Yesterday, Julie accused me of never having seen The Sound of Music. I took immediate offense, and challenged her to a Sound of Music trivia throwdown. These were the questions we asked each other (entirely without the web, I might add):
What was the name of the Captain’s new lover?
What was the name of the eldest daughter’s beau?
What’s the betraying beau’s job?
What were the names of all the kids?
Where did the family escape to at the end of the film?
What were the children’s play clothes made out of?
What animal was featured in the puppet show the children created?
We came out about even. How’d you do?
Incidentally, the title of this post comes from a line from the duet “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. The whole line goes:
My South-African relatives use this term to describe a major family incident, like when somebody comes out of the closet or whatever. As in, “ach, man, when Lars announced he was marrying that stripper, it was a total rundepest. My grandmother was threatening to slit her wrists.”
It’s pronounced roon-de-pest, and is apparently not an Afrikaans word. I Googled extensively, but couldn’t turn up anything. My step-mother thought it might be Slavic or Russian. Does anybody have any ideas?
UPDATE: Thanks for all the tips on the, uh, cattle plague. A reader writes in with a definition from the Oxford University Press dictionary of South African English:
rinderpest: a virulent highly infectious cattle disease long known in Europe but with particular historical significance in SA where it broke out in 1896; described as the greatest shock ever sustained by the agricultural community in SA.
James, intrigued by the aforementioned term and the phrase ‘the anesthetic of the familiar’, sent me a link to a short description of a talk by Steven Pinker. I was particularly intrigued by the word ‘dysphemism’, which apparently refers to the opposite of a euphemism. From Wikipedia:
In language, both dysphemism and cacophemism refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism…Examples of dysphemism include Ã¢â‚¬Å“dead tree editionÃ¢â‚¬Â for the paper version of an online magazine, or the American military personnelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s use of Ã¢â‚¬Å“shit on a shingleÃ¢â‚¬Â for their common breakfast of creamed chipped beef on toast.
Now, to use it in conversation three times. That shouldn’t be too hard, should it?
Because I’m a bit slow on these things, I just learned (or possibly just remembered) that Stephen King’s Dark Tower books are being adapted to comic book form. Or, at least, a chunk of the first book is.
Can you order comics on Amazon? I’ve never done so.
I visited the Marvel Comics website associated with the project to learn more. They’ve got a little trailer for the series, but when I tried to access it I got this cheeky message:
Really? “A potentially unviewable experience”? Ignoring the fact that ‘unviewable’ is not a word, what exactly are they talking about? Will the trailer become a black hole, absorbing all light? Is it like an eclipse, and it’ll blind me if I look directly at it? Will it Goatse me (if you do not know what that is, do not try to find out–trust me on this)? Or, even worse, will it Gigli me? “Ah! It’s Unviewable!”
The hotel connection was a bit dodgy, but is this really my fault? And even if it is the user’s fault, surely that’s Marvel’s problem to solve. How about offering two different qualities of trailer? How about making it downloadable? In any case, they need a more helpful, friendlier error message.
I did eventually get a chance to watch that trailer, and it was pretty naff. Anybody who’d actually read the books wouldn’t opt for a narrator with that absurd accent.
Can we get a shout out for the little people? I recognized today that there are several ‘web apps’ (probably more accurately described as ‘web pages with bits that do stuff’ or maybe ‘web 1.9 apps’) that I use all the time, but never talk about. They’re extremely simple pages that do simple but useful things.
Two of the them are Alphabetizer and Cut and Paste Word Count. They do exactly what you expect them to do. You cut and paste your text into their single field, and they sort it alphabetical order or provide a word count.
Because I mostly write in TextEdit (I do miss NotePad on the PC) or Google Docs And Spreadsheets, these are handy features. I most recently used Word Count to determine exactly how absurdly long this Tyee article was. It looked promising, but I just couldn’t cope with 2064 words.
Is anybody more hardcore than Henry Rollins? I saw him live doing his spoken word thing about five years ago and he was up there for, like, three hours. He wore us out.
I quite enjoyed this four-minute illustrated rant against WalMart. I think the illustration does a decent job of capturing Henry’s particular flavour of, what, erudite rage? There are a few cuss words:
Whiskey tango foxtrot. I’ve been using ‘ingenuine’ for years. I’ve apparently used it nine times on this site. And yesterday my spell checker indicated that it wasn’t a word. Poppycock! I checked Dictionary.com. Nope. I checked Merriam-Webster. Nada. I even visited the bookshelf and checked my massive (steady, steady) OED. No joy.
Clearly I’m a buffoon. What is the appropriate antonym to ‘genuine’? Ungenuine? Agenuine? Nongenuine? No such version of ‘genuine’ exists. This antonym finder suggests ‘insincere’.