Friday, February 27, 2009

Name recall

Esther thinks she recognizes a woman sitting across the square.


Esther: Who’s that?

Abigail: Who?

Esther: That woman sitting near the bootery.

Abigail: Might have seen her, oh, it’s old whatshername.

Esther: So what is it?

Abigail: Hmm. Doris?

Esther: She doesn’t look like a Doris.

Abigail: Shall we go and have a chat?

Esther: Can’t do that. Can’t go and chat without knowing her name. Got to watch what you say so carefully.

Abigail: If you start talking to her, it’ll come to you.

Esther: Oh sure. Like she’s just bound to drop her own name into the conversation.

Abigail: It happens. She looks the type.

Esther: The type.

Abigail: The type who’d say “I was just going down to the shops and I came out without me money and I sez to myself, ‘You’re getting very forgetful these days Shirl, me girl.’”

Esther: Shirley! That’s it. How’d you remember?


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Condo hunting

Eric goes looking for a new condo.


Airship pilot: We’re over it now.

Eric: Looks higher than next door. Ha.

Airship pilot: Tether to the roof?

Eric: Good. Oh my god, is that…?

Airship pilot: 737.

Eric: Turkish Airlines. Full left. I mean, hard aport. Dive!



Saturday, February 14, 2009

New coffee shop

Juliska, standing outside her shop, is trying hard to make a go of her new business in a new country.


Juliska: Come in my shop?

Henrietta: Is it coffee?

Juliska: We make coffee good. Only use beans two times. Not more. Like some.

Henrietta: Okay. A flat white.

Juliska: No flat white. That is not coffee. You will have an espresso.

Henrietta: OK. OK. I sorry. I mean, I’m sorry. An espresso. You from?

Juliska: Hungary.

Henrietta: Uh-huh. Been here long?

Juliska: Two year.

Henrietta: You like it here?

Juliska: Is good. Safe.

Henrietta: Safe, huh? I’m burgled once a year. But Hungary is nice, no?

Juliska: Is good. Good place to visit. Here I feel safe.

Henrietta: Yeah. You said.

Juliska: Before when we were communist, it was OK. Now, everything not OK. Corruption, robbery. Is not Hungary now.


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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quitting a job

Ric quits his job as a French teacher at Signor Cacto’s Blue Parrot School.


Ric: Teaching these students to speak French, it’s impossible on the salary you give me.

Signor Cacto: There are plenty of others who will do the job for less.

Ric: Ha! Then find them. I quit.

Signor Cacto: Niente problema. My parrot can do your job. He speaks better than you and he can solve puzzles to entertain the guests.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

Esperanto as a native language, mother tongue, first language?

George is interviewed about his native language.


George: My parents were Hungarian but my native language is Esperanto.

Interviewer: Esper-

George: Esperanto. Yes. It was the first language I learned. So I can say I am a native speaker of Esperanto.

Interviewer: Native.

George: In the sense that I am as proficient as a person who speaks nothing but Esperanto.

Interviewer: Are there any?

George: Well, I admit you’d be hard put to find anyone more than 3 or 4 years old who used anything but Esperanto. Some families start teaching their baby but they end up teaching more than one language.

Interviewer: Since it is a planned language, doesn’t belong to any country or area, it lacks a culture, wouldn’t you say?

George: Lacks a culture? There are speakers. You can stay with Esperanto speaking families.

Interviewer: But there is no Esperanto food, or clothing, or architecture, or furniture or tools, or music, or dances, or festivals… or… for me, a language springs from its culture. That’s what I’d call a native language. Society has natives. Plural. Your case is rather unique. Maybe you could call Esperanto your mother tongue. It did come from your mother.

George: It's not that simple. Mothers don't always teach their own language to kids. How about we say first language?


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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Apostrophe Assassination Attempt

Captain Kirk defends the apostrophe against Spock's attack.


Spock: So do we need apostrophes? Birmingham City doesn't think so.

Captain Kirk: Nouns can have an "s" added to denote plurality, or possession.

Spock: Possessive "its" doesn't take an apostrophe. Simplify it I say. Who needs that funny little squiggle for possessives?

Captain Kirk: Question is, would it cause confusion? Here's an order on the screen: "Dim the cabins lights by 4 clicks." Lights in ONE cabin? Lights in ALL cabins?

Spock: Context will tell you. Add an instruction, Not sure, just ask.

Captain Kirk: But you'd lose redundancy. I like redundancy in systems.


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