Archive for the 'nonsense' Category

LOLcat strikes back: the LOLcat translator

October 26, 2007

I can’t get enough of these inane furry creatures. Today (and yeah, I’m a little late on the game, but so what) I discovered LOLcat translation services: http://speaklolcat.com and http://txt2lol.com. Both sites are decent, but both suffer from computer-generated-translationitis. I guess language–even made-up language–is still too complex for machines to pick up on the subtle nuances.

I like SpeakLOLCat.com for its creative use of the Impact font, but as you can see, it’s still missing that je ne sais quoi:

lolmu4.png

Arr! Avast! Prepare to be boarded!

September 19, 2007

Yar har har, me hearties. It be International Talk Like A Pirate Day today, a holiday endorsed by scurvy Dave Barry himself (so it must be legit!). Talking like a salty sea dog is quite simple, thanks to Robert Newton. He be the scurvy dog what gave Long John Silver a West Country accent (which, ta most landlubbers, is Cornwall) in the 1950 version of Treasure Island, simply since he were from that area. Nowadays, all pirates either talk like Cornwall natives, or like Keith Richards. (Thanks, Johnny Depp.)

In honor of this momentous occasion, set a course for one of these links about Cornish accents:

BBC – The Voices
Audio clips of speech from all over merry old England, including Cornwall.

BBC – Calling All Bristolians
Information on modern Bristol (also part of the West Country) slang and dialect.

English Accents and Dialects
A treasure trove (Arr! See what I did there?) of more than 650 audio clips.

International Dialects of English Archive
When ye find yerself sick of Cornish accents, look here for English speakers from all over the world. Intended as a resource for actors, it’s fascinating to anyone interested in dialect.

Now I sadly put me ship into port and wait until next year..

On woodchucks, bits of butter, and buggy bumpers

June 1, 2007

If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker,
it is slick to put a lock upon your stock.
For some joker who is quicker will rob you of your liquor
if you fail to lock your liquor with a lock.

I came across this page of tongue twisters by accident yesterday. I love tongue twisters, and apparently the rest of the world does, as well, because there are tongue twisters in pretty much any language you can think of. (Even sign language has its “finger-fumblers.”) They’re nonsense, of course, but they’re fun. Tongue twisters (and limericks, and silly songs) show a true love of language, I think. They can only be created by someone who loves words for the way they sound, the way they feel.

The first site reintroduced me to some of my favorites (“Betty Botter bought a bit of butter…”) and some new ones (“Moses supposes his toeses are roses…”). I’m not sure which I prefer more, the long rhyming ones that are easy to say–I’ve never, for example, had trouble with “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?”–or the short ones that absolutely mangle my mouth. The three words “real wristwatch straps” have been having my tongue writhing for the last ten minutes. Deceptively tricky.

What’s your favorite twister?