jueves, 18 de julio de 2019

Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary is "a crowdsourced online dictionary" for slang vocabulary and phraseology, started by a certain Aaron Peckham, in 1999.
This so-called dictionary is a useless tool, put together by a crowd of illiterate halfwits, and blessed by the founder, Peckham, who being a moron too, he is at least a "smarty pants" who is probably making some "dough" out of this trashy, worthless slang wordbook.
I suppose no one checks the definitions, spelling, grammar, syntax of the contributors, and certainly the veracity and existence of the words are not checked either. No proper citations are given.
They do include sexist and racist comments, and there are sprinkles of insulting terminology, and plenty of ignorant references to the female anatomy.
Urban Dictionary´s scholarly definition of "pussy": "Something men babies spend 9 months getting out of - and the rest of their lives trying to get back into ..." (The other definitions offered, I would never dare copy here.)
The idea is good, the result, terrible. I may try to put together a current on-line dictionary of English slang, following lexicographical acceptable standards. What do you think?

¿Vocabulario latino o anglosajón?

El hispanohablante tiende a emplear palabras de origen latino cuando se expresa en inglés, que para él son normales y corrientes, e intestine le suena mejor que gut, pero no al lector anglohablante. Esophagus suena familiar en vez de gullet. A curvaceous blonde, como nos dicen Strunk and White, es pedante y menos comprensible para el nativo que shapely blonde, que quiere decir lo mismo. Sternum se traduce por esternón en castellano, pero si queremos que nos entiendan emplearemos mejor breastbone. Amiliorate nos suena bien, pero improve o better es más comprensible y menos pedante. Facile es una palabra inglesa, desde luego, pero easy será la voz que emplearemos siempre. Y escribiremos manly en vez de masculine. En The Elements of Style leemos: "Anglo-Saxon is a livelier tongue than Latin, so use Anglo-Saxon words."

miércoles, 17 de julio de 2019

Dormir, dormirse, dormido, tener sueño

I am not a sleepyhead. no soy un dormilón. Duermo poco pero I know that sleep, rest, is important. We all need our beauty sleep, unas ocho horas. Comparemos los dos idiomas. En inglés el verbo es irregular: To sleep, slept, slept.

He's sleeping. Está durmiendo.
I'm falling asleep. Me estoy durmiendo (dormirse).
He's asleep. Está dormido.
To be sleepy. Tener sueño.
I'm very sleepy. Tengo mucho sueño.
Her talk puts me to sleep. Su charla me da sueño.

lunes, 15 de julio de 2019

Amusing syntax in English

Amy Tan calls syntax "The arful arrangement of words." With perfect syntax we can deliver our ideas properly.  Chaotic syntax shows imperfect thinking.

Let me give you some "amusing" examples of wrong syntax:
● “She was carrying a table with two broken legs.” (Whose legs were broken?)
“Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope” (Was he traveling on the back of an envelope?)
“FOR SALE: Mahogany table by a lady with Chippendale legs.” (The lady has Chippendale legs?)
“Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter” (18 years in a checkout counter? They must be tired.)

domingo, 14 de julio de 2019

Word order in Spanish and English

Syntax -word order or sentence structure- is the part of grammar that coordinates, unites and finds the proper position of words to form understandable sentences.
If words are placed in the wrong position, confusion and ambiguity will result. Syntax is ruled by common sense and good judgment.
Spanish has much freedom with its word order, and one sentence can be arranged in different ways and still keep its meaning:

El tren sale a las cuatro
A las cuatro sale el tren
A las cuatro el tren sale
Sale el tren a las cuatro
El tren a las cuatro sale

… result in one sentence in English that makes sense and is correct: The train leaves at four.
English syntax is more rigid and has fewer possibilities.

jueves, 11 de julio de 2019

Micromensajes en inglés y castellano

Mucho de lo que decimos, y escribimos, son micromensajes, y las importantes frases de nuestras vidas son siempre cortas:
It’s a boy                 es niño
I love you                te quiero
you are fired            estás despedido
rest in peace            descanse en paz
not guilty                 inocente
goodbye                  adiós
Fuck you                 que te jodan

"Seriously?", "¿en serio?", will indicate that you doubt the truthfulness of what you are hearing.
"Rolling your eyes", "ponerlos los ojos en blanco"  cuando nos hablan indica indiferencia y falta de interés.
"Folding our arms", "cruzarnos de brazos", when listening to a person is a powerful micromessage that indicates our beligerancy. 
"Glassy eyes", "ojos vidriosos" es un micromensaje que demuestra que nos hemos escapado mentalmente y que no estamos escuchando al interlocutor.