Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff

Category Archives: I Usta be an Editor Y’Know

CARMINA BURANA REVISITED

WHO ISN’T AWED by Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana? Its throbbing rhythm in O Fortuna/Velut luna/Statu variabilis (“O Fortune/Like the Moon/Changeable”). Its salacious lyrics composed for lusty 12th-century monks. And, for … Continue reading

August 9, 2019 · 1 Comment

JACOB REES-MOGG—ANOTHER BRIT, ANOTHER REAL PIECE OF WORK

THE NEW BRITISH prime minister, Boris Johnson has made Jacob Rees-Mogg leader of the House of Commons. I’d have thought a prime minister would be the leader, and historically often … Continue reading

July 31, 2019 · Leave a comment

HOW DO YOU SAY THAT IN ENGLISH?

A LETTER TO the London Review of Books got me thinking about words that don’t readily translate to English. Jem Thomas, Bristol, cited the Portuguese word saudade and the Welsh … Continue reading

July 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

ON-LOAN WORDS IN JAPANESE

MAKIKO ITOH HAS the online food blog justhungry.com, subtitled “Japanese recipes & more.” And, indeed, Maki, as she has been known since 2003, writes about so much more than food. … Continue reading

July 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

ETYMOLOGY: CAITIFF, VARLET PART 2

YESTERDAY WAS CAITIFF’S day; today, varlet exhibits the same sort of linguistic switcheroo: What originally had an innocent meaning evolved into a word rather less complimentary. Varlet. Varlet’s original meaning … Continue reading

July 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

ETYMOLOGY: CAITIFF, VARLET PART 1

CAITIFFS! VARLETS! WHAT rare but appropriate words describing too many politicians these days. Merriam-Webster lists “caitiff” as an adjective meaning “cowardly, despicable.” It defines the noun ”varlet” as “attendant, menial; … Continue reading

July 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

COMMUNICATION CADENCE

EACH LANGUAGE has a cadence. English, for example, has its noble example of classic iambic pentameter—five beats to a line, unstressed syllables followed by stressed ones. Consider Marlowe’s line from … Continue reading

July 9, 2019 · 1 Comment