The Sunday Funnies and Factoids – The ‘Goodbye to the Holidays and Gravy’ Edition
by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 01/04/15 –
Welcome back, my friends. Hope the holidays treated you all well and that no siblings were killed or seriously maimed during the family get together. Twas a quiet one here, just like the doctor ordered. I spent a week or so together with the three Walker brothers…. Red, Black, and Blue.
Hope you have all sufficiently recovered and are ready to get back on to a normal schedule once again. Happy 2015, to one and all and now it is on with the latest edition of the Sunday Funnies & Factoids.
2) Norway was ranked the world’s #1 country in the 2014 Prosperity Index for wealth and well-being.
3) Yucatan, Mexico, was named after a misunderstanding. Spaniards asked the locals what was the place called. They replied “Yucatan,” which in their language means “I don’t understand you.”
4) In 2014, Germany officially abolished college tuition fees, even for international students.
5) During the invasion of Poland in WWII, 720 Poles defended their position against 40,000 Germans, stopping their advance for 3 days
7) “Erotomania” is a psychological disorder in which the affected people believe a famous person is in love with them……. poor buggers….. I can’t wait until I tell my sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence, about this…….
9) In 1983, the first mobile phones went on sale in the U.S. at almost $4,000 each.
10) The strongest beer in the world has a 67.5% alcohol content….. jeeeebus, I want a case…..
11) Einstein, Darwin, Edgar Allan Poe, & Saddam Hussein all married their first cousins.
12) Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays because the only two accounts of birthday parties in the Bible ended in murder.
14) Kazakhstan is named after independence:‘Kazakh’ means‘independent man’.
15) Laughing 100 times is equivalent to 15 minutes of exercise on a stationary bicycle.
16) The budget for the Movie “Titanic”was higher than the Titanic itself.
17) You are more likely to die in the taxicab on the way to and from the airport than on the flight itself.
18) 11 Common Words You’re Probably Mispronouncing
Ever feel embarrassed when you don’t know how to say a word? Don’t be. Even the most fluent English speakers—and, ahem, political figures—stumble. Besides, pronunciations change over time. See if you’ve been mispronouncing these common words.
Pen names don’t always make things easier. Theodore Geisel’s college buddy Alexander Liang made a rhyme to teach you the right way to pronounce it:
“You’re wrong as the deuce/And you shouldn’t rejoice/
If you’re calling him Seuss/He pronounces it Soice” (or Zoice).
Let’s put the kibosh, pronounced “KY-bosh,” on saying this word like “kuh-BOSH.”
An initial hard (k) sound is the standard, but linguists say the (s) sound emerged as far back as the 17th century. Still, you’ll sound ridiculous (but correct!) if you bring that hard (k) to a Boston Celtics basketball game.
This word sounds just like “controller.” If you’re tempted to pronounce that silent (pt), please comptroll yourself!
This word meaning “deception by trickery” is aptly tricky to pronounce. The beginning (ch) sound is “sh,” as in “Chicago.” The French pronounce the word “shih-connery,” which makes it easy to remember the definition. However, Americans love a long (a) and tend to pronounce it “shih-cane-a-ree.” Choose your own adventure.
You’ll be the butt of the joke if you pronounce this “BAY-nul.” It’s “buh-NAHL.”
If pronouncing it “a-FLU-ent” is wrong, some people don’t want to be right. The stress on this word is supposed to be on the first syllable—”AFF-lu-ent.” But stressing the second syllable became so mainstream that dictionaries started validating the pronunciation in the 1980s.
Pronunciation quirks and mistakes happen when people try to read and speak by the rules. Too bad the English language doesn’t always make sense. The past tense of “forbid” was originally supposed to be spelled and pronounced “for-bad.” But then people started spelling it “forbade” and rhyming it with “made.” Now linguists say the word sounds archaic any way you say it. Most people use “forbid” as a past or present-tense verb.
Okay, so maybe this word’s not that commonly used. But now that you know it’s pronounced “bo-sun,” you might find more reasons to work it into conversation.
When this word was borrowed from French in the 17th century, it was quickly Anglicized to rhyme with “itch.” But in the 20th century, more people embraced a true French pronunciation and decided to pronounce it “neesh.” Both are correct.
19) Leo Fender, inventor of the Telecaster and Stratocaster, could not play guitar.
20) All polar bears alive today can trace their ancestry back to one female brown bear who lived in Ireland 50,000 years ago.
Well, that wraps it up for this week. I hope you learned a thing or two or at the very least got a chuckle.
See you all back here next week….. same time, same website. Take care and be safe.