Week commencing 13.12.04

Living dictionary
A new internet site which invites people to send in everyday expressions which have yet to make it into the dictionary has opened for business. The “living dictionary” has been started by lexicographer Collins to keep track of newly-emerging English words and phrases.

If a word has enough submissions and a definition can be agreed, it could make it into the hardback edition. Early suggestions include adultescent, a grown-up clinging onto youth.

I believe that the English language needs to evolve, and I encourage new words that accurately describe new feelings, products or expressions. However I do not support laziness, and words like ‘functionality’ are just lazy. If you structured the sentence properly in the first place, you would not have to rely on Americanisms .

I’m in the air
This week, though, the Federal Communications Commission is to consider how to ease the ban on cell phones in aircraft.

It’s expected to look at two measures: increasing competition to bring down the price of using the phones currently on the back of aircraft seats, and starting to look for technical solutions so ordinary mobile phones can function at high altitudes

Surely air travel is difficult enough without making it worse with an inconsiderately loud 20 something or an over important business person shouting into a mobile phone, because of the ambient noise, for a two hour journey to Italy.

Japanese men without a shoulder to cry on this Christmas are being offered a woman’s lap – made out of foam – to rest on instead. The “lap pillow”, shaped like the bottom half of a kneeling woman, is selling for about 9,429 yen ($90), the French news agency AFP reported.
“Single men find this soothing,” said Mitsuo Takahashi of the manufacturer Trane KK. He told AFP that the Hizamakura, or lap pillow, fulfilled a primal need. “From the time people were kids, people have laid their heads on their mothers’ laps to get their ears cleaned,” he said. “This is made to be quite close to the real thing.”

But they are also reported to be proving popular as joke gifts at office parties. So far the company has sold about 3,000 laps, Mr Takahashi said.

This is the company that produced the arm pillow we reported earlier this year. I wonder what else they will produce for the lonely person

The leader of the British National Party has been arrested as part of a police inquiry following the screening of a BBC documentary.

A party spokesman said Nick Griffin was arrested on Tuesday morning on suspicion of incitement to commit racial hatred. West Yorkshire police confirmed they had arrested a 45-year-old man from outside their area. BNP founding chairman John Tyndall was arrested on Sunday on the same charge.

Just a bunch of thugs.

A novel beauty pageant exclusively for women who have had plastic surgery on their face or body has begun in China. Nineteen contestants aged 17 to 62 paraded on stage in Beijing on Sunday as finalists in the week-long Miss Artificial Beauty contest.

China’s fast-growing cosmetic surgery is now worth $2.4bn a year. To prevent cheating, all contestants – who include one transsexual – have to provide a doctor’s certificate to prove that they have indeed had surgery.

But last-minute nips and tucks are not allowed – all surgery must have been completed no later than 29 May. Contests will compete for a series of awards, including the biggest change, the best body and the best personality. Other prizes will be given for best figure and best stage demeanour.

The question that I have to ask is “Are these women beautiful?” Is beauty purely aesthetic or should women be encouraged to look deeper for real beauty.

Parental strike
A mother and father say they have gone on strike over their children’s lack of help around the house. Cat and Harlan Barnard have pitched a tent in the front drive of their Florida home and erected signs, one of which says: “Parents on Strike!”.

They say they will stay there until Benjamin, 17, and Kit, 12, start to do their share of the household chores. The stand-off, in Enterprise, Florida, is being monitored by the police, welfare officers and teachers. Mrs Barnard said she and her 56-year-old husband, a government social services worker, had tried everything to get their children to act more responsibly.

Now here is a strong argument for dropping some ‘licks’ into the child’s backside You can only question their parenting to date if their children are that out of hand so young.


~ by jeditopcat on 8 November, 2008.

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