Tag: language

My Translating Trick (Which Doesn’t Work)

When I’m translating and come across a specific term not listed in a general dictionary, I use Wikipedia. The same Wikipedia that I would tell my students never to use […]

Dear Sleeping Pill, You Had One Job

In the night My mind is up and around Alive, awake, awhirl Churning out stuff That happened That didn’t That should have   Heyou, mind, Cut the crap Stop the […]

Don’t Read the Urban Dictionary

I’ve warned against the evil that is the Urban Dictionary before. Well, I told you not to go and read the definition of BBC, so what probably happened is that […]

Finding Everyday Inspiration: An Aha Moment

Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration. Remember my yesterday’s post when I was wrapping up this writing challenge? It turns out I was a day early. I did think […]

What I Hated the Least Today 265/365: My Mother Tongue

Her mother-tongue clung to her mouth’s roof in terror, dumbing her and he came with a name that was none of her making. —Liz Lochhead, “Dreaming Frankenstein” Yesterday I wrote […]

Daily Post: English is Priceless

Everyone knows that English is weird. English is also priceless. Since English is my second language, I’ve learned the hard (and hilarious) way. I discovered just today that the word beverage is […]

All the Same, All the Time

Loosely inspired by a recent somewhat heart-breaking post by Cardinal Guzman, I decided that the world needs more bad poetry. At peace, At home. Alone. Quiet, but not quite. The […]

What I Hated the Least Today 179/365: Night Owl

I’m a convinced night owl. (Isn’t night owl a tautology? Not if there is a day owl, but is there such a thing?) That means, among other dis/advantages, that I get […]

What I Hated the Least Today 154/365: Papers

I spent the last few days doing what existentialists who aren’t nihilists (yet) do: persisting in so-called meaningful activities which they know to be meaningless. In other words, I’ve been […]

What I Hated the Least Today 142/365: Deadpan

I cultivate a deadpan face at all times because I maintain that showing emotion makes one open to abuse. Unfortunately, my deadpan skills cause some confusion when dealing with people […]

What I Hated the Least Today 138/365: Emails from My Students

Throughout the term, my students appeared thoroughly disinterested in their studies. It was all fun and games—and then there was the final test. This excited in my unexcitable students bouts of […]

What I Hated the Least Today 132/365: High (School) Students

I teach at what calls itself a university but is really an extension of the secondary school. I spent the last three days invigilating cheating students writing tests and subsequently […]

What I Hated the Least Today 83/365: Marking

I hate the work of marking students’ tests almost the least. It’s not even a work—it’s just more or less mindless checking or crossing out as appropriate. If I had […]

What I Hated the Least Today 51/365: Proofreading

I received a proofreading request from my old (but young) colleague today. His email opened with standard salutation Dear Doctor Mara. That’s about right, but three months later, I still giggle […]

Literary Lion: Drink Me

In response to Laura Feasey’s Literary Lion challenge: Drink Me. Long time nae see. He stroked the bottle. Ye cannae face life when yer dry. Sammy took a gulp. Ah’ll […]

What I Hated the Least Today 46/365: Knowledge

I’ve realised that I possess a frightening amount of non-marketable, non-transferable and non-useable specialist knowledge. A small fraction of it is a professional knowhow which hypothetically might be useful but practically is […]

What I Hated the Least Today 42/365: Win 95

I’m an aspiring geek. Not so by virtue of skill as rather by sheer power of determination. I happened to get for free some geeky books, which I finally ventured […]