kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
Reading. Still, slowly, The Audacity of Hope.

TV. Another couple of episodes of Leverage, in which Eliot was inexplicably bad at making sandwiches.

Growth. So many plant. So many upcoming plant. (Trying not to go "but greenhouse? D: D: D:" now that I have bought a different greenhouse, but also, GREENHOUSE.)

Living space. We! Are back in London! And slowly unpacking. (I say "back in London": actually we're currently both in Cambridge, my at my parents' and A at a LARP thing, where I have dropped some bits off and am gently sitting around on the Internet, talking about genealogy and occasionally being fed; at some point there will doubtless be Scrabble.) Additionally and furthermore, A has been shifting from Wunderlist to Trello, and is sufficiently convinced by it he wants to stick, so while I was procrastinating this morning I moved all of our shared house lists over and made Very Important Decisions about Which Succulents to have as backgrounds. (I'm in the process of moving my own lists over, too.)

And now that we're back for real, in a house that... is actually ours... that we're expecting to stay in for at least the medium term... I'm having a think about rearranging furniture for more efficient and pleasant use of space. Conclusions mostly reached; enactment blocked on garage storage arriving. Interestingly, I'm... actually not missing Belfast, yet. There was a lot of it that was nice! I miss having multiple bathrooms! I'm also really glad to be home.

Language. I took the "quite a lot of signage is bilingual" hint, my last few weeks in Belfast, and finally started learning Irish on Duolingo. On the one hand I'm finding adjusting to the orthography and pronunciation mildly interesting; on the other, I do keep... finding it gently amusing... that they're very earnestly explaining slender versus broad vowels, and the general concept of vowel harmony, Very Much For Anglophones: "broad" vowels, which (approximately) I know as "dark" vowels from German, these being the vowels that take umlauts, and as far as vowel harmony goes there are fewer vowels than Turkish okay. (Sorta, mostly.) I am gradually acquainting myself with consonantal conventions. It is not the Celtic I had planned to learn first -- I'd been aiming for the Brythonics, the Welsh-Cornish-Breton branch, rather than the Goidelics, on account of the mouldering ancestral pile being in Cornwall, our familial surname being associated with the Brythonics, etc etc, but nevertheless here is where I find myself.

On the topic of Brythonics, though, I was delighted that I did in fact manage to pretty much just parse "Sẃ Mor" on a roadsign in North Wales on our way home: apparently I can tolerably well work out that "Sẃ" is the loan of the Greek "zoo", and "mor" I am familiar with as "sea" because, well, Cornwall, innit. V pleasing.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
So I spent yesterday curled up on the chaise longue facing the river, and was at one point very startled by an Unfamiliar Birds. They were mostly black, and sort of pointy, and approximately coot-sized but rather more streamlined, and had some very dashing white patches on their flanks associated with their wings. After a bit of poking around, I am tentatively identifying them as white-winged scoters; by the time I'd scared up some photographs of same they'd vanished from sight.

Also yesterday: fun and games with uncommon suffices.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
spot the difference!

preferment: the selection of clergy to hold positions of senior office in the Church (of England) (largely obsolete)
preferment: a preparation of a portion of a bread dough that is made several hours or more in advance of mixing the final dough

my recreational reading, you see, currently includes a nontrivial amount of Austen and a nontrivial amount of The Theory Of Sourdough. APPARENTLY in this modern day and age we don't believe in clarifying punctuation. as a result I am spending a lot of time being very confused about theology.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
By which I mean: I've been learning Turkish for... three years now? And have only, in the past fortnight, finally got my head around the days of the week. Which go like this: pazar (Sunday), pazartesi (Monday), salı (Tuesday), çarşamba (Wednesday), perşembe (Thursday), cuma (Friday) and cumartesi (Saturday).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I had particular difficulty with salı, çarşamba and perşembe. And then, a fortnight ago, I noticed that çarşamba and perşembe are the same word with a different prefix, and everything suddenly got! a lot easier!

Because, see, one of the things Turkish does, in addition to being agglutinative, is so-genannte vowel harmony, whereby the vowels in various bits that routinely get stuck on the ends of other words change (between either two options or four options, depending) based on the last vowel in the root word (which in turn depends on its preceding vowel, in many cases). So both çarşamba and perşembe are built up using the component -şImbI, where capital dotless I indicates "a vowel harmony goes here".

I... genuinely feel like it took me an embarrassingly long time to spot that, given the givens.

Anyway, I badgered the friend who's the reason I'm learning Turkish, who kindly explained to me that what's going on here is that şImbI is from the Persian shanbe, being the word that is also "Sabbath", and which means (for these purposes) "first day of the week". The prefices "char" and "penj" (via A Phonology) are "four" and "five", as in, that many days post-Sabbath.

