Friday, March 28, 2003

WHY ARE BEETS CONSIDERED YUCKY? I've never understood that. Especially in pickled form, beets are sweet, yummy, good!

I'm an adventuous eater and all, but I can at least understand the aversion to the green stuff -- spinach, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, although I think all are good if they're not overcooked. (I don't care for green beans, though, largely because of the squeaky noise they make with your teeth. Interestingly, my non-adventurous-eater wife loves green beans and hates pretty much all the rest of the above.)

This, by the way, was the main topic of discussion when my friends and I rented a motel room to celebrate our college graduation. (Dorks? Us?)

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I HAVE A THEORY. "Qatar" does sound like "Cutter" the way an Arabic speaker would pronounce "Cutter." Say "Cutter" like an American and you're way off, but say "Cutter" with a fake Middle Eastern accent and you're pretty close to the professor's officially sanctioned "Qatar."

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

SUCH RUBES WE ARE. If you've watched television news coverage recently, you've learned that Qatar isn't "Qatar" at all. Oh, no, that's the pronunciation for stupid Americans. It's actually "Cutter" or "Gutter"!

Slate published an "Explainer" on the subject late last year. It said, in part:

The most accurate English estimate is something halfway between "cutter" and "gutter." It's not "KUH-tar," the pronunciation that has become the standard among TV newscasters.
And, later:

Click here to hear Terri DeYoung, a professor of Arabic, pronounce "Qatar."
What do you hear when you click on that link?


I guess our Arabic is better than we thought.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

I KEEP HEARING REPORTS of a "terrorist attack" on a U.S. military camp in Kuwait. That's sad news, but how can it be "terrorism"? Aren't we, like, at war or something?

(Actually posted at 7:15 p.m.3/22/2003. Ignore the time below)

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

IF WAR WASN'T INEVITABLE, I suppose it is now, with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

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