Thursday, December 12, 2013

WHY . . . ?


I was browsing the Words and Language blogs, as I often do, when I once again encountered the clever quotation by George Bernard Shaw: "England and America are two countries separated by the same language." And, as usual, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly.

Some British words and phrases, in good ol' American English, "simply drive me up the wall."

One of those horrible-sounding words is whinge, which is supposedly British for the American "whine." I don't know why whinge should affect me as adversely as it does... but it does -- IT DOES!

In fact, I hate that word so much that I once wrote a limerick about it.

Whenever a Brit says, "whinge"
I shudder, I quake, and I cringe.
In the States, we say, "whine"
Which is perfectly fine --
A Yank would never say, "whinge"

Sometimes I shake my head in perplexed confusion and wonder why the hell I am that I am.


Did You Know . . .?

'Topolino' is the name for Mickey Mouse in Italy.



On this day in 1901 Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeded in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean, disproving detractors who told him that the curvature of the earth would limit transmission to 200 miles or less.

The message -- simply the Morse-code signal for the letter "s" -- traveled more than 2,000 miles from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada.

In 1909, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics with the German radio innovator Ferdinand Braun. After successfully sending radio transmissions from points as far away as England and Australia, Marconi turned his energy to experimenting with shorter, more powerful radio waves. He died in 1937, and on the day of his funeral all British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stations were silent for two minutes in tribute to his contributions to the development of radio.

Note: The Morse Code signal for the letter 's' is three short 'dits.'



1. Stained with blood.
2. Of, characteristic of, or containing blood.
3. Accompanied by or giving rise to bloodshed: a bloody fight.
4. Bloodthirsty.
5. Suggesting the color of blood; blood-red.
6. Chiefly British Slang Used as an intensive: "Everyone wants to have a convict in his bloody family tree"
Chiefly British Slang Used as an intensive: bloody well right.
1. To stain, spot, or color with or as if with blood.
2. To make bleed, as by injuring or wounding: The troops were bloodied in the skirmish.

Interesting explanation of the British term: 'bloody'



Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra
(Dec 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998)
Frank Sinatra was an American singer and film actor. Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found unprecedented success as a solo artist. He released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946.

Sinatra won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity. He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers!, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy.

Sarah Douglas
(born 12 December 1952)
Sarah Douglas is an English actress. She is perhaps best known for playing the Kryptonian supervillain Ursa in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980). Her other prominent roles include that of the evil Queen Taramis in the 1984 film Conan the Destroyer, and Pamela Lynch in the 1980s primetime drama series Falcon Crest (1983–85).

Edward Goldenberg Robinson
(Dec 12, 1893 – Jan 26, 1973)
Edward G. Robinson was a Romanian-born American actor. A popular star during Hollywood's Golden Age, he is best remembered for his roles as gangsters, such as Rico in his star-making film Little Caesar and as Rocco in Key Largo. Other memorable roles include insurance investigator Barton Keyes in the film noir Double Indemnity, Dathan (adversary of Moses) in The Ten Commandments, and his final performance as Sol Roth in the science-fiction story Soylent Green.

Sheree Julienne Wilson
(born December 12, 1958)
Sheree Wilson is an American actress, producer and former model. She is best known for her role as April Stevens on the American prime-time television series Dallas (a role she played from 1986 to 1991), and as Alexandra "Alex" Cahill-Walker, on television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993-2001.


Language... has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone.
--Paul Tillich

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