So now I actually know the days of the week in Turkish, too, and they're reasonably solid, and I'm very pleased about this.
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
Specifically, the ableist issues with metaphorical deployment of "using something as a crutch" are well-documented. FwD suggests the alternative "training wheels", which never really worked for me; something about the connotations, I think.

I've just noticed that "using ... as a buttress" really does: while buttresses are reassuring and nice to look at, they fundamentally arise because we didn't understand physics so couldn't build things that stayed up without them. As we've deepened and developed our understanding of the world and our place in it they become superfluous: there are less visible and more efficient ways to achieve the same effect, but they require thought and work.

Which has a different flavour, to me, around whether there's an expected stepping stone to build confidence (as training wheels so often are), or whether one is fundamentally struggling to replace a maladaptive approach that was the best that could be done at the time but has been rendered obsolete, if you can get the budget and the time and the support to do the upgrade work.


Jun. 5th, 2018 10:38 am
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Singular they is well-attested, as we know, but I find myself wondering whether the appearance of they with the singular verb form in modern low-prestige grammars ("they was doing...") is part of what drives the prescriptivist sneering, consciously or otherwise.

2. I sincerely hope that today's Strong Female Protagonist is going to get narratively called out for the bullshit it is. I do pretty much trust the creators so my hopes are high, but I am bracing.

3. Body positivity: I keep on being frustrated by mainstream presentation & understanding of it as "ISN'T YOUR BODY GREAT DON'T YOU LOVE IT :D" where "love" means "have unambiguously solely positive feelings about", and I keep wanting to wade in to conversations about same with "okay but this is a ~MISCONCEPTION~ it's actually about COMPASSION and KINDNESS and UNDERSTANDING THAT IT'S DOING ITS BEST and d'you know what all the studies show this actually really helps" but I recognise that wouldn't actually be useful, so, you know, you all get a grumble here instead.

4. How To Tell If You "Need" A Mobility Aid: if, in spite of all the structural and systemic and social barriers, using one (part-time! full-time! whatever!) makes your life easier and more pleasant, you need it. That's genuinely it.

5. I swung by the local cheap gym the other day to scope out their level access or absence thereof; as I was giving up, the person at reception who'd seen me wander past and then back out came out and asked if they could help me. Oh yeah, they said, we can do that, let me just come and open the side door -- obviously we'd need to get a ramp but this is how you'd get in. And, you know, I can't get into reception with level access, but the way it's set up I'd be passing reception at eye-height with whoever's on front desk so could get their attention pretty easily. Anyway, I then e-mailed to say "recently post-op, would like to join up with my partner once I'm cleared to return to exercise BUT I'd need level access as discussed last week, here's some eBay links to examples of the types of ramp you could get"... and a few days later got the response "we've just placed the order, should be arriving in the next few days, please sign up whenever!" So that was vastly easier and more positive than I expected.

6. I appear to want to do more reading about thinking about anger, as an emotion, as it's experienced in my social context and consensus reality. For me it's basically always an expression of being scared, and if I can work out why it usually redirects into a different emotional experience; I'm curious about how other people experience it, so here's a placeholder note about that.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
(1) Given that Swype has had end-of-life announced, anyone fancy recommending me an Android keyboard? Swype features I particularly like include "bilingual predictive text" and "rapid language-switching". (My most-used keyboards are currently enUK-de bilingual, French, Turkish.)

(2) New Duolingo. Crown levels. Assume I'm the kind of completionist who tried to keep everything gold before moving on to learning a new skill. WHAT IS THE EQUIVALENT HERE. How! Do I completionism! and feel like I've actually completed a thing! thank and goodbye.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. On Sunday, A & I went to The Postal Museum, including a ride on the Mail Rail. It was great. It was a SMALL TRAIN that went through POST TUNNELS and I was very excited and flappy. Be warned that it's quite cramped; I sat and watched one of the videos and it included a lot of elderly engineers ergo there followed a nontrivial quantity of inexplicable-to-onlookers weeping; I learned things about how the Royal Mail started out (genuinely just for royalty), the origins of the post horn (I knew perfectly well what it was for on Alpine post buses but hadn't put together how it started), the existence of both air mail pillar boxes and pillar boxes with integrated stamp dispensers (which were really very short lived because they fundamentally didn't work very well), and about Travelling Post Offices a preserved iteration of which we're now planning to make a visit to. I also fell down the rabbit-hole of trying to look up procedural differences in how first- and second-class post are handled; A found me a not-as-informative-as-I'd-hoped Freedom of Information request, and I found a video with obnoxious ableism/ageism and backing music but some interesting if irrelevant stuff (phosphorus detectors!). A+ nerding all round, would visit again.

2. A & I have got started on Leverage courtesy of a loan of the box sets from [personal profile] sebastienne and [personal profile] shortcipher.

