Thursday, March 05, 2015

A good, quick guide to Europe's languages, and more

  • The word for honey gives you a good breakdown of Europe's main languages. As much as we've tried to pretend to be a Romance language since the French conquered England in 1066, English is solidly in the Germanic group. (Even though we can't understand each other anymore, 60% of our words are the same and our literature translates well both ways.) Finnish (Suomi) is probably using a Germanic loan word; like its cousin Estonian, Sami (Lapp), Hungarian, Turkish, and prehistoric Basque, Finnish isn't in the Indo-European family. (Culturally Scandinavian but ethnically and linguistically not.) Pick up a Germanic language, a Romance language, and a Slavic language, and you can communicate with most of the continent. So I'm covered. Of course English is now the world's auxiliary language. (Europe's used to be Latin, Catholicism's language. It's Not About Latin™ but I love using it as my posts about Sunday Mass show.) Made-up languages such as Esperanto never caught on and weren't really needed.
  • Steve Sailer's posts and links have explained transgenderism including phenomena like Bruce Jenner, older straight guys who suddenly do that. (Mr. Rothblatt post-op seems to have lost interest in it.) In a word, a rare hetero fetish, transvestites turned up a notch. Again, my line about Bradley Manning. That troubled boy obviously had no business being in this man's Army but arguably he's a hero. Thing is, the military has a job to do ("You can't handle the truth!"), so part of Manning's heroism would be taking the punishment due to him for breaking orders. The Chelsea thing looks trans all right, a transparent bid for leniency, unheroically trying to weasel out of the consequences. It didn't work for Maxwell Klinger on "M*A*S*H" (a comic-relief character, a draftee trying to get a Section 8 ticket home by pretending to be a cross-dresser; I'm neither a fan of conscription nor foreign wars).
  • Photos. Sunday Mass Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, Domine, snow day (woo hoo; age and looks notwithstanding, I'm still a kid), my town's colonial house, built about 150 years before the town was (the redbrick part is an addition probably from the early 1800s; me in 1776: "Long live the King"), and what used to be its Episcopal church (about the same age as the town), authentically Gothic, very English. Regrettably the evangelical church that has it now has painted its lych gate electric green. At one point ('30s?) its interior was high-churched (but it was never Anglo-Catholic), so like many Episcopal churches since the late 1800s it would be perfect for traditional Catholic worship. (Better than a lot of our own churches.) Like a darker version of my parish church (built in the same period, mine's a French exposition chapel pretending to be Gothic), substituting a deep chancel with choir stalls for the side altars.

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