Monday, August 14, 2017

Hypercorrection

Hypercorrection is the overapplication of a rule of grammar or usage. The result is a form which is considered non-standard. Many speakers commit hypercorrection in an effort to appear educated and sophisticated.

The word regardless has the suffix -less. However, many speakers use irregardless, which is non-standard. The reason is the overapplication of the prefix -ir in words such as irrational and irreparable.

Hypercorrection also occurs in the phrase between you and I. The phrase you and I is correct in subject position, but not as object of the preposition. After between, me is required. The standard phrase is between you and me.

Another example of hypercorrection is octopi. The standard plural is octopuses. The non-standard form occurs because many words derived from Latin such as alumni and fungi end in -i. The word octopus, however, is derived from Greek.

Hypercorrection often occurs in language. It applies to native and non-native speakers of a language. Hypercorrection is the result of the overgeneralization of a particular rule.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Victory in 16

In a game of speed chess, my opponent resigned after my sixteenth move. He was KingMichaelVIII of Japan, who played black. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nf6
3. Bc4 Bd6

The most common move for white here is Nxe5, but I choose a different line.

4. 0-0 h6
5. c3 c6
6. d4 Qe7
7. dxe Bxe5
8. Kh1 0-0
9. Nxe5 Qxe5
10. Re1 Re8
11. f3 d5
12. Bd3 dx3

I have a defensive position.

13. Bxe4 Bf5

If I take the bishop, black can mate. (Bxf5, Qxe1, Qxe1, Rxe1#)

14. Nd2 Bxe4
15. Nxe4 Nxe4

Black's move is a blunder. He needs to connect his rooks with Nd7.

16. Rxe4

Black resigns. His queen is under attack, but if he moves his queen, he loses his rook with check. Black's failure to connect his rooks on the backrank leads to his resignation.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

South African English

South African English has considerable social and regional variation. It features the trap-bath split and with the exception of speakers influenced by Afrikaans, is non-rhotic. The main phonological features of the South African dialect are the vowels.

The vowel in kit tends to be more centralized than in other varieties of English. In the word bath, the vowel is more open and retracted than in other dialects. The diphthongs of words such as town and side are often monophthongized.

With respect to consonants, /h/ is often voiced word-initially and voiceless plosives are often unaspirated or less aspirated than in other varieties.

Among South African speakers who don't monophthongize words such as town and side, the first component of the diphthong is more retracted than in standard English. The low front vowel of had is often raised to the vowel of head and the mid front vowel of head is often raised to the high front vowel of hid. This feature is also characteristic of New Zealand English.

Many South African speakers flap the [d] and [t] in intervocalic position. For these speakers, words such as medal and metal sound identical. Flapping is especially common in casual speech.

South African English has vowel retraction in words such as bath, a tendency to monophthongize the diphthongs of words such as town and side, vowel raising and flapping. It has the trap-bath split and is non-rhotic for most speakers. The English of South Africa is far from uniform and reflects the social and ethnic backgrounds of its speakers.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Fried Bread

Fried bread is popular in Hungary. It can be eaten with a variety of toppings such as sour cream and fresh dill, cheese and also chopped onions and garlic. Here is the recipe:

1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
oil to fry

Mix the sugar and yeast into the milk.
Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Place the flour into a large bowl.
Make a well in the centre.
Add the sugar, yeast and milk mixture.
Add the oil, mashed potatoes and salt.
Mix until the dough holds together.
Put on a smooth surface and knead for about 15 minutes.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for one hour.
After the dough has risen, flour your hands and divide into 4 portions.
Shape each into a round, flat cake.
Heat the oil to medium in a pan.
Fry for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
Serve with your favourite topping.



Spanish Adjective Order

In English adjectives are placed before the noun. This adjective order also occurs in Spanish, but Spanish adjectives usually follow the noun. In this post I will examine Spanish adjective order.

The adjectives bueno (good) and malo (bad) can be placed before or after nouns. Here are examples:

un libro bueno/un buen libro (a good book)
una idea mala/una mala idea (a bad idea)

Notice that the adjective bueno drops the o before the noun libro.

Certain adjectives must be placed before the noun. Here are examples:

el mejor actor (the best actor)
la peor clase (the worst class)

tres opciones (three options)
mi vida (my life)

In certain cases both orders are possible, but the meaning changes:

un amigo viejo (an elderly friend)
un viejo amigo (a longtime friend) 

un coche nuevo ( a modern car)
un nuevo coche ( a car that was recently bought)

Spanish adjectives usually follow the noun. However, certain adjectives can precede or follow the noun without a change in meaning and a few must precede the noun. With a few adjectives, the two adjective orders are possible, but the meaning changes.


Names of Major Cities in Esperanto

Esperanto, a language invented by Ludwig Zamenhof, is unique because all nouns must end in an o. This doesn't apply to all nouns, i.e., the names of people, but it applies to the names of major cities. Here is a list of major cities with their names in Esperanto:

Atlanto Atlanta
Berlino Berlin
Bruselo Brussels
Bonaero Buenos Aires
Detrojto Detroit
Filadelfio Philadelphia
Frankfurto Frankfurt
Hamburgo Hamburg
Jerusalemo Jerusalem
Manilo Manila
Montrealo Montreal
Moskvo Moscow
Novjorko New York
Osako Osaka
Oslo Oslo
Parizo Paris
Pekino Beijing
Prago Prague
Romo Rome
Seatlo Seattle

Many of the cities listed are very similar to their English counterparts. Cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Jerusalem merely add an o. However, the Esperanto equivalents of certain cities such as Buenos Aires and New York may not be immediately recognized.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Plum Soup

Plum soup is popular in Hungarian cuisine. Here is the recipe:

2 1/2 cups plums
3 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
six whole cloves
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Halve the plums and remove the pits.
Boil the plums, water, sugar and cloves for ten minutes.
Add the flour to the sour cream.
Slowly add to the soup.
Boil for five more minutes.
Add the cinnamon and lemon rind.

Plum soup can be served hot or cold. It's easy to prepare and very tasty.




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