August 13, 2004

Midnight cowboy stained in black reads dark roads without a map

* Fistful of Euros on german spelling reform. excerpt:

"This brings me to the German spelling reform, which shows that linguistic ignorance remains as widespread in Germany as elsewhere. This reform touches on a few minor inconsistencies in German spelling, to wit, the 'ess-tset' (ß) will be replaced by a double 's' after short vowels, a few anomalous compounds will be spelled as separate words, derived words will generally retain the spellings of their roots, even when this results in tripple letters (Stemmmeißel with three 'm'’s instead of Stemmeißel with only two), and a few loan words will have more regularised forms. These reforms will make my job writing morphological analysis software for German somewhat easier, and will probably have some effect on easing the development of spellcheckers able to support the morphological creativity of Germans. Languages like German that allow writers to create new compound words have always posed problems for software engineers."
"As for the German reform, the major German newspapers don’t matter. There is only one person whose opinions count. Somewhere in the bowels of Microsoft is a middle level employee whose job title is something like 'German localisation manager for Word.' Microsoft currently offers a choice of the two spelling dictionaries for Word, but he or she either will decide or has already decided which of the two is going to be the default setting. Once that has happened, the battle is over. And I’ll bet that whoever that person is, they’ve already decided that no one ever got fired for complying with the government spelling reform."

In other German news, a river of beer has been located in the Black Forest. [via heck's kitchen.]

"The existence of the Krautlager River, as it has been named, came as a pleasant surprise to most Germans as it is not even charted in maps of their legendary forest. The river of beer is believed to be the result of a fluke of nature.

"Fresh water from an underground spring flows down a riverbed surrounded by wild hops and barley plants. As the plants are periodically washed into the river, fermentation eventually occurs. The result is a delicious golden lager, which bubbles through the woodlands.

"Beer lovers from around the world have been making pilgrimages to the Krautlager River since its discovery earlier this year. Many of these beer pilgrims have bathed in the beer believing it has magical powers that can increase their consumption and tolerance levels."

* The backless brief: like freebagging it. [picture at the link]

"Australia could be on the brink of a startling underwear revolution, thanks to Gold Coast couple Jan and Chuck Digney ('just your average mum and dad') and their invention: the backless brief.

"Jan had a visible G-string problem and asked her daughters for advice.

"'They said they freebag it, basically, `We don't wear undies Mum.'

"'Well,' says Jan, speaking after a champagne-fuelled lunch to celebrate the launch, 'there's got to be something out there to stop people from doing that.'

"She worked through 50-odd prototypes before arriving at a design that replaces the back with two bra-style straps under the bottom.

"'It's like freebagging but you're protected,' she says."

* Meet Ted Kooser, America's new Poet Laureate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO view the pert backless briefs go to

9:57 PM  

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