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Day: April 10, 2017
Why don’t Apple devices have an emoji of the flag of Ancient Rome?
The intention of the Unicode Regional Indicator Symbols was to represent current countries in existence (as encoded in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2), as locales for software; the flags are a lagniappe. (A rather unfortunate lagniappe.) Hence, no SPQR flag: the point of the codes is to indicate the country you live in, as a two letter […]
Which 7 people in history would you like to high-five?
Tough question, Habib le toubib: I don’t do heroes, I like my critical faculties about me, and I’ve been jaded for a while. And of course, anyone I’d choose would be morbidly obscure anyway. … OK, challenge accepted. Hubert Pernot. The underappreciated giant of Modern Greek historical linguistics. Not a polemicist, not a tub-thumper; he […]
What are some tips for living in Melbourne?
The sooner you pronounce the city name the way the locals do, the better. Not MELbin, but MALbin: Salary–celery Merger, a proudly Victorian peculiarity. (Whaddaya mean, New Zuhluhnduhrs do it too?) And never, ever pronounce that <r> in Melbourne. What do you think this is, Melbourne, Florida? Never say anything good about Sydney. It’s against […]
What are some examples of folk etymology?
Bridegrooms, Bonfires, and Woodchucks: Folk Etymologies in English. From that link: The textbook examples for English are sparrowgrass for asparagus, and bridegroom, which should have been bridegoom. (The word gome for “man” became extinct, so people grabbed the nearest similar word. Now that the noun groom for “horse attendant” has also become extinct, people use […]