Archive for the ‘Humor/Random’ Category

Día de los Santos Inocentes

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Today, December 28th is your opportunity to pull practical jokes on others in most Spanish speaking countries. It’s Día de los Santos Inocentes and it’s a bit like April 1st (April Fool’s Day) in the United States. Schoolchildren often borrow pencils or books from others, and then recite the refrain Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar, sabiendo que en este día en nadie se puede confiar, not returning the borrowed item. It’s also a time for any kind of practical joke.

This custom is based on King Herod, who ordered all male children under three (the santos inocentes) in Bethlehem to be killed, hoping to avert being dethroned by Jesus who had been born a short time before.

So here’s your chance to pull a practical joke on someone, then call them an inocente palomita.

Diccionario – 10 Palabras Nuevas

Friday, November 30th, 2007

¿Creen que debo agregar estas definiciones al diccionario?

Adulto – Una persona que ya dejó de crecer verticalmente y ahora crece horizontalmente.

Banquero – Un hombre que te presta su paraguas cuando hace mucho sol y te lo reclama cuando empieza a llover.

Clásico – Un libro que todos admiran y nadie lee.

Conferencia – La confusión de un sólo hombre multiplicada por el número de personas presentes.

Esterilizar – Lo que haces con el chupón de tu primer hijo al hervirlo por 15 minutes y lo que haces con el chupón de tu último hijo al soplarle.

Hardware – La parte de la computadora que recibe los golpes cuando el software no funciona.

Impaciencia – Esperar con mucha prisa.

Pesimista – Un optimista con experiencia.

Polvo – Lodo que se le ha exprimido todo el jugo.

Secreto – Algo que sólo le dices a una sóla persona a la vez.

Si se te ocurre alguna palabra como estas con su definición, escríbela en los comentarios.

Is it Subject-Verb Agreement or Verb-Object Agreement?

Monday, October 29th, 2007

The following image and caption caught my attention.

Someone should work on their math
before they work on their grammar.
Is or Are?
Found on reddit.

If you didn’t already notice, the joke is that it doesn’t matter if you want to say is or are, the fact is that the answer is 14 not 13. That aside, what is the right answer? Just for the record, I’d go with is, without getting into a grammatical discussion of the subject.

Five plus five is/are ten.
Our greatest asset is/are our libraries.
The thing I least like about rainy days is/are the grey clouds.

What do you think?

In Spanish it’s another story. As far as I know, in these cases the verb agrees in number with the object, not the subject. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Cinco mas cinco son diez.
Nuestro mejor recurso son nuestras bibiotecas.
La cosa que menos me gusta de los días lluviosos son las nubes grises.

The Truth about the Monster Plant from Mexico

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Maguey or Century Plant in Central Mexico

The Daily Mail states “Monster plant grows 5ft in a weekend and bursts through greenhouse roof“, in a somewhat sensationalist, mostly interesting, and unfortunately misleading article. Let me highlight a few of the statements.

“Monster plant grows 5ft in a weekend and bursts through greenhouse roof”

It’s true that when the Maguey or Century Plant goes to seed, the stem does grow quickly, but who gave them permission to call it a “monster plant”? I think kudzu is more of a monster plant.

“A rare Mexican plant which flowers only once in its lifetime has bloomed in Britain.”

In Bloom

This photo:Wikipedia (Since I couldn’t find any of my own shots of flowering magueys at the moment.)

Anyone who has visited Mexico or the Southwestern US, knows this plant is by no means rare. It might only bloom once, but with so many of them around, the flowers are a common sight.

“It has grown steadily to dominate the south-eastern corner of the display, its crown of rather untidy but impressive succulent leaves spewing out across the gravel like some monstrous creation from the Little Shop of Horrors.”

I’ll cut them some slack because they obviously haven’t seen one of these plants before. But “Little Shop of Horrors”? What’s that? It just looks like a big Aloe Vera plant.

“Agave americana, which became known as the Century Plant in the mistaken belief that it blossomed only once in 100 years” …//… “The rush of sap which fuels the speedy growth of the plant is used to produce tequila.”

Yes, technically this plant is an Agave, but it’s *not* the variety used to produce Tequila. Tequila and Mescal are both produced from different versions of the Agave plant and this version, the Maguey, is not one of them. It is however used to produce Pulque, which you should try next time you’re in central Mexico.

But maybe the one most important thing you should know about this plant is– It’s not a cactus.

Eleven Hilarious Tee Shirts for Language Lovers

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

These are a must-have to wear to your Spanish or linguistics class. They might even help you learn.

Una Llama!
¿Como se llama?
And you know what the animal is called.

I don’t know if this has some other meaning, but I think it’s a cool design.

Inverted question mark.
Gotta remember the punctuation.

This is hard to say.
Try reading the words on this shirt, while saying the color that each word is written in. For green you would say blue.

Think critically.
Diacritical Thinking
Good thing Spanish doesn’t have this many accent marks!

Applesauce immersion


Ok, it’s not a t shirt but I couldn’t resist. Especially since I have a 2-year-old girl.

You’re unique!

Hit that.
Happy Birthday!

Bonus points to whoever explains this shirt. (And I know what fulana means :))

Cinco de mayo
Cinco de Mayo
Five jars of mayonnaise.

Short and sweet.

Most of these tee shirts come from either Cafepress or Busted Tees.