Monday 25 May 2009

English makes me smile

Well, this is largely off-topic, but today's Wikipedia main page reminded me again of how funny and peculiar (in a friendly way) the English language often is to someone who did not grow up with it but learned it at school or through "doing" on prolonged stays abroad in English-speaking countries (US, Canada, southern Africa), or in short: to me.

So what was up with Wikipedia today?

Well, I am aware that many western countries, in particular the US, are having problems with a large part of their respective populations being slightly or slightly less slightly overweight. People really need to monitor their eating habits more closely and initiatives to lose weight are always welcome. However, the Diet of Worms may be pushing it a bit too far.

Something else I recently came across:

Mouse - Mice
Louse - Lice
Spouse - Spice ?

And lastly, as this is still a birding blog, I have often wondered if the Dovekie (or Little Auk) may offer a clue as to how the word Plover is really pronounced.

If only I knew how to pronounce "Dovekie"...


Anonymous said...

"Diet of Worms" always sounded funny to me, too - but wait a minute! My teachers always told me that was German.

Jochen said...

Wren, the only German part of "Diet of Worms" is Worms.
In German, it is referred to as the "Reichstag von Worms", so you can spot the difference quite easily.
Worms, the German city, does not mean worms. Worms in German are "Würmer", the plural form of "Wurm".
Diet when referring to losing weight is "Diät" in German, so that part also doesn't fit.

Seems your teacher wasn't up to scratch, ey? Nothing that a decent bit of blogging can't mend though ;-))