December 8th, 2013
The longish silence has been caused mainly by the death of my desktop computer. Much energy was expended trying to save its life, but it was energy wasted. RIP.
I now have a new computer and much energy is being expended on re-installing software, restoring data files…ah well, you know the sort of thing. I hope to be posting more frequently and adding stuff to EP Tips soon. Om mane padme hum, Om mane padme hum, Om mane padme hum, Om mane padme hum….
November 24th, 2013
Yesterday I added a page to EP Tips (link in the side-bar) concerning the prefix <bio>. While I was doing this, it occurred to me that tips dealing with the pronunciation of technical terms in various disciplines might be useful to some folk. I have now added a new category which contains mini dictionaries — lists of 30 or so technical terms accompanied by just one acceptable GB pronunciation.
The first list is already there. It concerns the world of finance and all the strange terms the meaning of which is a mystery to me. I have also started work on a list for archaeology which should appear in a couple of days.
As always I will be grateful for comments and suggestions. Please send them to the EP Tips comments page whose address is in the side-bar too.
November 17th, 2013
Does the sentence below make sense?
He couldn’t help himself, so he helped himself.
November 2nd, 2013
The chess position above is an example where the Légal Trap can be played. This is named after Sire Légal (1702-1792), a French chess player whose full name was François Antoine de Legall de Kermeur. It is White’s move and the first move of the trap seems like a monumental blunder. It is f3xe5, which exposes White’s queen and the knight moved.
Can you see the trap?
1 … g4xd1 2 c4xf7+ e8e7 3 c3d5 checkmate.
Even if Black sees the trap and plays 1 ……. d6xe5, White can reply with d1xg5 and is a pawn up.
October 13th, 2013
The plant to the left is French Lavender. There seems to be some disagreement over its scientific name. I have found references to Lavandula angustifolia and to Lavandula stœchas, both of which are called French Lavender. I am not sure if these are supposed to be the same plant or not. No matter. The name cassidony is or was once applied to one or all of these. Here is what the online OED has to say about the word.
Etymology: Of uncertain etymology: suggestions are that it is the same word as cassidoine n.1, or of the same derivation.
(Skinner’s guess that it might be a corruption of *Stœchas sidonius labours under the fatal objection that no such name is known.)