It was a fine day here in the city: eighty (27°C) and sunny.
My English-French illustrated dictionary has landed on my porch.
It is illustrated with panels from Belgian cartoonist Hergé’s Tintin characters, which is why I had to have it, of course.
I have decided to improve my cryptic crossword skills, and so I printed out a few that I had found in online issues of The Irish Times.
I am not allowed to use Google too directly. (Shockingly, many of the clue phrases and their solutions can be found online).
I do use Google to look up synonyms, or the odd word or phrases that I do not understand.
Example: I think you need to be an Irishman or a Brit, to know that C of E stands for Church of England.
‘We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are’.
– from Seduction of the Minotaur, by Anais Nin (1961)
The entire Sept. issue of Scientific American is dedicated to the topic on the front page in bold letters: Truth, Lies & Uncertainty: Searching for Reality in Unreal Times. The articles are heavy on science and general philosophies about what is real and what is virtual. For example: to this day, philosophers cannot agree on whether mathematical objects (say, the number ‘7’) exist, or are pure fictions.
A summary of the article by Prof. Anil K. Seth that goes with the picture below, goes like this:
‘The reality we perceive is not a direct reflection of the external objective world. Instead it is the product of the brain’s predictions about the causes of incoming sensory signals. The property of realness that accompanies our perceptions may serve to guide our behavior so that we respond appropriately to the sources of sensory signals’.
So throw in Presidents that lie every day, greedy corporations with profit incentives, and worldwide social media networks — and holy cow: it’s more important than ever before to try to verify if something uncertain or new that we come across, is ‘true’.
I spent the day running down the interesting architecture sights around central station, and the Aker Brygge (Aker docks), a little further along the waterfront.
I also checked into some stores and some bookstores.
I have so far come up empty handed, as far as finding Tintin books in Norwegian, to add to my collection.
Hmm.. is that a legitimate word: cenosillicaphobia? I wondered, as I looked at the letter board sign behind the bar counter in the Elysian Capitol Hill Brewery tonight.
Well, kind of. It looks like it was invented some 10 years ago. It is listed by Urban Dictionary, but not by Merriam-Webster (the gold standard for online dictionaries).
Ceno means empty, such as in cenotaph (a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person, or group of persons, whose remains are elsewhere), sillica would be the glass and phobia (of course), the irrational fear.
No reason to suffer from cenosillicaphobia when the bartender is right there, though – unless you have had several too many, already.
The sugarbush is from the protea family. The ‘flowers’ are actually flower heads with a collection of true flowers in the center, surrounded by bracts (modified leaves). In days gone by, the nectar used to be collected and cooked into a syrup.
A famous Afrikaans folk dance song goes like this: Suikerbossie ek wil jou hê (Sugarbush I want you so) Suikerbossie ek wil jou hê (Sugarbush I want you so) Suikerbossie ek wil jou hê (Sugarbush I want you so) Wat sal jou mama daarvan sê (What will your mama say of that)
Dan loop ons so onder deur die maan (Then we walk under the moon) Dan loop ons so onder deur die maan (Then we walk under the moon) Dan loop ons so onder deur die maan (Then we walk under the moon) Ek en my suikerbossie saam (My sugarbush and I together)
.. no, not a pastry that you can eat – the kind you can read. I got this little first-grade reader book at a second-hand bookstore for a few dollars. For now, I don’t intend to learn Danish. I just like the o with the streg (ø) and the a with the overring (å). So foreign.
‘Søren and Mette’ was first published in 1954. The authors were teacher Knud Hermansen and psychologist Ejvind Jensen. The artist was Kirsten Jensenius. An updated version of the book is still in use today.
I have a few German ‘Adventures of Tintin’ books in my collection, and I can start to read those with a better understanding as well.
The two bungling detectives (Schulze & Schultze in the German translation), first appeared in King Ottokar’s Scepter. Check out the table for their names in the other translations.
My only beef with the German translation is that the text is in ALL CAPS – which means YELLING in today’s rules for text formats. I would have much preferred it to be Mixed Case. Carlson Comics, please take note of that for the next update to the German translation!
I am working my way through a large set of German language lessons in duolingo. (It is a website and an app. I find the desktop/ website better to use, since it is easier to type in the answers to the lessons that way).
Every now and then, I get a German phrase that is remarkably easy to translate directly into my native Germanic language of Afrikaans, but impossible to translate directly into English. (And I love it – it’s what fascinates me about languages).
Here’s one : German: Es ist mein Ernst. Afrikaans : Dit is my erns. English: It is my [Hmm. What word to use here? Cannot say ‘It is my serious/ It is my earnest’. Need a noun forsome thing/ some issuethat is taken seriously].