Miscellany / Vermischtes

1. John Wells, professor (or ex-professor) of phonetics and author of my favourite pronunciation dictionary, has a blog (via Mark Liberman at Language Log).
The discussion there on the mispronunciation of Blaenau Gwent reminds me we were right in the family always to refer to Bluenose Ffestiniog – no-one could believe we thought it was correct (which it isn’t).
Among other things, Wells links to sound clips of Judge Judy.

2. Some time ago, Arrogant Polyglot considered the origin of the middle finger gesture. I was surprised to see that Wikipedia offers exactly the same story for the middle finger as for the British two fingers (V, but not victory V) gesture (scroll down for V sign as an insult). Both entries have links to German Wikipedia entries.

bq. “The finger” is traceable to Roman times [citation needed], but may be unrelated in origin, as the insulting V sign is largely restricted to the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Spain, where it is popular among taxi drivers in Madrid. The insulting V sign is not widely recognized in other countries.

3. The BBC has pictures of Boy George doing community service in New York

4. Julio Juncal’s Transnotes is a wiki of Translation Notes – more information here. (via Carlos Ferrero Martín at Las palabras son pistolas cargadas)

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