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Pentlands trail through the field

Yesterday was cake day in my office. It was delicious. If your office does not stop work to share a cake at least one afternoon a week, you may be doing it wrong.

Pentlands waving grass

Macbooks are definitely doing it wrong–does anyone have a fix for when the tap-to-click and two-finger scrolling features suddenly stop working, besides turning the computer off and turning it back on again? I’ve seen the problem mentioned on the internet, but never any workable solution.

Pentlands NTS

On a completely unrelated note, someone in my office just got a phone call. How do I know? Suddenly the sound came over the air of someone using a phone line to connect to the internet. I assumed someone was trying to remotely access something on their computer, which just goes to show what century I was born in. (Fact: There are parts of rural Maine where accessing the internet is such a painful and time-consuming process that many people still don’t bother having e-mail accounts.)

We went straight up and straight back down every one of these hills. (Don't let the name "3-Peak Trail" fool you; there are 5.) The Scots do not seem to approve of switchbacks. Or counting.

We went straight up and straight back down every one of these hills. (Don’t let the name “3-Peak Trail” fool you; there are 5.) The Scots do not seem to approve of switchbacks. Or counting.

But no, it was a cell phone. A cell phone making the sound a computer makes when trying to talk on the telephone.

Pentlands hillside

In other news, I still have trouble overcoming giggles when reading Dutch, It sounds like an English child making up German sentences, using the English versions of words or sounds when it can’t remember the German ones. According to today’s literature, that’s more or less what happened, except instead of children it was slaves. Buccini* attributes the rise of Dutch in part to “the more general problem of maintaining a slave population given the cost of breeding and the ever-increasing shortage of pagans in the west”. Yep, pagans are a valuable commodity. Sentences like that–a completely valid summary, btw–do nothing to stop me snickering every time I have to read Dutch. Which, given my field of study, is often.

Pentlands trail downhill

It’s still better than the un-transliterated Greek I kept running into yesterday. Language people have very high expectations of other linguists’ ability to read European languages.

Pentlands twisty tree

Sometimes they’re even justified.

Pentlands tree blown uphill

* Buccini, A. (2010). Between Pre-German and Pre-English: The Origin of Dutch. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 22.4, 301-314. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1470542710000073

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