November 06, 2005

Word up, you fool

Oh dear

Not only does Microsoft Word like to 'correct' my spellings, so that I will recognize that it ought to be everyone's favorite word processing software, but it is now also under the false impression that the word "people" can only be used as a (now accepted, but originally wrong) plural of the word "person".

Thus trying to make my translated sentence – The Academy must show its solidarity with a people which has served its own nation just as well as our own people has served the Federal Republic of Germany – appear false.

No thanks, Bill. Nice try, but I can speak the English myself.


October 30, 2005

England's Cultural Heritage

Chavtastic


Gain an hour, lose your patience

Early this morning the clocks went back an hour. This is a good thing, in that we gain an hour's sleep.

This is also a bad thing, because it means that, instead of simply setting the fire alarm off at 7 on a Sunday morning, they end up setting it off at 6.

But it was ok, since they turned it off after about 15 seconds. Realising their mistake, at about (the new, all-improved) 7am, the fire alarm may be set off again (waking me and probably everyone else up after having got back to sleep), meaning another fun trip all the way to Lakeside with four hundred foreigners.

Seriously guys, £90 per week should not equate to five fire alarms per week. You're all bad, bad men.


October 27, 2005

I have nothing to say to these people

No, no, no. This is not funny anymore. It's 02.41 and I have to be in a seminar at 10.00.

Look, here's one workable definition: Read this if you are stupid

If you don't understand, then please leave this halls, or I will find you. You will suffer.


October 24, 2005

Encore une fois

Well, at least tonight's fire alarm was at 11pm instead of 1am…

A year abroad makes you love Johnny Foreigner

No more Monday. Classes are cancelled.

Instead, Ladies & Gentlemen, we shall go in search of the dirty, loathsome, mentally deficient, uncivilised, non-fluent English-speaking little shit who managed to set off the Heroinbank (yes, that's not a typo) fire alarms at 1am on a Sunday evening. When it was pouring with rain. Meaning I had to walk across the bridge and stand outside Lakeside for 10 mins getting wet and cold, whilst waking up from my then-drowsy state and being assailed by every conceivable form of foreign language known to man.

So, my friends, tomorrow is the day we spend hunting down the culprit and depriving him of his front teeth, whilst he cries out in Chinese/Japanese/Greek/Korean/Gibberish. But, you know, probably Chinese.

Maybe if multi-cultural Warwck decided that the concept of integrated Warwick was more appealing, they might decide that putting all of their ten-grand-a-year, no-need-to-give-other-people-room-on-the-pavement, international, what's-a-smoke-alarm?, I'm-international-therefore-I-don't-need-good-manners students in the same, very expensive halls wasn't an idea conducive to such an ethos.

Hang on a minute…Maybe we need a new science building? Yeah, just stick 'em all down there next to the lake


October 15, 2005

The Blog I'm Not Reading Is Better Than TV

Today has been a quite successful day. It's been relatively warm and sunny, and I've managed to read Freud's "Das Unheimliche" and ETA Hoffman's "Der Sand-Mann". The problem is, two questions still worry me:

1. Why do I live so fucking far away from everything?

and:

2. Why is heron shit green?

These are the nightmare existential conundra that perplex my brain.


September 21, 2005

Respect your elders, goshtarnit…

I feel old these days. You go to the pub with a few friends, and realise that all the university returnees are diddy first (or even ickle second) years, and you feel old. All this in spite of the fact that I have generally been the youngest person in most groups I have spent a lot of time with this year. (Though that is mainly because I happen to have a late-ish birthday, coupled with the fact that Germans make an attempt at [and usually succeed at] remaining students until they are at least in their late 20s, and more often than not, well into their 30s.)

But enough parentheses. The problem, of course, is that I don't actually feel that I am as old as I am, but then in contrast, I feel as though the remainder of my university career is a coda, simply there to allow me to complete my degree with at least a 2,1. And in certain respects, that's all that a final year at university is. So, it's back to work (scary, scary work) after a year of being a bum, living in another country under the semblance of improving my language skills, but really concerned with far different matters than conjugating German verbs. Not that 'different matters' are any less important, of course. You've got to have some different matters, or else it all gets a bit dull.

So, I'm an ickle fourth year, but still an undergraduate…Just give me a degree already.


August 23, 2005

Part One

It may be a truism, but the fact remains that it’s very likely that whatever you have to say for yourself has already been said countless times before, and very probably in rather more eloquent and precise terms than those which you find yourself using. This may cause endless misgivings about expressing anything, since the futility of attempting to formulate and, subsequently, to coherently present those thoughts in a fashion both precise and comprehensible, is a rather overwhelming one. Hence most kinds of writing, such as one now finds on blogs or public forums for the imparting of the personal (momentary consideration of that phrase aside), are arbitrary, rather rambling and of no particular consequence. Of course, this is no personal (or public) attack on any one person, or indeed any particular collection of persons – we are all in the same, albeit somewhat leak-springing, boat. But then, if this were published in some such form, its lack of bright, colourful, shiny, let’s-get-distracted-together simplicity would probably mean that most potential readers would not get past, well, this sentence at most.

Nevertheless people continue to feel the need to write. “I see nothing to be gained by any explanation/ There are no words that need to be said,” sings Bob Dylan. Well perhaps he’s right, but it seems that the rock legend, who is (even in the opinion of a fan such as myself) now little more than a living death rattle warmed up, would not be able to let us in on that fact if he were not a rock legend who used to be warm enough to tell us all we needed to know already in his songs. Those of us who are unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) not Bob Dylan may feel that our need for explanation is never quite satisfied or even lessened enough allow us to feel the same way, and the fact that Dylan tells us verbally that there are “no words that need to be said” obviously points to the fact that he is not completely at one with the notion itself. So, with the advent of blogs and similar free methods of publishing one’s own thoughts and ideas (often regardless of the content of said thoughts and ideas), the need to write continues.

“Sorry,” he said, “I got a bit distracted there.”

His companion turned around. “What?”

“Never mind,” he assured him.


July 23, 2005

err…Hi, my name's Dan…

Writing about web page http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0340818867/qid=1122112107/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-5277313-1366244

"In fact, the only rule one can identify with any certainty in this confusion over introductions and greetings is that, to be impeccably English, one must perform these rituals badly. One must appear self-conscious, ill-at-ease, stiff, awkward and, above all, embarassed. Smoothness, glibness and confidence are inappropriate and un-English. Hesitation, dithering and ineptness are, surprising as it may seem, correct behaviour.

Introductions should be performed as hurriedly as possible, but also with maximum inefficiency. If disclosed at all, names must be mumbled; hands should be tentatively half-proffered and then withdrawn; the approved greeting is something like 'Er, how, um, plstm-, er, hello?'.

If you are socially skilled, or come from a country where these matters are handled in a more reasonable, straightforward manner (such as anywhere else on this planet), you may need a bit of practice to achieve the required degree of embarassed, stilted incompetence


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