Thursday, August 13, 2009

Daily post - Thursday

This morning was almost like old times.

Let me explain. When Daisy the cat was a kitten she had to stay in the house until she had had her full complement of vaccinations whilst the other two cats were free to roam outside at night time. She would curl up on the end of the bed waiting until she detected that I was awake at which point she would come and bite my face until I got up to feed her. If you have ever seen the famous Simon's Cat cartoon you will have a pretty darn accurate picture of what she was like.

The door between the kitchen and the scullery is currently off its hinges whilst the new kitchen floor is in the process of being laid, so last night the cats were able to come into the house instead of being banished outside and hence I had the joy of waking up with a purring ginger kitteh on my feet, and the even more distinct pleasure of a couple of extra minutes to wake up because she now trusts that she will be fed in good time and sees no need to panic.

No meteors last night - the clouds were just too thick to let any light through - but I did get a nice tweet back from @ProfBrianCox after he read my review of his book. Sounds like he didn't have much luck with the Perseids either, although he was in a cloudy Maui rather than Sheffield.

For one worrying moment I thought that there was something wrong with my iPhone this morning. I was listening to my audiobook of To Kill a Mocking Bird whilst walking in the woods and it sounded somewhat different. It took me a while to twig that I had accidentally switched the playback into double speed mode and that the rich, southern drawl of the narrator now sounded like normal speed English. The playback software does a pretty good job of pitch correction so that the voice didn't sound like Minnie Mouse on helium as you might expect, but it was an odd contrast when I switched it back to standard speed.

Podcast of the day was "Fry's English Delight" from the BBC iPlayer in which the ubiquitous Stephen Fry talked about the ways in which the English language has changed in usage and grammar, and will inevitably change in the future. He argues that It is folly to try to hold back the linguistic tide in a Cnut like manner, but we should be a little bit more relaxed about it and enjoy the riches that we have. Fascinating listening, and it has convinced me that perhaps I should curb some of my pedantic responses to certain forms of usage.

I left my sandwich in the fridge at home this morning, so I headed out at lunch time to get a Subway sandwich. It was an opportunity to have a go with the Google voice search feature to find the nearest one and then tell me how to get there on foot using the maps function, even though I knew full well it would be the one in the retail park round the corner.

I am officially sad.


Anonymous said...

CNPS: After your success yesterday I spotted a 22, 23, 24, 25, and a 21. Unfortunately in that order. I did manage to spot a 22 after the 21, and so am looking for a 23. I'm catching up :^)

Nancy said...

If you're interested in the linguist's point of view on language change - well-put, I'm sure, by Mr. Fry - you might really enjoy Language Log.

Nancy said...

Oh, sorry, I gave you the old link. Now it's here.

neil h said...

Thanks for the link Nancy - that looks like an interesting blog to follow.