April 24th, 2009


What's it called?

I've seen plenty of children's rulers and product packaging with images that seem to change a bit as the surface is rotated toward and away from the viewer. The images are printed on different sides of tiny raised plastic ridges or pyramids to acheive this effect. Does anyone know what this is called? I can't even figure out the right terms to google!

Examples: My nephew has a ruler with lion cubs on it; as you rotate the ruler, the cubs' legs seem to walk forward. I also just got a card in the mail for the new Hugh Jackman movie. Viewed straight on, he's bare-chested :), but from slightly above or below, he's wearing a shirt and jacket.
Bond O Rly?

Familiarity with the term "fountain drink/soda"

I was visiting NYC earlier this week and stopped by a McDonald's in Time Square to get a soda. I asked for a "fountain drink," and the cashier had no idea what I was talking about. (He also laughed at me and acted really strange, but that's a story for a different community.) After the incident I started looking for the term on menu boards and such, and I saw it many times, which settled the question (IMHO) of whether or not it was a regional term that New Yorkers wouldn't be familiar with. My husband, who grew up in Boston and upstate NY, knew the term. I've heard lots of people use it, both in upstate NY where I now live and Seattle, where I'm from.

I've discussed it on some forums now and didn't get the response I expected at all: people seem to think it is an obscure term that is used only in the South (which I've never even visited) and/or that no one under the age of 60 uses it.

So my question to the community is this:

1. Do you know the term "fountain drink", "soda fountain," and similar terms? Would you know what someone was asking for if they ordered it a fountain drink?
2. Where are you from/where have you heard it?
3. How old are you? (Or age range, whatever if you're not comfortable answering this)

I had never thought about it before, but now I'm very interested to find out where the term is common and where it isn't. I guess I'd assumed it was common because the term "soda fountain" was universally used, but perhaps it isn't and I never knew!
  • Current Mood
    confused confused

like as if

This is a crosspost from linguistics :

Hi there! I'm doing a research on comparative constructions in the English language. While gathering material for my project, I came across several examples of the following kind:

she was like as if she knew somehow how matters had gone on, and had a spite at her 

Make like as if you're beckoning her.

See they got on the lights so long of the day in the winter time and made them lay just like as if it'd been summer.

Actually feels like as if you've eaten one. 

I have to you know, and, and besides, when I come out of there I look like as if I've been .

What do you think about these examples? Do you think there will be any change in meaning or any other aspect (style, emphasis) if either like of as if were omitted? Can this use be considered dated? Or formal? Thanks for any suggestions.

one piece, nico robin

Word of the day mailing lists? French + Spanish + Others?

I want to subscribe to more word-of-the-day mailing lists, specifically in French and advanced Spanish.

French: About.com has a French word-of-the-day, but it doesn't look like they have a mailing list. I'm looking for something I can get directly to e-mail. Any suggestions? I took three years of French in high school and I don't want my skills to rust. Any other entertaining mailing lists in French also welcome! Daily French quotes, jokes, etc.

Spanish: Dictionary.com has a nice Spanish word-of-the-day mailing list for beginning/intermediate Spanish. I highly recommend it if you are studying Spanish.

However, I am looking for a mailing list with Spanish native speaker college-level vocabulary. I am a Spanish heritage speaker, already fluent in Spanish and already with a good general vocabulary. Spanish is actually my first language (I started learning English from Sesame Street on TV, ha). I have been practicing Spanish spelling/grammar/translations on my own for a while now (plug: songlations).

I want to expand my vocabulary with the sort of words that I would see in novels (i.e. not regular conversation, movies, music, etc). Think English SAT/GRE-level words. I want that for Spanish.

I Googled, but found nothing. I know we have native speakers here. Any resources for your fellow heritage speakers? Thank you in advance.

Other languages: If you have any other daily mailing lists, feel free to share them. For Japanese, kanji-a-day.com is good.
Sweeping Bow

Trying to find Chinese learning materials.


I'm exposed to Chinese (Mandarin) fairly frequently in my day-to-day life, and have been for the past 2.5 years, but have only made minimal progress in learning any, for some reason. I've been studying Japanese on my own for several years now, and have made extensive use of several nice computer-based Japanese resources, chief among them being EDICT in a local file which I use to look up words I come across online, and this site, which has a large number of example sentences and idioms. tgies also recommended me a book, A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar, which I've been reading through slowly. And of course the English-speaking internet is full of people learning Japanese - I see tons of people discussing it in this very community. But what I can't seem to find are similar, well-known tools/communities/resources for Chinese, so...

Can anyone recommend me some good books (preferably easy to find), good computer programs (windows), firefox plugins, or whatnot that could help me to learn Chinese? Recently I've got Anki set up, and started using nciku as a dictionary, though it doesn't seem to be downloadable (unfortunately!) and is thus slow going. I also have this set as a bookmark search in firefox — replace "%s" with some chinese characters and it'll give you a chart showing their pronunciations and nominal denotations.

So, is there some sort of "official vocab list" I can work through, like how the JLPT corpora exist for Japanese? Is there some seminal must-read grammar of Chinese? A popular textbook series (preferably at least somewhat aimed towards a linguistics-acquainted reader)? Anything you know that might answer questions like these would be greatly appreciated. :)


EDIT: Er, totally missed this post, which partially answers my question (a book was recommended, and a website). Further information would be appreciated as well, though. :)


I don't know how relevant this is to this community (and mods, you can take it down if it's too off-topic!) but I finally got around to putting my Old English translation of Jabberwocky up in the Internet. You can view it here. Anyway, I just thought I would put that out there--hopefully some folks will get a kick out of it. :-)