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Mercator last won the day on August 24 2012

Mercator had the most liked content!

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About Mercator

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    Saarburg, Germany
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    Languages, cycling, photography, cooking, gardening.
  1. Good man - I wish more people would learn languages, especially in English-speaking countries and the larger countries of Western Europe...
  2. Yeah, me understandy Bazza, - me no stoopy stoops, hence my reply... The second point about French, very true, but it goes for a looooot of words in English, especially the more academic words, best highlighted by the names of farm animals and their relationship to names of food: The French were the consumers, the English (Saxons) the farmers and manual labourers, so where the Saxon Germanics had Cow/Bull Swine/Pig Lamb/Sheep, because as farmers they produced them, the French ate the stuff, so they called them Beef (Boeuf) Pork (Porc) Mutton (Mouton) so no matter which version of English you speak, we are all affected by the Norman invasion Most things of a higher standard are from French/Latin, and most "ground floor" words are from Germanic. House vs. Manor/Castle Leaving vs. Departure Right vs. Correct Tell vs. Inform the list goes on and on and on.... keep an eye out for them in future Therefore, when someone like the Baron mentions British English as being less flexible, I think you'll find the opposite - US English has changed a lot less since the Pilgrim Fathers made that trip... the fact is, each ex-colony has more-or-less a pretty similar accent to how the English/British spoke when they colonised that territory. And British English is the one that has done the changing So the accents spoken in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and North America (especially New England and Canada), are very much like they spoke back when they were first populated. Accents, not vocabulary of course. That's another matter. Let's be honest, the only kind of sober English is the cut-glass accent of senior royals, various aristoes and some broadcasters/politicians. The other accents are pretty charming and often contain incredibly imaginative vocabulary Try listening to the dialects of Cornwall, Merseyside, Glasgow, Tyneside, the East End of London, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Wales and the West Midlands. Splendid! Language is my job, my hobby, my passion, my greatest love, so you will excuse me waxing lyrical about it So my original question, about versions of English used, was not out of competition, it was an honest one!
  3. Baron darling, you're such a wag, you know... I spelt it "wag", the American spelling for the slightly longer British variant, "smartypants"... If American English saves letter space, why do you call a "lift" an "elevator" and a "chemist" a "drugstore"?! Methinks that Noah Webster and his fans weren't really sure what they were up to
  4. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Robert That's half the answer - I don't suppose it has much control over chosen host cities using different variants on-site if they wanted to...?
  5. Yes, on the "English" translations. I was tired after proofreading all day... not explaining well... I think most educated people know there are variants of English, especially if they operate something like MS Word in an office; seeing all the variants. OK, for Commonwealth English, read British English, or International English, real English or original English, call it what you like.... I didn't want to offend the rest of the non-American world by using the term "British English"; the one used outside of the US and parts of Canada. I would like to know who decides which spelling variant of English can be used. Vocabulary is different, of course, as there are many variants even within language regions (Spanish, Portuguese, German, Arabic), but concerning spelling, English is quite unique in this, having two spelling variants For example, in NATO HQ, it is Commonwealth English. In the UN in New York/Geneva, it is a mix, but mainly Commonwealth English. In the European Union, it is British English. In ASEAN it is American English. Is there an official variant in the Olympic movement, or is it left up to the OC? And what about OBS television captioning, considering it's independent from the OC?
  6. I think this was brought up ages and ages ago, but I'll recycle it anyhow... I'm a linguist by trade and I am also ordinarily interested in languages, so this is a question that interests me from a personal and professional point of view: So... when the Olympic Games are in London, the buildings/venues/events are officially known by their local names in British English, in Sydney Australian English, Vancouver in Canadian English, all pretty similar indeed together I'll call them Commonwealth English. e.g. Aquatic Centre 500 Metres Breaststroke In the USA, it's naturally in their local patois: e.g. Aquatic Center 50 Meters Breaststroke So when the Games have been held elsewhere outside the Anglosphere, it's normally officially titled in Commonwealth English, to my knowledge. But when I looked on Rio's website, their names are in US English. Sochi the same. Is this through geographical reasons, or is it just due to the preference of the OC or website designer? Will this change when the time gets nearer, or can the OC choose the version of English it uses? Are there rules as to which spelling/vocabulary can be used? Is my question comprehensible?!
