The Widmann Blog


April 2014
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WordPress/Flickr Helper

Flickr recently removed their WordPress sharing support, so all you get now is some generic HTML code that's not ideal for WordPress. (Mind you, neither was Flickr's old sharing code, which didn't work well out of the box -- I described how to fix it in this old blog post.) I've now written a wee webpage that uses some JavaScript...

Hårdtarbejdende studerende?

Der er flere artikler i de danske dagblade, der påpeger, at danske studerende i realiteten studerer på deltid: På sundhedsvidenskab svarer de studerende, at de bruger i alt godt 34 timer om ugen på undervisning og forberedelse, hvilket dækker over 19 times undervisning og 15 timers forberedelse. [...] På humaniora bruger de studerende i alt godt 22 timer om ugen...

Lingua dorica in bocca glasgoviana

The most prestigious variety of Italian has been described as lingua toscana in bocca romana, or the Tuscan language in a Roman mouth.

I wonder whether a similar formula would become appropriate for unified Scots (if somebody tries to create a prestige variety after independence), given that Doric (Aberdeenshire Scots) in general has preserved more words and grammatical structures than the Central Belt dialects that have been heavily influenced by English, but where Doric pronunciation has some features that are quite divergent from other dialects, e.g. /f/ for <wh> instead of /ʍ/, or pronouncing <ui> as /(w)i/ (for instance, guid “good” is /gɪd/ in the Central Belt but /gwid/ in Doric).

To be concrete, I wonder whether the best model for Scots would be lingua dorica in bocca glasgoviana, or Doric pronounced by Glaswegians.

Of course there are words that are restricted to Doric and wouldn’t be appropriate in a unified language, just as Glaswegian isn’t perhaps the most euphonious variety of Scots, but I think it would make sense, especially given that there are many more speakers of Scots in the Central Belt than anywhere else, but most of these are mixing it up with English.

Or would la lingua di Burns in bocca dorica provide a better model?

Whit and all that

When Iain Banks died, Phyllis and I realised that we had never actually got round to reading anything by him. We decided to order a few of his books to rectify this issue. Since then I've read Consider Phlebas, The Wasp Factory, Complicity and Whit (in that order). I didn't like Consider Phlebas at all, I must admit. I love some science fiction novels, but not all, and this was definitely in the latter category (together with for instance the...

I am a man and I’m wearing a hat

My old friend Kakha from Georgia was visiting us last week, and at one point I asked him whether Rabbie Burns was well-kent in Georgia. "Absolutely, we love the song about the man and his hat," replied Kakha. "The man and his hat?!?" "Yes, you know: კაცი ვარ და ქუდი მხურავს ('I am a man and I'm wearing a hat'),"...
In English, the words "he is not" can be contracted to either "he isn't" or "he's not", but not to *"he'sn't". (The same applies of course to "I am not", "you are not", "she is not", and so on, but...
Mangel på strategi m.h.t. SF
Det var ret tydeligt, at både Socialdemokraterne og Det radikale Venstre var ganske lettede over at slippe for SF i regeringen, og på kort sigt bliver alting da også meget lettere. Men jeg vil nu gætte på, at de to...

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