Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anglicism Spotting

Here's a little something that turned up in a vocabulary test last year. I didn't get it then, and for the life of me, I still can't figure it out. What was that student thinking? Anyway, dear 9th graders: If this ever turns up again, you'll know what to write - or will you?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

"Ugly bags of mostly water"

Here's one for 9d: The example I used to illustrate the adjective "ugly" in the vocabulary part of our test really wasn't mine - you can read all about the "Star Trek - The Next Generation" episode this statement comes from right here.
Only recently has it come to my attention that there is, in fact, a documentary about the Klingon Language Institute (in Klingon and starring Michael "Worf" Dorn! 8) ) that is also called "Earthlings - Ugly Bags of Mostly Water", although technically it wasn't the Klingons but the Microbrains who first came up with that description. Qapla', nevertheless.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Aliens should stand at attention"

An interesting bit of the U.S. flag code (§9: Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag). Still wondering how and if they're going to enforce that. Any ideas, Lieutenant Ripley?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mr.Weese Goes WEG

There are times when German and English don't mix so well (cf. my most favorite example of "Happy Shopping in der City"), but I just couldn't resist that headline. As some of you may know, I'll be leaving Coburg to move in with my wife-to-be and have therefore been transferred to the town of Schwabach's Wolfram-von-Eschenbach-Gymnasium, commonly abbreviated as "WEG". I'll keep on blogging here, and I will try to find more time for these sadly neglected blogs of mine. Enjoy your vacations, everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ask Mr.Weese, one of Coburg's "city blogs", have asked me to provide them with my expertise on "Denglisch" / "Germ(l)ish" and function as a "Briefboxuncle" (agony columnist) for them. So if you've got any questions concerning English usage in Germany, especially when it comes to PR specialists and the likes messing up the language: fire away (in both languages and on both blogs)!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama's Elf

Getting song lyrics totally wrong (sometimes even on purpose, for comical effect) is not exactly a new idea/problem - in fact, there are even books about the problem here in Germany, and many a radio show has picked up on this. But this version of "All By Myself" really made me ROTFL (if you catch my drift) after a wave of mediocrity:

A little P.S. here: In case you're interested in finding more, this phenomenon is called a "mondegreen" - here's why.
(via Abspannsitzenbleiber)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Badly Translated Menus

Talking 'bout snacks: Er, yes, I'll have "Theburns the big dragon benefit fish of the cowboy bone" with maybe some "Gather the colourful delicacy small fry the king" on the side...
Want more? Check this out:
Flickr: Bad Menus

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Circuitry Snacks

Here's one for all the future quantum physicists and rocket scientists (some of my students will, hopefully, remember the phrase "you don't have to be a rocket scientist to..." that we talked about the other day) - and I guess my colleagues Mr. Feuerpfeil & Mr. Matthes would enjoy these a lot. The best thing is, many of the candy involved is actually available in Germany, too. Maybe an idea to keep in mind for this summer's School Fest?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Common mistakes - a lot of them...

Now, I'm not quite sure if it mightn't be a tad counterproductive to post a list like that here - after all, you might never have heard of the existence of any of those "mistakes commonly made be German learners of English" (currently 263 - phew!) and, therefore, never even have thought of making them at all. On the other hand, if you were to remember even a small percentage of that list... Well, you get the point. Here it is, and may you prosper from it:

Click here to download the list (PDF format) by Mike Seymour

Thanks again to Dr.Krieger for pointing me to it ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Powerpoint Karaoke: Australia

Looking for PPT files on Australia? Try this link:

Here are two I have sucessfully used before:
- Three Levels of Government
- Top 10 Wildlife Experiences

And here's a direct link to "Dreamtime"-related information: