The Smithsonian is archiving every single tweet, even those that are deleted.
Archive for the ‘From the Desk of Aylia Caulwell’ Category
They say that England and America are two countries separated by a language. And because I am embarking on a possibly epic venture to move to England, I think it wise to begin closing that gap (which is how I justify using words like “snog” and “blooming” - I’m not just an Anglophile, I swear!).
Anyway! The point! There has always been much scoffing amongst the English when Americans call french fries “fries” and giggling with the English call chips “crisps”. But it’s silly that the word “chip” goes both ways, and there’s no way to really distinguish what we’re talking about without a whole lot of “OK, so chips. My chips, not your chips. Like the chips that you eat with dip.” Nonsense. So here’s the solution.
Crisps should be (in both UK and US) fried (and occasionally popped(?) or baked) potato slices.
Chips should be slices of tortilla or corn, etc.
And finally, fries (I don’t know why they’re “French”, so might as well scrap that) should be those fried potato wedges/strips. (See how they’re “fried”? Makes so much more sense than “chips”. Piffle.)
It is impossible to make human cheese, due to the fact that breast milk does not curdle. So go ahead and cross “trying human cheese” off your Bucket List.
This came from a misunderstanding, and evolved to be something wonderful enough that I decided I wanted to elaborate on it more. A quick disclaimer: a lot of credit for this idea goes to fellow students.
Short and simple, this is a new way of ranking awesomeness, by using materials, namely materials you wear. Below is the hierarchy of fabric awesomeness:
- Silk - used for the highest level of awesome.
- Cotton - fairly practical, average. Generally necessary.
- Burlap - the penultimate un-awesome.
- Barrel - reserved for the embarrassingly un-awesome. Sarah Palin is a good example of something that is Barrel Awesome.
There was some struggle in trying to decide what fabrics to include, and which ones not to, because of course there are many others not listed which can be used for the same purposes (i.e. linen, rayon, hemp), but keeping it simple and easy to remember I think is key. People should feel free to improvise, as long as it’s clear what the kind of fabric you are using should be signifying. I also tried to keep it as generic as possible. Some people might prefer wool over cotton (don’t ask me why), but I took into account - as unbiased as possible - that wool is an animal product, does not breathe as well as cotton and tends to cause itchiness. Objective observations such as these can be applied to the entire list, but I will not bore you by going through them all. You’re not dumb, no doubt you can figure out why silk is #1, etc.
Just for kicks, here are some applicable examples of things that fall into each of the categories:
- Silk: Vegetarianism, world peace, universal love, Harry Potter
- Cashmere: Titanic, hybrids, Disney World, Nutella
- Velvet: Stuffed animals, hot chocolate, yoga, aluminium water bottles
- Cotton: Pants, sunscreen, maps
- Polyester: Dentists, celery, Keanu Reeves, wet socks
- Wool: Carpenter ants, Snakes on a Plane, broken bones, bell peppers
- Burlap: Hurricanes, homelessness, Rush Limbaugh
- Barrel: Factory farms, Global Warming
Trust me. It’s gonna be a thing. It’s silk!
I think some people (most people) need to be reminded of a few things.
- opaque = not able to be seen through. as in, a wall.
translucent = allowing light, but not detailed images to pass through. as in, stained glass.
transparent = allowing light to pass through so that objects can be distinctly seen. as in, glasses.
- subconscious = of or concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings. as in, you’re awake.
unconscious = not conscious. as in, you’re asleep. ASLEEP.
- literally = free from exaggeration or distortion. exactly copied; realistic as opposed to abstract or impressionistic.
figuratively = what you literally mean when you say “there were literally a million people there.
Words have a lot of weight, and when people ignore that, words lose their meaning, and therefore, we lose our manner of expressing ourselves.
EDIT: Someone has brought up the excellent point that language is an evolving thing, and that many words have changed meaning over the course of several tens of years, or even hundreds. The reason that I bring up these particular cases, however, is because the word that people are actually looking for when they say something exists already. For example, if you were to say “There were literally a million people there,” you’re not using the word “literally” because there is no other word to express what you mean. Taking the word “literally” in that context is not filling a void in which the word that you’re looking for does not exist. What you actually mean is that “there were figuratively a million people there,” which sounds just as cool and is just as fun to say. (It may not have the same alliteration, but say it. It rolls off the tongue.) If you replace the word “figuratively” here with “literally”, then when you find yourself in a situation where there actually are literally a million people, you will need to find a new way to say it, because the perfectly good word we already had has been changed to mean something representational.
Need I say more? The trend is beginning to pick up where watches are no longer a wrist accessory. They are becoming necklaces as well, and the pocket watch is returning to fashion. So why stop there?
I think watches on the upper arm must start becoming a thing. And what about belt buckle watches? And on the ankle? Hell, put ‘em everywhere!
After my historical dance class this morning, everyone clapped and thanked the teacher, something not uncommon with dance classes, or movement classes. So it struck me, why do we clap for some classes, and not others? It seems to make sense to me to clap after every class that you appreciate or enjoy, to let the teachers know that you appreciate or enjoy.
The absence of a clap should be saved for a class that was unhelpful or a waste of time. But why only show appreciation to dance classes, when your English or Math (or French or Astronomy!) teacher put just as much effort into teaching, if not more.
It’s gonna be a thing.
In the last 3500 years, there have only been 230 years of peace.
I can’t take credit for this one, similarly to my gender neutral pronoun. Though this time, instead of the acclaim being my dad’s, it is my roommate’s, Sienna’s, and - despite its simple genius - I think it happened by accident.
It takes the form of a new expression.
We live in dangerous and changing times; dangerous for many reasons, and changing for just as dangerous reasons. One of these is my second biggest issue: Global Warming.
This summer, I’ve been living in LA, doing my own grocery shopping for the first time in my life, and it’s one of the greatest things that’s happened to me. Our first week living here, we walked down to the local Farmer’s Market and discovered we could buy almost all of our food their (with the exceptions of a few gluttonous indulgences such as tortilla chips and string cheese). Our lifestyle would only take 5.3 planets to support us! (I know it sounds bad, but you take the quiz…)
The point is, green has become a big part of our lifestyle. And it is a new fad. Indeed, hopefully it will be longer lasting than a fad.
Coming back to the simple genius new expression. “Green” is the new “cool”, so when you see something that’s cool, instead, you say “that’s so green!” Of course, you can’t call a Hummer “green” since they’re not even “cool”. (I really hate Hummers.)
I don’t have a proposed solution for this, but it was on my mind, so I thought I’d share it.
Let’s say you log onto your e mail account, and in the corner is a notification box that says “You have (X) message(s).” But the only case in which it would be “message” vs. “messages” is with the number 1. Even for 0 and -1, you would say messages. Same with all the non-whole numbers between 0 and 1, and 1 and 2.
It just seems to me superfluous to go through the trouble of having the parantheses for one number out of an infinite amount. Again, there doesn’t seem to be a logical solution to this, not that it’s a pressing issue. I just thought it was weird. Why is zero plural? Why is negative one plural? Why is .8347239587 plural?