Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Comments, Links

Re-discovering Usenet newsgroups

alt.music.smash-pumpkins

Zwan members are "moving on" and that James Iha has joined the band A Perfect Circle.

alt.music.weezer

Pinkerton is the best Weezer album, though some consider it to be in a dead heat with the Blue album.

sci.lang
>Does anyone know the Spanish etymology for this word?  I've associated the
>two since learning that language in high school.  Does embarrassment have a
>semantic link with becoming pregnant, or is it a mere play on words?

The root meaning of the words "embarrass" / "embarazar" is to
obstruct, to encumber. The Spanish word's use was extended to refer to
a woman's period of "encumbrance". The English word's use was extended
to refer to a feeling that one is being encumbered by
self-consciousness, by humiliation.

--
Harlan Messinger

Also this choice quote: Chinese is a kazoo, but its literature is a violin. And I alway wondered about this:

As for the original of <ling2> as zero: <ling2> is the sound of falling
rain, hence to fall (as in leaves fall), hence the remainder (what's
left behind after the leaves fall), or odd change.  E.g., <ling2 qian2>
[~ "money"] is small change.  301 would be <san3 bai3 ling2 yi1> --
literally, three hundred [plus] "odd change" [of] one.  In practice,
it becomes a place holder for a missing digit, very much like the way
the circular glyph is used in the original Indian numeric system.  The
meaning of "zero" (meaning nothing) is entirely modern.  Perhaps
the Japanese started that usage first.

Tak

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