Does This Really Sound Like Sitting Bull?

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Another quote meme going around on the Internet claims to be from Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake), the famous Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux chief. A fascinating man in a difficult time, and a source of inspiration today. He was brave, intelligent and, from all accounts, wise. So when I read the quote below, I was torn. It’s a good comment, one that sounds like it should come from a wise man. But was that wise man really Sitting Bull? Or perhaps these words are from someone else. … click below for more ↓

That’s not mass, it’s area. Poor science means bad reporting.

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It will come from space, be as massive as half a football field, have the explosive power to decimate hundreds of square miles of land and will hurtle perilously close to Earth. I cringed when I read this paragraph in a QMI story published in the London Free Press recently, titled “Rock of Ages: Killer Asteroid Likely to Pass in 2013.” So many mistakes in so few words. But it might be a great start for a Roger Corman B-flick script. Of course, “it” will … click below for more ↓

That squiggle cost taxpayers HOW much?

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I read in the latest edition of the Collingwood Connection that: “Regional Tourist Organization 7 (is) now Bruce Grey Simcoe.” Were you even aware of Regional Tourist Organization 7 before that story? According to the Connection, The organization announced its new brand and logo on Thursday at the Bear Estate in Collingwood. Bruce Grey Simcoe is one of 13 regional tourism organizations across the province. Executive director Jeffery Schmidt said the group has been doing research and marketing over the past year in preparation for … click below for more ↓

English suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous punctuation

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There’s a chip wagon in town that offers “fresh cut fries.” When I see that sign, I always wonder what “cut fries” are, and how they compare with uncut fries. Does this chipster offer stale cut fries as well as fresh ones? The former library is becoming an old building. The sign in front tells us a “senior facility” is coming soon. Sad to see a relatively new building forced to age. A sign in a local department store advises me “video’s” are on sale. … click below for more ↓

On translating Chaucer and the joys of Middle English

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In my last two visits to the nearby Chapters, I picked up from the bargain books section two recent, hardcover, versions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. One is a new verse translation by Burton Raffel published in 2008, the other a prose translation by Peter Ackroyd, from 2009. These join the dozen or so other versions of Chaucer’s works I already have on my bookshelves: the Riverside Chaucer (third edition), several venerable Penguin editions (both original and translations), the New Cambridge edition, the Portable Chaucer, Hopper’s … click below for more ↓

Slowly dies: another bad Internet meme

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I came across a fascinating poem, translated into English as “Slowly Dies.” There are numerous translations online, many by amateurs, but some very well crafted. It goes something like this (a portion from one translation): Dies slowly he who transforms himself in slave of habit, repeating every day the same itineraries, who does not change brand, does not risk to wear a new color and doesn’t talk to whom doesn’t know. Dies slowly he who makes of television his guru. Dies slowly he who avoids … click below for more ↓

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