Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oh my God - it's full of... palindromes?

If you're not afraid of palindromes (an illness commonly referred to as "aibohphobia"), check out one of my favorite Weird Al songs: BOB! Eat your heart out, Annasusanna!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A blog is when Mr.Weese writes something on the Internet...

Students who know my little vocabulary tests will remember that I keep telling them to avoid the construction " when..." at all costs when explaining a piece of vocabulary in English. As some will just as repeatedly point out, it is, of course, theoretically possible to use said construction in a sentence WITHOUT making a serious stylistic blunder. So, for all you advanced English students out there, here's how to do it RIGHT...
Consider the following example:
"Halloween is when many people put hand-carved Jack-o-Lanterns in their front yards." (perfectly correct)
as opposed to
"A cat is when it makes 'meow'". (abysmal)
See the difference? The first sentence actually refers to a time ("Halloween"), as does the relating conjunction "when". "A cat", on the other hand, is not a way of telling the time at all (imagine someone answering the question of "When shall we meet again?" by saying "cat"...)! In short:

Only use "is when" if you want to talk about time!
(In fact, it's still the safest bet NOT to use it at all, I should say.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paul IS dead


- Link 1 (the facts, in German)
- Link 2 (a clue)

Paul is dead, man. Miss him. Miss him.

(Do people still own record players?)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Hlǣfdige & Hlaf-weard

Good morning, dear makers and custodians of bread...
...for that is what the words "lady" and "lord" boil down to, etymologically. You can find a more exhaustive explanation here (CLICK!), and in future, you need not be alarmed when Mr. Weese addresses you thus ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Musical Unicorn

You read it here first: "The Last Unicorn" is going musical! As Connor Cochran has let me know, German composer/producer Christian Gundlach is working on a new version of my favorite purveyor's of fantastic literature true to its name, Peter S. Beagle's classic novel to hit German stages next year. There are going to be approximately 70 performances on the "Theater für Niedersachsen" stages in Hildesheim and Hanover, as well as guest performances on stages throughout Lower Saxony, including Langenhagen and Clausthal-Zellerfeld. Spread the word. Schmendrick is with you!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


In case you're wondering, these are the recipes (partly in German) I used for today's schoolfest (slightly altered due to materials being unavailable): (using red cabbage instead of beets),rezept,-,443 (the salad sauce this asked for was substituted by some Thai salad dressing) (not as thick as it could have been, but edible. And that's saying something.) ("Kaesekrainer" inside) (Instead of pineapple soda I used extra sweet pineapple juice and carbonated water - and I skipped on the Popplers. Maybe next time. But what's the point if they taste like chicken anyway?)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Double Standards Vol.2

What would you have done?
I told the student that in the U.S. they'd most likely have sent him home, probably even expelled him from school. In Germany, on the other hand, people probably just don't get it.
I wonder what would happen today (this photo was taken a few years ago), what with all the abuse stories that have been making the press lately...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Double Standards

Here's something I don't get: A German radio station was just playing "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus. There's a line in it saying "her boyfriend's a dick / he brings a gun to school"... Now guess what they censored? -- Yes, indeed. They left the "dick" in there and garbled the "gun". Now what's up with that? If you've read my short story partly based on my experiences in working for an American college radio station (no English version available yet, sorry), I can tell you that whilst I made up most of the science-fictionish elements of the story, the FCC (federal Communications Commission) forms people had to fill out when "offensive content" had been aired are absolutely real. You probably know it is common practice in English-speaking countries to "BEEP" out any offensive language like the f-word (or aforementioned d-word), which usually does not happen in Germany because of the simple fact that most of these words do not sound even half as offensive to German ears (including those of the "moral authorities") when uttered in a foreign language. And although I can understand that bringing guns to school has become a sensitive topic here in Germany as well, I fail to see how the WORD itself in that CONTEXT seems more offensive than calling the person an expletive.

Monday, April 19, 2010

(Re-)Defining Vocabulary

Food for thought: What do you call a cuddly animal kept in a vehicle? (mark/highlight the line below the three dots using your mouse pointer and left button)
a carpet
...just random ideas going through my mind while putting together test questions...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Erm... Happy Easter?

Did I mention I'm not too fond of Easter Bunnies?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

They're still looking - this is your chance!

To whom it may concern: Please do return Störtebeker's head - we needed it for a short report in 8b and people keep asking...
Well, I'm making that part up, but when I read the news around the date of Katharina's & Linda's short report, I really wondered "what if...?" - imagine the opening lines: "Today, we would like to tell you something about Germany's most famous pirate, Klaus Störtebeker. This (rummaging in backpack, eventually producing an actual skull) is his head!"
That should have gotten their attention.

Just my weird imagination running wild.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Force Is Strong With This One

If you know my predilection for playing with words, you can imagine there are times that I wish I had come up with one of these - here is your clue: What could the newspaper headline read if people were to cross the Han river in Seoul, South Korea, by walking a tightrope, one by one?
(mark the following text with your mouse to read it and/or click on the invisible text below to read the full article)