Having Fun With Foreigners

A New York Second is defined as the nearly infinitesimal time period between the 5th Avenue stop light turning green and the taxi behind you in traffic blowing his horn. Does wonders to spike the blood pressure too.

Boldly stolen from Theo’s.

“The vicar’s vital victory was in the victuals” right? Or was it in the visuals? Never can remember.

Here is a complicated bit of doggerel to read out loud. It’s a bit of an extra challenge for us Yanks because we spell things differently. So rise to it and win the day. Pronunciation and Vocabulary Test. You should be able to pronounce and define all but the smallest handful of these words.

I’m a little light on my classic mythology learning, so I missed both Muses. I did not pronounce them properly and I did not know who they were. Heck, if I had to take a guess, I’d say that a terpsichorean ecdysiast was a mutli-theological preacher to turtles.

“fe0ffer” is a typo. They meant to write “feoffer”.  Easy to say, but a new word to me, as was paling, even though I’ve known the old expression “beyond the pale” for most of my life. I just never thought that it was an actual, physical thing. “Don’t lose your senses, it’s outside your demesnes”. But feoffer? If the ruler of a caliphate was beneficent and handing out land, and you were the passenger in car stuck in traffic behind his and the road was open and you really wanted to get ahead of him, would you seize the once in a lifetime chance to say to the driver “Please pass the sultan feoffer”? I would, in a New York Second.

Now go find your local EAS member* and have them read this poem aloud. Then try to explain why it’s humorous and yet not derogatory. Good luck with that.

* EAS - English Assassination Society, a term for people not from here who do their best to kill the language through wrong word choice, poor diction, worse spelling, broken meter, and imaginative grammar. The funny thing is, with a small bit of effort you can still understand them. English is quite robust that way. Which helps when someone tells you that he is of laughing in your feces.

Posted by Drew458    United States   on 01/06/2012 at 06:45 PM   
  1. Drew the thing that galls me no end is how most Americans have better command of the English language than the average English man or woman. I believe this reflects on just how dummed down the UK is now. I am a member of a mainly North American European car forum. The majority of members are from Canada or the US, but from time to time a Brit pops up with a query and it makes me cringe to read their pidgin English. It is truly awful. I believe the driver for this has been the Labour Party who destroyed education in England and Wales. (They were less successful in Scotland and Northern Ireland.) Their emphasis on “all must have prizes” rather than focussing on the basics such as spelling and grammar has resulted in a truly shocking level of adult literacy.

    Posted by LyndonB    United Kingdom   01/08/2012  at  04:20 PM  
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