Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I found this in a catalog a few weeks ago. I think it's adorable, so I decided to order the pattern.

I don't know when it will happen, but I am very excited to make it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Currently Reading...

Poor abandoned blog... I haven't had much to say lately. I caught a cold more or less on the first day of school and have been just trying to get by since then. Luckily, I'm feeling better, and since my mom requested a blog post to entertain her, I thought I would share some neat facts from (one of) the book(s) I'm currently reading, The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson.

The Mother Tongue is all about the English language, but also talks about the linguistic characteristics of other languages too. It's super interesting. I've been reading it for awhile (non-fiction always seems to take longer), and I am constantly telling Mike about all the things I'm learning from it. And now, I present them to you.
  • English is the only language that has (or needs) a thesaurus (14).
  • There are more people studying English in China than there are people in the United States (13).
  • There are approximately 2,700 languages in the world... but that is only a best guess (37).
  • All languages evolve, but Icelandic, for some reason hasn't really evolved much. Bryson claims that if Leif Ericson reappeared, he could communicate without too many problems (37).
  • Spelling was pretty much anyone's best guess, until the printing press was invented. Perhaps unfortunately, the printing press was invented during a pretty tumultuous time for the English language. That's partially why there are some unusual spellings- a lot of our spellings reflect pronunciation of the 1400s (126).
  • Relatedly, silent letters (like the "k" in knight and knees or "g" in gnat) were once pronounced (128).
  • If you think texting abbreviations are irritating, you might be surprised to find that in the early 1900s the Simplified Spelling Board (supported by Andrew Carnegie and Theodore Roosevelt, among others) lobbied for the simplified spellings of certain words. They won a few battles, giving dignity to the shorter version of words that have two spellings (ax/axe, judgment/judgement, catalog/catalogue, program/programme, etc.). They also had a lot of support behind words like live, tho, thru, wisht, gard, giv, hav, and ar. But, they pushed their luck on words like tuf, def, yu, and filosophy. That, and the advent of World War I stopped their efforts (130).
I'm about half way done. It's totally nerdy, but I love reading things like this. Thanks for humoring me.