Comments

  1. SADIE says

    Earl, I was thinking of you recently and crockpots (as opposed to the crackpots in the first video).
     
    So here it is Crockpot Oatmeal: Set it on low for 5 hours. YES, 5 hours.
    The oatmeal will have the consistency of bread pudding when it’s done.  Also, use a non-stick spray first, otherwise the oatmeal sticks to the ceramic bowl, like white on rice and you’ll have to argue with it to get it cleaned quickly/easily. Don’t understand the science, but the long term cooking does to oatmeal what popping does to corn.
     
    2 apples, skinned and sliced (if they’re small make it 3)
    1/2 C. brown sugar (if you like it sweeter add more)
    1 tsp. cinnamon (if you like it ….add more)
    2 C. oatmeal
    2 C. milk
    2 C. water
    Pinch of salt

  2. Charles Martel says

    Years ago my sainted mother told me about the time she saw Ricardo Montalban do an imitation on some talk show of what English sounds like to Spanish speakers. She said Montalban’s take sounded somewhat like cats—a description I’ve heard from other sources.
     
    I’ve tried since then to hunt down a video of Montalban’s presentation, with no luck. Thing is, though, I’ve always wondered what English sounds like. I know that seems strange to say, but what I mean is, what does our tongue actually sound like if you’ve never heard it before?
     
    Eventually I was able to find some Internet sites where that question was somewhat answered. Various non-English speakers have been all too happy to do Montalban-style initiations in a sort of nonsense proto-English that actually allows me to get an idea of what English sounds like to a foreigner.
     
    My quest led to a secondary question: What foreign language comes closest to English? Most experts list Frisian, a Dutch dialect, and Dutch itself as English’s closest relatives. But as many similarities as I saw, I kept asking myself if there was something even closer to English. Was there a true sister tongue?
     
    Turns out there is, at least in the eyes of some linguists: Scots. Some language experts say that Scots, called Lalans (“lowlands”) by its speakers, is a separate language that had a parallel evolution to English. It was a Saxon-Angle-Jute tongue that was slightly more influenced than English by certain other languages, such as the Scandinavian, and forms of French different from the Norman dialect that so heavily influenced Old and Middle English. The result was a language very close to ours, but different enough that Elizabeth I listed proficiency in Scots alongside her knowledge of French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and German. If this very savvy woman, living on an isle that had so many different dialects, saw Scots as a separate tongue, who was I to dispute her?
     
    So, the next time I’m riding in an elevator with a Scotsman, I am going to take into account that I am in the company of somebody who does not speak English. I’ll be like a Spaniard standing beside a Catalonian.
     
     

  3. Michael Adams says

    I would never say that English sounds like Dutch.  However, when I see Dutch in print, if I read it aloud, I can understand more of it.  I studied Old English in college, and afterward, not as a class, but when I was goofing off.  So, I know about as much Old English as I know of ancient Greek. However, with Old English, I also have the advantage, when I read it aloud, of speaking Redneckian. A lot of phonemes that have died out in standard Modern English, survive in Rednecki9an, like the aesh, and some constructions, also, like a ‘that’ thrown in where we would not usually expect it, although, for Spanish speakers, it is thoroughly familiar. Think of the ‘that’ in Middle English, as in, “Whan that Aprille, with his shoures sote.”

  4. lee says

    I watched the second one, and kept thinking of the Sync in my car, with it’s sing-song-ie “I-did-not-under-stand-you” that drives me BATTY!
     
    “Play artist Jethro Tull.”
    “Did you say, ‘Play artist Adele’?”
    “Play artist Jethro Tull.”
    “Say ‘one’ for ‘play artist adele,’ say ‘two’ for ‘play artist Jefferson Airplane,’ say ‘three’ for ‘play all.'”
    “PLAY ARTIST JETH-RO TULL!”
    “Play artist Adele… ‘There’s a fire starting in my heart… Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark…'”

  5. Danny Lemieux says

    I actually do speak Dutch (long story for another time) and clearly remember the day in High School when, reading the Canterbury Tales in the original ye Olde English, I realized how close it was to Dutch.

  6. Michael Adams says

    No, Danny, Canterbury Tales were in Middle English, not olde.
     
    Olde English goes like, “an man haedde twa sonne”  That’s the beginning of The Prodigal Son in the Venerable Bede’s translation of the Bible.  (Apologies to the V.B. for the spelling.  I’m at work and can’t look it up.)
     
    Did you have to memorize the Prologue when you were in high school?  That was the secret handshake for graduates of Texas high schools, for about eighty years, from my grandparents, until well after me.  Education “reform” put an end to that. This is more unfortunate than most people can understand. The historical context supplied by all sorts of historical knowledge, including philology, enables people to understand what the pools are doing to us now.  If we understand serfdom, for example, and some of the debate surrounding the freeing of the serfs, we surely do have a clearer picture of what the welfare state does for us, and to us.
     
    My wife and son and I read the Michael Crichton novel about time travel, (Title?)  which had a character who had taught himself not only to read Middle English and Occitanian, but also to speak them. Spouse and offspring  were both highly amused, and thought they’d have to put me in restraints to keep me from launching into more serious (maniacal?) study. I don’t speak Occitanian, or personally know anyone who does, although M. Martel is quite familiar with a close relative. However, Middle English is fun, if only for the head game it allows one to play.
     
