September 21st, 2006

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Actual News Item in Today's Hindu

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Opening up a Pandara's Box


 A drunk tourist fell into the enclosure of the giant panda, Gu Gu,  at Beijing Zoo. The panda then bit him. Then the inebriated tourist bit the panda back. The news item  doesn't say what happened to the tourist, but the photograph shows an attendant watching the Panda. I am having a hard time typing this with a straight face. I am wondering...where did the guy find a place on the panda to bite?

Also, tangentially...how do they select names for these pandas?
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ENGLISH IS A CONTRARY TONGUE...IT AIN'T VERY TRARY!

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One of the problems that faced me as I learnt the English language was the contrariness of words and their opposites. I was fine with "interesting" being the opposite of "uninteresting" (I hope this piece of mine is the former and not the latter) and "amoral" being the opposite of "moral". But then I started getting into hot water. I found that I was quite inept at getting the correct words to signify the opposite of some terms...and needed to get more ept. I realized that being nonchalant wouldn't work; I had to become chalant.
 
The more I read, the more disconcerted I was. How to concert myself? I wondered.  If I made a mistake, and corrected myself, was I making a take? Wasn't a take what I did when I stopped an intake?
 
Facing these questions, I was disgruntled and decided to get gruntled quickly before I lost my peace of mind. I derived one term from another...but realized that if I went back to the original term, I was not riving it. The inconsistency of the language disgusted me, and I wanted to be consistent...and  gusted. Until I understood the seriousness of the task before me, I still in a state of derstanding.
 
I was going to return from somewhere, did I have to turn to go there in the first place? If I went on a diet and lost my adipose tissue, would it then be dipose tissue? If I stopped using demeaning phrases about people, and used complimentary ones, would I be meaning them? If  the language rang an alarm bell in my head, how to quieten it and make it larm?
 
When something went missing, and I found it, it didn't become sing, though. When I had one of something, I had a unit..but when I got more, I didn't get a it, only several. When I left the house, I was no longer indoors, but I wasn't doors either. When I went entered a building,I was making an ingress; when I came out, I wasn't making a gress.....Worse, "another" meant practically the same as "other", though "aerobic" and "anaerobic" were opposites....these differences were so inane, why couldn't English be more ane? I knew some of these opposites were inelegant, not elegant...but if I was not choosing them instead of others, was I choosing them stead of others?
 
And so it goes, still....words and their opposites have me in a right royal tizzy, and I am hoping that the opposite of "interesting" is not "teresting".....and that my LJ friends don't stop their conversations with me and become versationalists!

As I read over this, words such "dismayed", "ungulate" (the subject of a conference that kalyan attended recently), "conservation" and "angry" popped up behind my eyes... I was thinking of a gulate which was mayed when servationists were foiled in their attempt to spoil Nature...it took a lot to get it gry again...!



You're right, this is going into my " Deccan Herald middle" queue...I have been told that I can only submit one in about 4 or 5 weeks...sigghhhh....how infair, misjust and akind! My next one can be sent only in the first week of Oct...just got the "piddly peanuts" cheque for the last one...it was exactly what I expected, so I am not disappointed, I am quite appointed!