Unprecedented times. Challenging, uncertain, trying times.
I’m sure you’ve heard it all at this stage, and probably will for a while yet (for any of you reading this in the future, I’m writing this on 9th September 2020, that should tell you everything!) I’m not going to write about the ongoing global pandemic, but rather that a term that I first heard because of it: smart working!
I came across an interesting mistranslation recently (well, I come across quite a few around Sicily, but you get used to the more ordinary ones after a while). Continue reading
I came across an interesting false friend recently, when a student referred to a person as genial. Now, this might seem fine to me, but is was clear from the context that a word like brilliant would have been more appropriate. How can we explain this seemingly strange error, confusing two such obviously different words? Continue reading
Not a word you come across every day, this one.
If you’re understandably unfamiliar with it, it’s a term for a building reserved for the quarantine of lepers or poor people with other diseases. I was reminded of it while writing earlier about the word quarantine and its Venetian origins. Continue reading
I discovered an interesting bit of etymology recently. I was reading SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard. In a chapter about work and business, she mentioned a Latin word – otium. Continue reading
I was reading an Italian short story the other day (in an edition with English translations on the right-hand page) when I saw an interesting word: la persiana. Continue reading
Do Ti La Sol Fa Mi Re Do!
Beautifully done! (and yes, it is Sol, not So!)
Even if you haven’t seen The Sound of Music, you’re probably quite familiar with this little method of assigning syllables to the seven major musical notes.
It’s known as solfège, and is used to help a musician distinguish between different pitches of notes. It’s not something I’d ever given much thought about until one day, likely while I was living in Belgium, I saw The Sound of Music dubbed into French… Continue reading