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November 08, 2008

A plate of ubiquitous

Ubiquitous …My mother tends to go through phases of making a particular dessert a lot. After a few nights on the trot of having trifle, and being a particularly snotty/precocious teenager who read a lot, I declared 'Ah, the ubiquitous trifle!' when it came out again. And promptly spent 5 minutes explaining what it meant, and that it wasn't an insult.

Nearly 20 years later, trifle is now universally offered in the family as 'Would you like a plate of Ubiquitous?'…

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What are some examples of "Family Slang"? For example, a friend's father once told a joke to his family that poked fun at the French. He concluded by saying, "Don't tell anyone from France." Now, within their family, "Don't tell anyone from France" means "Let's keep this between us"--and they say it even if the secret has nothing to do with the French

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Eunoia is the shortest word in English containing all five vowels - and it means "beautiful thinking". It is also the title of Canadian poet Christian Bok's book of fiction in which each chapter uses only one vowel

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November 8, 2008 in Languages | Permalink


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My family always watched Star Trek The Next Generation when it was on TV on a Wednesday evening. Through some kind of planning coincidence, we used to often have the same (very delicious) mozarella pasta bake thing to eat at the same time as Startrek was on every week (or enough for it to become a 'thing'). As a result, it became known as Star trek pasta forever more!! Despite having nothing to do with startrek or having any kind of startrek relation to the actual food.

mmm delicious startrek pasta!

Posted by: bryony at Nov 8, 2008 9:15:03 PM

i misheard my girlfriend, repeating what i thought she said: "pineapple?"
for years, that was the response she had, every time i didn't hear something the first time - "Pineapple?"

Posted by: hanan at Nov 8, 2008 9:53:33 PM

Sounds like my story: http://www.heiste.de/2008/10/24/moegen-sie-gruenkohl/ (only German. Sorry). Where is the recipe of the ubiquitous trifle. It looks delicious.

Posted by: heiste at Nov 9, 2008 1:45:02 AM

"Do you like kale?"
Here's some translation -

Posted by: HL at Nov 9, 2008 6:45:30 AM

my mother made corn relish years ago. when she asked my step-father how it was he shrugged & said "eh... it's corn relish." ever since then anything that's just so-so has been referred to as being "corn relish".

Posted by: wntctrlmyslf at Nov 9, 2008 9:36:54 AM

Good day!

Although not exactly relating to the thread please allow me, dear friend, to tell you of the newest home of British comedy on the online.

English For Dirty Foreigners is the only show on the internets that will lie to you outrightly about British language, traditions, customs and stuffs.
Oh yes, we have many stuffs.


Come for the comedy.
Stay for the hilarity.

Posted by: EnglishForDirtyForeigners at Nov 9, 2008 12:57:16 PM

not always, but many times, when my mother wanted to address someone, including me, she would preface her question or statement with "What's your name, Peter?" Odd, considering my name is Julie and in fact, she named me. Finally, after about 50 years of this, I asked her why and she said it just happened once that she wanted to say something to some man and she wasn't sure if his name was Peter.

Posted by: Julie at Nov 10, 2008 7:33:00 AM

"La Disparition," by Georges Perec, was an entire novel written in French without using the letter E. Amazingly, it was translated by Gilbert Adair into English, under the title "A Void," also without the letter E.

Posted by: peter at Nov 10, 2008 5:24:46 PM

More about Perec - http://growabrain.typepad.com/growabrain/2004/05/tattoos_in_lite.html

Posted by: HL at Nov 10, 2008 6:50:04 PM