Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Love conquers phonetics

Either has two different pronunciations in modern English. The pronunciation IPA: /"i;D@/ prevails in American English, and is the pronunciation of the majority of English speakers. The pronunciation /"aIð@/ is associated with British English and Canadian English, but it is not universal in either place or in Australian English and other dialects that take their lead from British English. It is also found in the U.S., especially in New England, although many Americans will regard it as an affectation.

An Ira Gershwin song, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off, opens with the words "You say /"i;D@/ and I say /"aIð@/", and concerns a couple who lament the difficulties in their relationship by pronunciation differences (and the different social backgrounds which they imply). These differences between the two lovers could be the reason to call off the relationship. But they can't stand the thought of being apart so the singer will compromise for love.

Click on the image below to see the lyrics in full size:

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is Halloween - A song from the film Nightmare Before Christmas


Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red

I am the one hiding under your stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

In this town, don't we love it now?
Everybody's waiting for the next surprise

Round that corner, man hiding in the trash can
Something's waiting now to pounce, and how you'll...

Scream! This is Halloween
Red 'n' black, slimy green

Aren't you scared?

Well, that's just fine
Say it once, say it twice
Take a chance and roll the dice
Ride with the moon in the dead of night

Everybody scream, everbody scream

In our town of Halloween!

I am the clown with the tear-away face
Here in a flash and gone without a trace

I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"
I am the wind blowing through your hair

I am the shadow on the moon at night
Filling your dreams to the brim with fright

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
Halloween! Halloween!

Tender lumplings everywhere
Life's no fun without a good scare

That's our job, but we're not mean
In our town of Halloween

In this town

Don't we love it now?
Everyone's waiting for the next surprise

Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back
And scream like a banshee
Make you jump out of your skin
This is Halloween, everybody scream
Wont' ya please make way for a very special guy

Our man jack is King of the Pumpkin patch
Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

La la-la la, Halloween! Halloween! [Repeat]
WHEE!!! Ha Ha Ha!

The history of Halloween

Halloween vocabulary

Click on the pictures so that you can view them in their actual size.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Word of the week 27 October -2 November 2008: CHAV

CHAV noun (BrE, slang) a young person, often without a high level of education, who follows a particular fashion. Chavs usually wear designer labels, and if they’re girls, very short skirts and stilettos. Chavs still see branded baseball caps as a status symbol and wear them at every opportunity. The term is similar to America's 'white trash' stereotype.


noun: There are always loads of chavs hanging round the shopping centre.

adj. [only before noun]: The bus was full of chav kids and chav girls with their big gold jewellery.

In Britain there are many words to describe people from this social group, and they are often limited to a particular town or region. Other words with a similar meaning to chav are townie, scally, ned and charver. The word chav has become common in southern England, and is generally thought to come from Chatham girls (Chatham is a town in Kent.) Some people think, however, that the word comes originally from the Romany word chavo (boy), which is also the origin of the Spanish word chaval.

To learn more about this word:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Des'ree - You gotta be

Lyrics | Des’ree - You Gotta Be lyrics

Sister Sledge - We are family

Nina Simone - Ain't got no...I got life

Monday, October 20, 2008

Word of the week 20 - 26 October 2008: BLOG

A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. In 1997 the name ‘weblog’ was used for the first time by Jorn Barger who called his site in this way. The term ‘blog’ was coined three years later by Peter Merholz who broke the word ‘weblog’ into ‘we blog’ and the new word ‘blog’ started to function as both a noun and a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

There are various types of blogs:

A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog.

Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, travel blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs or legal blogs (often referred to as a blawgs). An edublog is a blog written by or for teachers and maintained for the purpose of classroom instruction.