Archive for April 2011

Translation 28. 2011. Annus horribilissimus so far

21 April 2011

In view of the unbelievable sequence of worldwide calamities (earthquakes, tsunamis and floods), the waves of social upheaval in the Middle East, and the latest developments heaping further media fuel on the Great Financial Fear bonfire, the year 2011 so far has left little room for media interest in anything else. So why blog? But in view of the prospect of a (real) news eclipse of at least ten days (more probably, years, to judge by the 1990s Diana mania) by the William and Kate soap opera, it may be time to return to the trenches and offer competition and viable alternatives for those bored witless by the excessive media hype surrounding next week’s event. Here is a minuscule contribution of language trivia to this surely noble cause, which should be taken up a.s.a.p. by watchdog organisations like Avaaz and Get Up if they really wish to cash in on the W & K frenzy and expand their Internet empire.

Rory Sutherland, the vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group, UK, but more importantly for blog audiences, the (fortnightly) ‘Wiki Man’ of the prestigious Spectator magazine of London, has been doing some lexicographical research on hash. That is, the # sign. It ranges far and wide and has very important advice for those who have to purchase a SIM card in a foreign language: ‘The Wiki Man making a hash of things’.
OK. That should distract you from at least one Royal Wedding news bulletin or article.

A few more Royal Wedding op-ed articles or TV pieces can be avoided by reading and reflecting on Anson Cameron’s short essay, ‘Why Everything Sounds Better in Double Dutch’.

For those desperate enough, Cameron’s thesis can be pursued well after the dreaded Royal Wedding, as this tidbit suggests: “It is, I suppose, an act of faith in humanity to assume that communications you do not understand are profound, beautiful and true. A faith largely misguided, of course.”

Think: Monsieur Jourdain, guru-spiel – or why that Latin American guy ran off with your girlfriend / wife / partner.

Sorry, I have to watch News 24 now.

For fellow bloggers who crave massive audiences (and money), take a tip from the phenomenally active and successful salaried blogger, James Delingpole. Delingpole is famous for his contributions to the the Anthropogenic Global Warming debate, but in a recent column (again in The Spectator, which is one of his employers) he announces his temporary retirement from the blogging fray, which has affected his health. See ‘Bloggings not a Job – it’s an expensive addiction’ to find out more about the perils of blogging.