On Pronunciation

From London Sunday Times, January 3, 1965

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead —
For goodness’ sake don’t call it ‘deed’!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)

A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there’s dose and rose and lose —
Just look them up — and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart —
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five!

“Let’s Make A Salad!” Video for LING 480 @ #SFU

Here’s a little video shot and edited yesterday for my group’s final project in Linguistics 480, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), with Dr. Trude Heift @ Simon Fraser University, Spring 2012.

The idea was to make a content-based video on the topic of food that could be easily incorporated into an ESL lesson. Each of the members in our group then has to create a mock ESL lesson plan incorporating this CALL technology for the second part of this assignment.

There are a few simple lessons that this video could be used for:

  1. Introducing imperative verb forms
  2. Food vocabulary
  3. Food preparation verbs
  4. Reviewing numbers (eg. “Step Six: Dice The Onion”)

Total runtime: ~4 minutes.

Feel free to use this video as part of your own ESL lesson planning.
“Lettuce” know if you find it useful!

Thanks to Lauren and Andrea for being really great to work with for this project.

March 30, 2012 | Lauren & Andrea, "Let's Make A Salad" Video for LING 480 @ SFU

March 30, 2012 | Lauren & Andrea, "Let's Make A Salad" Video for LING 480 @ SFU

March 20, 2012 – Why Am I So Hungry Today?

March 20, 2012 | Why Am I So Hungry Today?

March 20, 2012 | Why Am I So Hungry Today?

I have this class on Tuesdays that goes from 11:30-2:30. About an hour into class I start fading fast, and my concentration diminishes. And I start drawing.

And the answer to “Can you pass the salt?” is funnily neither “yes” nor “no”. It’s physically picking up the salt shaker and handing it to someone.😛

March 20, 2012 | Can You Pass The Salt?

March 20, 2012 | Can You Pass The Salt?

Speaking of hunger, look what I got in the mail today from Cafepress:

March 20, 2012 | The Hunger Games Panem District 5 Identification Card

March 20, 2012 | The Hunger Games Panem District 5 Identification Card

Fun. I’m now on the grid, very much so. That’s more information than my doctor has. That photo of me on the card is from 2008. I haven’t really aged much in 4 years, have I?! Going to see the movie Saturday night with a bunch of friends. Not sure why people are comparing The Hunger Games to Twilight…well, yeah I can see why but DUDES hello Katniss Everdeen is a kick ass awesome survivor whereas that Bella Twilighty poor exemplar of a human female needs to stop swooning and blinking and generally being a doormat damsel in distress.

Ahem. Anyway.

March 13, 2012 – It’s Snowing at #SFU

In class, I looked out the window.

Someone had walked in circles today, around some trees, in a sleepy grey garden dusted with sugary snow.

March 13, 2012 | SFU Snow Garden

Who are you? What were you thinking?

It got me daydreaming:

March 13, 2012 | It's snowing at SFU

March 13, 2012 - in class (LING 480) doodle inspired by that anonymous person who walked in circles in the snow around the trees in the AQ garden at SFU.

Dear snow walker, I hope you find what you are looking for.
Thank you for inspiring me today.

March 8, 2012 – 2nd Half Redemption

The second half of today redeemed the first half. Most definitely.

Woke up with that vague neck/headache that often foreshadows a migraine. Couldn’t focus. Had that ‘so tired my limbs are going to fall off’ feeling. Showered. Did breakfast. Went back to bed. Read a little bit. Then slept. And I think I must have been trying to scream in my dreams because I woke up with a sore throat of not the sick kind. Huh.

Managed to find some clothes that didn’t match, left the house with no socks and no sweater on top of my tank, beneath my coat.

This is where it gets good.

Got to my class (lab) in surrey. Checked my email. Found out I got the VPR USRA (vice president research undergrad student research award…or something like that) for summer 2012. Which means I’m going to be making some money doing useful stuff over the summer. Which is excellent.

Went shopping at the surrey mall between classes to find some kind of covering shirt because my tank top only thing was ridiculous. Ended up finding an awesome $7 shirt at sirens. one of those loose flowy shirts that’s super loose yet immediately elegant and comfy. Good find.

Went to lecture. They showed my project 2 in sound design class critique as one of the good ones. Highly embarassing and unexpected, but awesome. Although in my opinion that project deserves no more than 12/15 …being generous.

Went to circus. Headache still present. Bought Advil. Took Advil. Bliss ensued.

Static trapeze coach started me on The aerial hoop tonight (thus far i’ve only been on the trapeze) with the Ovo, man on the moon, and two variations on the mermaid. Also learned the inverted planche and straddle mount (as opposed to the pike) on static. Awesome.

Then swinging trapeze class! Coach gave us horse wraps (padding for our feet!) which turned out to be incredibly awesome! No more random rope burns from ankle hangs! Apparently got the jitters out of my system in static class, so swinging was a lot less tense and sweaty than it usually is. Got my hop off on the first try, and learned the full angel sequence. Also worked on releasing into my knee hang because I fell off (we’re harnessed so no biggie) doing it in my first class and since then I’ve had issues letting go (haha)

Then trekked up the hill to SFU Burnaby for the Rowing Team’s no pants pub night.:) gave $10 instead of $5 at the front door…with the caveat that nobody would try to twist my rubber arm into drinking…(once I start it’s kind of hard to stop) and so stuck with my diet coke and lime. Which is super awesome because I’m going to be totally functional and less fat (so many calories in alcohol) tomorrow!

And now because I’m home and decently caffeinated and well socialized and adrenalized from all that trapezery and headache free to boot, I’m going to go work through a bunch of MAX/MSP tutorials and try to figure out how the hell I’m going to build my final project for sound design class.

12:27am. It has been a really good day, even if the first half of it was wasted feeling ill. This rambling post has been brought to you by WordPress for iPhone.

March 6, 2012 – Tangled Daydreams

Guess I was bored in class today.

March 6, 2012 | I want it to be spring.

March 6, 2012 | I want it to be spring.

March 6, 2012 | Tangled Daydreams

March 6, 2012 | Tangled Daydreams

Actually more like stressed out to distraction, and imagining things.

My sternum has been very tight of late.

Learning Greek Handwriting…

So I’m taking Greek 110 @ SFU (Modern Greek for Beginners I) this semester by distance education (they don’t offer an in-class option), and one of the unfortunate things about learning a language with an orthography different from your own is that you never get to observe someone actually writing the language. I mean, the fonts they use are great, but in learning handwriting, there’s a flow, a simplification, an observance of variation that you just don’t get from typewritten fonts.

It’s like learning that in English, the vowels in “bit” and “beat” will produce a difference in meaning, but that saying those words with higher pitch, or longer vowel duration won’t change the meaning. The brain takes all that sort of variation into account and slots them into the right categories and spits out something you understand. Cool.

Handwriting is the same way! I mean, if you look at the handwriting of 10 adults in the same language, they’ll all write with different styles – printing, cursive, spacing, speed, pressure, messiness, slanted, large bubbles, connected letters, etc. But almost always we can decipher the content behind the symbols, and this is one aspect that is missing from online language learning.

So here I am, developing my own version of Greek handwriting, with no idea if it’s actually within the boundaries of acceptable letter structure variation, such that it would be legible and not laughable to a native speaker of Greek.

Oh well.

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