  7. Well Jayzoos Kristoe, if that ain't touché, Baron-style
  8. Wow, you haven't met so many more Olympians than me
  9. Well thank you, Your High(horse)ness, we will So... Any more proposals???
  10. Maybe he doesn't like his position of joker of the pack challenged.... or he's a Gemini....
  11. Well actually, it's a bit of fun, to take our minds off the quite staid subjects in other areas, so we like it but if you don't please don't tell us to behave. You sound like my wife.
  12. 1. The Battle Of Planet Earth Through Peaceful Means Only (Where The Chinese, Americans and Russians All Still Win) 2. The Unmentionable Games With The Five Rings, You Know The Ones 3. The Juan Antonio Samaranch Memorial Festival of Sport 4. The Guess The National Anthem Competition 5. The Games That Have Something To Do With The Fifth Day of Christmas 6. The One Where Some Athletes Get Medals And We All Have A Party
  13. My three are pretty similar to others, but on a personal basis, I would like to share the following anecdotes with you: 1. I took a "plane" from Luxembourg airport to London City, arriving on 9th August in the afternoon, only a stone's throw from all the action. I put the word "plane" in inverted commas because it was a biscuit tin really, and we were being thoroughly shaken about as if the Creator wanted to see how many biscuits there were... Anyhow, instead of how I envisaged the landing (coming in to land directly from east to west), we needed to land from west to east, meaning this Fokker Chokker Kookkie Tinn had to swing round over the centre of London. Well... Is it possible to combine the words "spectacular" and "terrifying" in the same sentence? It must be, because that's what happened. We flew over the wonderful marshes of Essex and the Medway delta, before heading in to the city, over Greenwich Park to starboard, with views to the Olympic Park, then Tower Bridge, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, I could see as far north as Wembley, and then we flew over the City itself. It was amazing. I even saw the very f°reskin of the Gherkin itself! But we were being chucked around like dice in a caster. I know how my cats feel when I put them in their boxes to go to the vet!!!! And here's the point - whilst seeing the London skyline in such a spectacular way, knowing I was about to land minutes from the epicentre of the greatest show on Earth, looking out over these most glorious buildings, I was crying like a baby. Sobbing my heart out, I was. Whilst at the same time, my wife duly told me upon landing, I was repeatedly using the most abominable expletives she had ever heard me say. But... To this day, I don't know if I was crying like a rejected teenager and swearing like a builder with his foot caught in a bag of cement because of the experience or because I was utterly terrified. Or both. In any case, I look back and laugh now, but at the time I almost involuntarily went to the toilet on the seat... In any case, we immediately booked train tickets for the way home. The Flying Biscuit Tin 2. The city itself. It was one giant circus. On the South Bank from Westminster Bridge, all the way to Bermondsey, it was insane. The rest of Europe must have had to endure an amusement-free summer as they had all found their way to the Thames... One of the many acts spread along the river But not only that, it was so imaginatively decorated, and yet so understated, like always: The day after the Olympics, the clouds rolled in... 3. Greenwich Park. I loved the truly splendid setting, the way it had been fit into the landscape, the views from the top of the grandstands and the panorama of the London skyline will forever be embedded in my memory. However, watching the closing ceremony outside the venue on a huge TV in the park grounds was pretty awesome. Strangely though, the fireworks were nowhere to be seen when we rushed to look at them across the river... Must have been a huge time delay!! The top of the grandstand From that night, the two outstanding moments were firstly when the thousand-odd people there stood up to sing the National Anthem and my (Belgian, phlegmatic) wife was reduced to a sobbing wreck by it, and the outstanding amount of times we were all impressed by the fact that the closing ceremony, and the whole Olympics, were in Britain, that my fellow countrypeople had organised this. We wet ourselves laughing at, for example, Eric Idle being bamboozled by the dancers and the truly jaw-dropping splendour of the view from above. The Union Jack. Nobody will ever doubt where that was in future quizzes! Singing the National Anthem - no photos of my wife though!
  14. Danny Boyle <<did>> know what he was doing, but the TV director didn't. I am quite sure it would have all been absolutely fine had the utter amateur in charge of camerawork actually been to the optician the week before. If anyone can find his/her name, we could send a few frank emails, politely written, of course...
  15. Well I guess the organisers tried (and kind of succeeded) to please everyone's tastes in at least one or parts of the ceremonies I don't think I liked one competely all the way through from beginning to end, but I remember that experience in years past too. However, as I already said, the Paralympic Closing Ceremony was, like a few other posters, my least favourite. Watch it, because there are some excellent bits, but once again the camerawork was, in places, absolutely abysmal. The poor motorcycle highwire act had a shot lasting a few milliseconds, while the director thought it a good idea to show the musicians instead...
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