    Back to the original topic.  (Yes, there was one.) I am trying to get my home-care patient’s family to learn English, because their monolingualism imposes a severe limit on their earning potential. I realize that one of the reasons for their reluctance is how Yanquis sound when we speak Spanish. It is hard to explain that Spanish accents sound charming to our ears, far from grating.

  7. Michael Adams says

    Aieee!  The pools are doing nothing to us, unless that is an amalgam of ‘pol’ and ‘fool’, a useful term, if it were more widely understood.

  8. Michael Adams says

    Well, when you finally come to Austin, we can amaze/irritate everyone around us by reciting it in chorus. As for  not memorizing any more poetry, when I was in college, the “settled science” of psychology told us that memorizing as a mental discipline did not help develop memory, so schools dropped the requirement that kids memorize poetry. Now, of course, the settled science has moved in the other direction, but the regs have not changed. 
     
    Oh, yeah, the Supremes, in 1973 had all gone to school in the 1930’s, when an embryo was seen as “tissue.” The later “settled science”, including intrauterine photography, and later, sonography, made it rather clear that the inhabitant of the womb is a person, who is, “a person, no matter how small.” Usually, abortions are done in the first trimester, when there are no bones, and therefore no extrauterine shape, but abortions  are, as noted, thoroughly legal much later.  I have helped women onto the exam table in the ER, whose babies suddenly slipped out. Slightly over three months, morphologically perfect, but legally abortable in most states.
    Hammer, Limbaugh can only do Occitanian in the first two hours of the program.  After that,  his blood sugar drops, and he has memory problems. He forgets things that I know he knew, because I learned them from him.  Pay attention to the difference. It’s readily apparent if you are alert to it.
     
     

  9. lee says

    Timeline. The movie starred Gerard Butler.
     
    I had a roomate who spoke Occitan. She was from Toulouse. Her father was almost militant about being an Occitanophone. It was very similar in a lot of ways to Catalan, and some Catalan speakers could understand her and her fathe(almost) when they spoke. The period of Crichton’s book is about the end of Old Occitan.
     
    I liked Crichton’s “Eaters of the Dead,” which was based on the idea of what would make Beowolf historical. I liked the film, (though apparently Omar Sharif is embarassed by it. (Dennis Storhoi was cute.) And the Beowolf refernece brings us back to…
     
    Old English!

  10. Michael Adams says

    In that part of France, people insist that Catalan and Occitan are the same tongue. These are the same people who tell me that in the Middle Ages, they were the same kingdom. Well, sort of. ‘Kingdoms’, in that sense, did not exist. It is truly difficult to unravel the skein of history and local gossip, accumulated over the past eight to ten centuries. The gossip part of it is definitely more fun.
     
    Lee, thanks for being my bibliographer. Thanks, also, for the recommendation of “Eaters.”  I’ll need to read that.

  11. Gringo says

    Michael Adams:
    I am trying to get my home-care patient’s family to learn English, because their monolingualism imposes a severe limit on their earning potential.I realize that one of the reasons for their reluctance is how Yanquis sound when we speak Spanish. It is hard to explain that Spanish accents sound charming to our ears, far from grating.
     
    I will never say this directly  to the person I am speaking with, but given the option of speaking in English with someone who speaks English with a strong Spanish accent, or speaking with them in Spanish, I prefer speaking in Spanish. I find it less grating to my ears. I have worked for nearly ten years with a  Peruvian engineer whom I trained to use our software. Her command of English is good enough to have gotten a graduate degree here, but I am more comfortable conversing with her in Spanish than in her strongly accented English.
     
    I worked in the oilfield with a number of Brits. I found the accent of Northern England to be the most difficult to understand- even harder than the Scots accent. One Northern English guy, when I said that I found him hard to understand- I didn’t do so until our third hitch together- admitted that I wasn’t the only one to find an accent from the North of England hard to understand.
     
    I didn’t have any trouble understanding Trinidadians from the cities. Some of the rural folk, whom I met while giving them rides, were difficult for me to understand.

  12. says

     
    Sadie:  FIVE HOURS!?!  So, if you want oatmeal for breakfast, do you get up in the middle of the night to start it….or make it the day before and heat it in the microwave….or what?
     
    Gail is going to love that, I suspect…..she’s a big oatmeal fan.  Uses regular rolled oats and makes her morning oatmeal in the microwave.  Reading the recipe makes me think I might actually enjoy oatmeal again…not sure I’ve eaten it in several decades.  I’ll give it a try.
     
     

  13. SADIE says

     
    Earl: Yes, FIVE HOURS. I’ve tried fewer hours, but the consistency is not the same. Short answer: make it the day before. I am using 100% whole grain/whole oats.  Last batch, I added a 1 tsp. of cardamom and a handful of dried cranberries. The recipe makes 6-8 servings.  Btw…I reheat a portion for 2 min. in the microwave and then add some milk to smooth out the texture before eating. As I mentioned the consistency is more like bread pudding, but denser.

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