How English sounds to speakers of other languages

I am always intrigued by the number of jokes made about the way other languages sound to English speakers. Usually they rest on some tired and long-discarded national stereotype such as Swedish allegedly consisting of people saying ‘borka borka borka’, or German consisting of people gutturally barking orders at each other: Speaker 1: Achtung! Panzer! … More How English sounds to speakers of other languages

Recapturing the dream – memories of Apollo and a wonderful future

It’s 51 years this coming week since Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Just over half a century since the most stunning achievement in the history of the world. Think about it this way. Life has existed on Earth for around three billion years. For most of that time it was little more than single-celled … More Recapturing the dream – memories of Apollo and a wonderful future

When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously

There’s an old joke about the Moon landing hoax conspiracy. You know: “Sure it was a hoax, but they got Stanley Kubrick to direct and he insisted that they had to be on location.” I thought everybody knew that one. It’s an oldie but a goodie that suitably lampoons the lunatic fringe who imagine the … More When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously

Cars with silly names

Has anybody noticed how many cars have had extremely silly names. It was always a thing. Over a century ago, US vehicle makers produced cars with names such as ‘Pungs-Finch’ (22 hp, 4 cylinders and $1850), Piggins of 1910 – a snap at $3500 in period dollars – about $90,000 US dollars today. And let’s … More Cars with silly names