- South Dakota has fishing, and so does New York.
- South Dakota has hunting, and so does New York.
- South Dakota is bisected by a river, and so is New York.
- South Dakota’s fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops, and so is New York’s.
- South Dakota’s government is largely dominated by the Republican Party, and so is New York’s.
- South Dakota’s geography has more in common with the West than the Midwest, and so does New York’s.
- South Dakota had layers of sediment deposited during the Pleistocene epoch around two million years ago, and so did New York.
- South Dakota can generally be divided into three regions, and so can New York.
- South Dakota only has 35-percent of students above basic math proficiency, and so does New York.
- South Dakota is considered the Coyote State, and so is New York.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Mountainville, NY is considered a “hamlet,” though the geographic distinction has no formal place in New York State law like its close relatives “village,” “city,” and “census-designated place.” Given this lack of legal distinction, the residents of Mountainville have had to resort to their own methods to determine the qualities of a “hamlet.” What follows is a charter drafted by the residents to provide visitors with an overview of how Mountainville distinguishes itself from neighboring communities.
- All residents of Mountainville must wear traditional Elizabethan clothing at all times.
- All residents of Mountainville must carry around skulls of deceased court jesters at all times.
- All Danish noblewomen living in Mountainville must take Prozac.
- All populations of Mountainville must be centered in the area around Taylor Road between Route 32 and the New York State Thruway.
- All monkeys currently residing in Mountainville must be positioned in front of typewriters at all times.
- All plays performed in Mountainville must explore themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.
- All residents of Mountainville must have a postal zip code of 10953.
- All Danish noblewomen living in Mountainville must avoid water.
- All dramatic structures of plays drafted and performed in Mountainville must reverse conventional precedent centering on the theory that a drama should focus on action, not character. Rather, said plays must be driven by the use of soliloquies so that the audience learns of main characters’ motives and thoughts.
- All residents of Mountainville must like trees.
Through this overview, visitors of Mountainville will better understand the nature of its residents, Danish noblewomen, and monkeys.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Says Ray Gun:
Dutch is an extremely weird language! I don’t mean that pejoratively, but it needs to be said. As an English-speaker, it’s often difficult to shake the feeling that you’re hearing a kind of Bizarro English when a Dutchman speaks to you, because so much of it sounds familiar. But upon close listening, it’s entirely alien. Linguists often say that Dutch is an amalgam between English and German, phoneme-wise, but I think that’s oversimplified. There are something like a dozen letter combinations that just don’t have an English (or even German) equivalent. Your subtle cues that you’re not in Kansas or Köln anymore.
For example, the letters “ui” together say “ow” as in “wow.”
Then there’s “ee,” which says “ay” as in “gay.”
Or our dear friend “oe,” which says “oo” as in “cool.”
And let’s not forget the “oo” that says “oh” as in “sex show.”
And that’s just a few vowels. They’ve got some crazy ninja consonants, too. Take “j,” if you will. When it begins a word, it acts a “y” as in “your” (don’t ask why there is no “y” in Dutch), but when it’s internal to the word it’s voiced as in “jump.” All hell breaks loose when the “j” is paired with an “i,” but that’s another story.
So meet Johnny Jordaan (1924–1989), the much-beloved Dutch folk singer whose sentimental feelings for his city of Amsterdam are immortalized in campy song, especially ditties about the once working-class but now-trendy Jordaan district from whence his stage name comes. You would assume that his name is pronounced “Yonny Yordan,” following the rules of the language. But alas, those free-spirited, fun-loving Dutch will pronounce the “j” our way for the first name but not for the surname.
It’s enough to make one want to spend a while forgetting about it all in a Dutch coffeeshop.
Where, as you probably know, coffee is rather beside the point.