Tag Archives: America

Hey you! I no like-a you language

Pax Arcana

As if fomenting shitstorms of hatred in some of the world’s most dangerous places weren’t enough to make the Euros hate us, it looks like our words are creeping into their languages.

First the French revolted against the increased use of English-ish phrases like “le weekend.” Now the Italians have thrown down their meatballs in disgust over the use of words like “welfare,” “briefing,” and the ubiquitous “OK.”

The result is the predictably insane effort to reverse the course of linguistic globalization. Leading the charge is the Dante Alighieri Society:

Over the last four months the society, named after the Florentine poet Dante, author of The Divine Comedy and regarded as the father of the Italian language, asked visitors to its website to nominate their least favourite Anglicisms.

The results judge the ugliest imports to be ‘weekend’, ‘welfare’ and ‘OK’, followed by ‘briefing’, ‘mission’, ‘know how’, ‘shampoo’ and ‘cool’.

The worlds of business and politics contribute many of the alien words, from ‘question time’ to ‘premier’ and ‘bipartisan’.

Other English words regularly used by Italians which escaped the ire of the society’s correspondents include ‘sexy’, ‘webmaster’ and ‘water’, short for water closet or lavatory.

“Italians unite against il weekend”, the society declared on its website. “In short, it is clear that Italians are calling for more respect and more protection for correct language.”

Obviously the Dante Alighieri Society is acting childish here. Here is my response: Beatrice Portinari was uglier than bucket of baccala.

Also, gnocchi is a way uglier word than shampoo.


Italians vote for ugliest English words [Telegraph]



Filed under media

Special Thursday Random 10: Mayonnaise and Fireworks Edition

Pax Arcana

We’re doing the random 10 a day early this week since the fragrant and sit-uppy Mrs. Pax Arcana and I will be sailing our sloop to the sunny Arcana compound — located in an uncharted volcano off the coast of Massachusetts — to celebrate American Independence Day. I pray the manservant remembers my fake giant squid tentacles this year. Man, that joke never gets old.

Here’s a little tip for you, should you find yourself among the backyard-dwelling cook-out folk that seem to comprise the majority of common America — don’t worry about the mayonnaise. That’s because, despite what we all learned growing up, commercial mayo is not a catalyst for food poisoning. To the contrary, jarred mayo can actually prevent certain bacteria from spreading through your chicken salad or what have you:

Most commercial brands of mayonnaise contain vinegar and other ingredients that make them acidic — and therefore very likely to protect against spoilage. When problems occur, they usually result from other contaminated or low-acid ingredients (like chicken and seafood), improper storage and handling, or homemade versions that contain unpasteurized eggs.

One prominent study published in The Journal of Food Protection found, for example, that in the presence of commercial mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad either slowed or stopped altogether. As the amount of mayonnaise increased, the rate of growth decreased. When temperatures rose to those of a hot summer day, the growth increased, but not as much as in samples that did not contain mayonnaise.

So there you have it.

The songs:

The Seeker — The Who
Books About UFOs — Hüsker Dü
Psycho Killer — Talking Heads
Mesentery — Bitch
It Takes Two — Rob Base and DJ Eazy Rock
The Turn — M.I.A.
See America Right — Mountain Goats
I’m a Changed Man — Otis Redding
Constructive Summer — The Hold Steady
I’m Amazed — My Morning Jacket

Bonus Video:

America, Fuck Yeah! — Matt Stone and Trey Parker

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.


Filed under music