrasekhar says, ‘George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991.’
Now furious, another student yells, ‘Oh yeah? Suck this!’
Chandrasekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, ‘Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky,1997’
Now with almost mob hysteria someone said ‘You little shit. If you say anything else, I’ll kill you.’ Chandrasekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, ‘ Michael Jackson to the child witnesses testifying against him, 2004.’
The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, ‘Oh shit, we’re screwed!’ And Chandrasekhar said quietly, ‘I think it was Lehmann Brothers, November 4th, 2008’.