3. Early this evening I submitted my first first-author paper. It took me four hours to get from "okay, I'm ready to submit" to actually hitting the submit button on the website. Good grief but the interface is terrible. I am feeling pretty good about this, and especially good that the latest night I've had working on it was Monday, when I was poking at it til shortly before midnight and then went to bed and... my supervisor made functionally 0 corrections to the bit I put together (from scratch) in that session.

4. New horn case is excellent, is indeed encouraging me to practice more, and I am very rapidly observing the benefits... just in time for Saturday's concert, or not, as the case may be. But: hopefully will manage to keep up the momentum.

5. I don't think I mentioned here that I finished the Duolingo Turkish tree last week, but I did and for all there are huge chunks that I am Really Not Very Good At Yet I am fundamentally pretty proud of myself for that one, too.

6. I have been spending more social time with people over the last few weeks than I had prior to that and it's been really good. Thank you, all. <3
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
I had been remembering the Turkish for red, kırmızı, by associating it with "crimson". Today I finally got around to looking up whether that's a false cognate, and nope, it isn't: they're both from the Arabic qirmiz (i.e. Coccus ilicis, as in the red dye cochineal, i.e. the insect family from which it is prepared), ultimately from Sanskrit.

(Today I have learned a thing about entomology! "But Alex, don't you mean etym--" "No. It's a bug."*)

* If you can remember which web comic it was that I read this joke in recently I'd be very grateful.


Mar. 25th, 2017 10:03 pm
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
  1. The English sofa is a loan from Turkish. The Turkish for the English sofa, however, is kanape, as a loan from the French canapé, which has the original meaning of English sofa and, by figurative extension, the meaning of English canapé, because you've got a little piece of bread or pastry or something that looks like a sofa with the topping perched on top of it. ([personal profile] sebastienne conjectured this etymology when I was grumbling about the Turkish last week; they were surprised and delighted to be correct.)
  2. Fox/vixen is the solitary surviving example in modern English of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in: Fuchs/Füchsin.
  3. The English/French foyer is rendered, in Swedish orthography, foajé. It is pronounced the way one might reasonably expect foyer to be pronounced. See also: restaurang.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Just about all of you have pointed me at Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages, for which I am grateful! But having told [personal profile] jedusaur I'd liked it give or take disagreeing with a couple of the approaches taken, I completely failed to actually elaborate on what those points of disagreement were.

Read more... )
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
I react to being described as "in" a wheelchair (as opposed to using a wheelchair) by snarling, and I've just (in response to a Sociological Images article The NYC subway to a person in a wheelchair) worked out some more of the why.

There's part the first, which is that it's inherently passive terminology that obfuscates or elides my agency. But the thing I've just noticed, the actual big deal, is that it makes it sound as though me being in a wheelchair is a permanent and unalterable state, and that in turn contributes to the idea that if I can stand or walk at all I shouldn't be using one, and that by using one I'm faking -- in a wheelchair precludes the possibility of being out of it. I'm pretty sure this framing contributes directly to strangers' horror if I stand up to reach something on a high shelf in a supermarket, or get up to carry my chair down a flight of stairs rather than taking a sloped half-mile detour, or what have you.

(There's other issues - who's surprised? - with that SocImages article, including the part where actually level and step-free access is important to all sorts of people. It's genuinely very important not to conflate "accessible" with "level access", or to conflate "level access" with "wheelchair accessible"; the former erases a very great many disabilities, and the latter assumes that all you need is flat surfaces and doesn't stop to think about whether aisles are wide enough or there's space set aside for wheelchair users to sit, or what have you. ... but there we go.)
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
I offer the "personal dictionary" from my auxiliary internet device, because I sort of feel it is actually pretty representative of me as a person.
Read more... )

Queries welcome, particularly those aimed at clarification. :-p
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(Cis friends, by all means ask me questions to clarify, but maybe consider sitting out of actually having an opinion in comments on this one. Anon comments are permitted but will be screened; I expect to unscreen unless otherwise requested.)

Read more... )
kaberett: A cartoon of wall art, featuring a banner reading "NO GLORY SAVE HONOR". (no glory save honour)
Gifts are given; offerings are made or, well, offered. The latter is availability with no expectation whatsoever; the former implicitly requires acceptance, to a greater or lesser extent. I have been playing over the past few weeks with this distinction as applied to human interaction.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. I got home to find a Terrifying Letter From The DWP... letting me know that my DLA's been autorenewed through to 2016 without me needing to do anything about it. :-)

2. I am now down to two half-written poems in the stack - one's a villanelle and will be hard; one might grow up to be a sonnet but is probably going to just be my usual style of thing.

3. Domestic bliss: doing the washing up while P curled up on the sofa with my complete works of Donaghy (he of Machines and Midriver), dipping in and out and reading me bits.

