Saturday, November 5, 2005

Einstein Wants to Know

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  1. Hmmm.. I've seen that picture around before.

  2. It was from a dynamic image generator:

  3. Hi, I really like your website and therefore would like to offer you this most extraordinary picture link:

    It is a picture of an tattoo taken by some racist, who apparently just downloaded an "asian" font from the Internet, wrote "SAY NO TO NIGGERS" with that font and let somebody to tattoo it in his back.

    Of course, since languages don't work that way - which apparently is too much to comprehend for our little white supremacist here - the message is completely incomprehensible, as it actually is just finnish with a strange font.

    Might this be worthy of a feature for this site? :)

  4. Well, you have to admit, some mistakes even people who understand a language very well can make....

    Your sentence should be "... obviously do not speak OR understand"


    "... can neither speak nor understand"

    A minor error, but if considering the comment you might want to fix it.

  5. Thanks Andy. Here is what I read about the usage of "nor":

    When a verb is negated by not or never, and is followed by a verb phrase that is also to be negated (but not an entire clause), either or or nor can be used.


  6. Absolutely correct about "nor" and "or" following negation: use the one that suits the sound of the words around it; that's really the only reason for having two versions anyway.

    This site is quite enjoyable; while sincere mistakes in languages can be anything from minor quirks to charming malapropisms, wilful idiocy deserves a good snicker or smackdown and you're splendid at so doing! (Of course, I'm wearing a T-shirt that says "I'm a stupid barbarian" in a language I can barely understand right now, so perhaps I should practice silence instead?) ;)

  7. To actually answer the about because tattoos are visual art and Chinese characters are, too -- whether you understand the words behind them or not! But it's obviously a good thing to, ahem, get a correct translation. Anyway, neat site and you should A) write a book and B) be a tattoo consultant. :-)

  8. Ah, neither... nor. Of course or and nor aren't interchangeable alternates used based on the best sounding combination. Historically, nor was always used in lists that begin with a negative (not... nor, neither... nor), but, like many aspects of grammar and spelling, incorrect usage eventually became so common as to eventually be accepted as correct. So, you can now say "not... or" and, according to Merriam Webster, even "neither... or."

    This saddens prescriptionists like me, and I say: go for "nor!" Also, don't forget to use the subjunctive mood! It's "I wish I were dead," not "I wish I was dead." Except, alas, the dictionary is starting to give up on this one, too.

    Great site!