i thought High Fidelity would always be my favourite franchise. it’s one of rare exceptions where i prefer the film to the novel by Nick Hornby. don’t get me wrong – i like both to the point that i follow it’s TV “reimagining”.

just this arvo, i “stumbled” upon the movie, Hearts Beat Loud on the SBS streaming service and really liked it. there were two lines that resonated withe me (i’m paraphrasing, of corse): one was that when life gives you a conundrum then make art, and the other is, you first need to be brave before you can be good. both are set in a NY record store but probably the reason it “slightly” edges out the other one is that the actors perform the music (instead of “spouting out” a list of songs/events given a particular criterion).

i mentioned before, Juliet, Naked!. it makes my top three (i wish i could “complete” the list in true High Fidelity fashion but i’ve yet to watch enough films “worthy” of this accolade).

in my younger years, i think i was sort of a music snob. i think it was a “necessary” phase – in the same way, i think artists need to “master” realism before they branch out stylistically (IMHO, i don’t think this step is “required” but it tends to provide more “robust”portfolios ). maybe it’s my “advanced” age or “embracing” Australian culture, you like what you like – damn “guilty pleasures”.

i’m not a technophobe but my friend is right – there’s a “warmth” to vinyl (and other analog media) despite sound “impurities” (hopefully, i don’t sound like a wanker). maybe some of it is “nostalgia” as my generation experienced the evolution of media. as my friend once “lamented”, newer generations won’t know the relationship between a pencil and an audio cassette. tangentially to this point, one of my favourite albums of all time is Full Moon Fever by the late Tom Petty – not just because i like the songs and describe them as “cohesive” but because i had the CD version and approximately half-way there is a blurb that at this point some listeners would need to flip their records to continue listening to the rest of it – so to be “fair”, he deliberately inserted a “pause”.

i previously knew about the tilde (as i speak Filipino (and can slightly understand a little of two other dialects) which has some words influenced by Spanish) and the umlaut (because of an individual in an organisation i used to work for). i recently found out the general term for it is a diacritic mark in a text mining course.

i’m a computer guy (and not a linguist) that mainly used ASCII – apparently EDCDIC supposedly addresses this “diversity” of letters but have to take this fact “at face value” since i don’t speak other languages.

i can’t help but be reminded of an anecdote of one of my batch mates that matter-of-factly corrected another that chocolate “mouse” isn’t the right way of saying it but since it’s a French word, it should be pronounced as “mouse-say” 😉

i thought OMG was a relatively new abbreviation as it was used in text speak. but, apparently, it is much “older”.

it was initially used to avoid offence. i’m not sure what the etymology is but the language and context where it’s used can change its meaning: for the sake of disambiguation (as popularised by Wikipedia), i’m referring to the short-hand for “oh my @@@” (for some,”oh my gosh),

while the meaning hasn’t changed over the years, it’s surprising to note the person likely to use it. it’s hard to believe that Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill used it once in a letter (according to Trivia Genius) and now it’s in the vocabulary of some “angsty” teens.

it’s supposed to be a legendary creature from Greek mythology: offspring of a Griffin and mare with the front part an eagle and back portion that of a horse.

it’ rather “a long bow” – but i’ve got an “associative memory” and my thinking is quite “tangential”…

the collective noun for a group of eagles is a convocation (sometimes aerie, eagle’s nest, is used instead). Moreover, harras is the term for horses. Usually, a qualitative adjective is used so i’m not really sure about the etymology of the latter – i just discovered it a couple of decades ago for one of my poems.

there are a plethora of these kind of words – i thought it’s a good place to start as any – kindly share any you find interesting…

i’m loathe to admit i only learned the difference a few years ago. both are abbreviations using the first letters of a word (typically the initial letter only).

essentially, acronyms can be read/pronounced as they mostly form a word (or something similarly sounding to one). for initialisms, you say each letter and the “short-cut” need not form a recognised word.

i don’t mean to be pedantic or correct anyone – i just find it nice-to-know.

i ran into this recently. i almost forgot about this since the last time i “discussed” this was in school (either “late” primary or secondary).

it’s a cross between a question mark and an exclamation point. it’s a punctuation mark designed for an “exclamatory rhetorical question” (whatever that actually is).

out of curiosity, has anyone seen it actually used in the wild?

apparently, i was wrong: both think and thing are acceptable. like so many others, i had been inadvertently “influenced” by the Judas Priest lyrics.

i discovered my mistake when i “played” commonly confused words : https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-games/more-confusing

this had caused me to do a bit of digging and i stumbled upon this article: https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2014/nov/18/mind-your-language-another-think

if mondegreens are often misheard lyrics, what do call “misinterpreted” language from a song?

i’ve always wondered about this but not until i had to use it in my code did i bother to find out the difference. apparently, it’s just a spelling thing: “grey” is the preferred British way; while some Americans use “gray”.

i was originally from the Philippines and the educational system there is heavily influenced by the Americans, and have migrated to Australia awhile back – hence the “worsening” of my confusion.

it took me awhile to resolve the “s” and “z” (pronounced here as “zed”.

my speech therapist says it’s another “obstacle” for me in learning to speak again as my accent is somewhat “Americanised” and most words are produced differently in Australian-English.

i was so hung up on words that i “overlooked” visualisations can deceive audiences. i’ve been recently exposed to the works of Edward Tufte and Alberto Cairo on Information Graphics (commonly known by its portmanteau, Infographics). Aside from the important role it can play in emphasising statistics, it also has the power to mislead “consumers” of the information (whether intentional or not). The main point is that they need to be designed carefully and not simply thrown in to break the “monotony” of words or “pretty” things up – they must only be included to serve a particular purpose.

here are a few guidelines to help make the figure you generate “better”:


our parish priest of several years celebrated his farewell mass earlier because he’s been reassigned to PNG. this post isn’t about him but him ending his homily with a few quotes triggered my “tangentially-associative” memory.

i’m not terribly religious but had Augustinian priests for my primary and high school education. one of his quotes was deeply ingrained in me: “To sing is to pray twice”. i didn’t think i would be disturbed but a while back a contemporary personality effectively claimed that the quote was theirs and originated from them.

that was the first time i knew that a person “blatantly” appropriated someone else’s work – the interviewer didn’t challenge them. perhaps it was ignorance. perhaps they didn’t want the interviewee to be embarrassed.

my intent isn’t to shame anybody – in any case, i encourage everyone to share and spread individual’s words, works, ideas, or the like so that they are properly attributed. that said, let me qualify, some times somebody from another time or from a different part of the world may come up with a similar “thing” – the point is that their intent was never meant to “plaigarise”, it’s claiming something is theirs when they clearly know it’s not.

publicising something appears to be an “effective” remedy in dealing with or preventing its occurrence.