4. Swedennn. Snow and sunsets and AMINALS and RIDICULOUS FOOD (the ridiculous round thing with the whole in the middle, of which I have eaten approx my own bodyweight with butter and cloudberry jam over the past few days; ditto pepparkakor; ditto ajvar; I am a predictable human with predictable tastes) and exciting new food! Semla were not a thing I had previously consumed. (hahahahaha yes I win "simnel" is indeed finest wheat flour, semolina, which means semla is too, surprise)

5. Poking around etymonline.com after triangulating through all our mutual language; the -lic of garlic is in fact the same word as leek, and the Swedish for onion and (with modifiers) misc allium, and the German for misc allium. (Spem in allium, etc etc.) We were pleased.

6. Being helpful at my mother. :-) I mean, it is deeply weird to be grown-up enough to be helpful when it comes to casting an eye over CVs etc, but pleasant! Also she e-mailed me about pirates (and did not give me any updates on the rugby).

7. ... Elementary, though, okay. ELEMENTARY. SHOW.

8. Useful work done! Retweaked abstract (hopefully I'll be able to submit it tomorrow) for baby's first talk; did a quick blitz on an area I wasn't terribly clear on the specifics of and needed to be, wrote myself a summary, and have some questions for discussion with my supervisor; did an extremely sketchy first pass on the thesis outline I'm required to submit for my 21-month assessment, and slightly to my astonishment realised that it... continues to approximately make sense?

9. Mush. (SUCH TEENAGE.)

10. I am really really enjoying hair-adornment in the shape of tulmas courtesy of [personal profile] khalinche - they're beaded, and I reckon they're kind of like blue roses and P reckons they're kind of like a peacock and either way they make managing my hair marginally easier when it's hanging down in a braid, and are very very pleasing when I manage to arrange them either side of a bun. Sensory misc. Yes. :-)
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(Not sure what's going on here? The answer is Ancillary Justice.)

We're told that Radchaai does not bother with gendered pronouns. It seems to me that the default pronoun used means gender-irrelevant (rather than gender-unknown or gender-specific, which seem to me to be a useful way of considering pronouns of gendered beings). We're told that Strigan's society uses gender-known pronouns even though it professes to consider gender irrelevant.

And yet: the Radchaai frequently refer to ships as "it" (I note that the standard English pronoun used to refer to vessels is the same as the way in which the Radchaai default pronoun is rendered). It's clearly not as simple as in/animate - ships have emotions, ships have personality and identity, ships are sentient, ships have ancillaries. Except that this is done in a literally dehumanising way - ships are explicitly not Radchaai, not citizens, and therefore not considered human; characters who are uninterested in or unsympathetic toward ships are far more likely to refer to them as "it", whereas characters who like ships seem to mostly not pronoun them; non-Radchaai humans are generally called the standard pronoun for Radchaai, despite being considered by at least some in the society to have sub-human status - and so I am left picking away at what distinction it is the Radch is making here...

Thoughts very much appreciated!
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
It was once, several years ago at this point, my intense displeasure to be party to a conversation in public space in the house I was living in at the time, where I was doing housework -- and actually, I say "conversation", but what I mean is "a middle-aged white guy who was a guest of one of my housemates was holding forth about his expertise in child language acquisition".

Astonishingly enough, he was wrong about everything. In particular, he literally claimed that children should be taught Esperanto instead of a natural language like French, because it's completely unfair and unreasonable to expect children to memorise tables of irregular verbs before they can have a conversation with their friends, and Esperanto doesn't require them to do that! It is, he said, ridiculous -- you give five-year-olds recorders, not bassoons.

(1) That isn't even how child language acquisition works (very different to language acquisition post-11, and third & subsequent languages are much much easier than the first couple),
(2) The reasons you don't give five-year-olds bassoons are that (i) they are extremely expensive, (ii) they're twice the height of most five-year-olds, and (iii) five-year-olds do not have the lung capacity because unlike violins where it is possible to make 1/8th-sizes at standard pitch by changing the tension of the strings the same cannot be said for a wind instrument,
(3) Actually giving 5yos recorders is preposterous, because while they're very easy to get a sound out of they're very hard to get a nice sound out of, see also "why on earth do we teach children to draw with wax crayons",
(4) There is absolutely no benefit from teaching children a constructed language rather than a natural language, especially not one that is not only so heavily based on Indo-European but the Romance family while claiming to give people an introduction to ~every language ever~,
(5) ... dudebro you just claimed Mandarin and Cantonese were IE languages I am so done with this conversation, please stop mansplaining linguistics to me and please for crying out loud stop encouraging schools to teach children Esperanto.

If you have ever heard me loudly exclaim bassoons are NOTHING like irregular verbs, you now know why.


kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

April 2019

1 2 3 4 56 7
8 9 101112 13 14
1516 1718 19 20 21


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios