bubbleblower: cropped head shot of me with nebula background (Default)
[personal profile] bubbleblower
I've gone a lot longer than I'd been expecting to since last posting here. I have some things that might sort of serve as explanations or excuses, such as having gone to two conventions in the last month or so, but they don't seem all that convincing. Other people have been through worse and still managed to post to their web sites.

I think the closest thing to a real explanation is that I'm not yet firmly in the habit of posting here. I haven't been doing it for very long, so it's easy to let it slip. And slip. And slip.

But I was lucky enough to have something pop up to give me a reason to stop the slippage: Someone may have come up with what may be a Chinese equivalent of the word Plergb.

If you're not familiar with the word Plergb in English you can go to http://www.plergb.com and read up on it.

After you've done that check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duang for the story of a new word that has popped up in China. It's been sweeping the country as an Internet meme even though as of this writing nobody is really certain as to what it means. It reminded me of the word Plergb even if it really isn't that close an analogy.

At present the new word-like thing isn't a "real" word in Chinese. Someone has drawn up a character for it, and meanings may be emerging, but it will take time for the dust to settle.

If you want to start a Chinese equivalent of the word Plergb, this may be your chance. Even if this slot is taken, there appear to be others available, perhaps using the same phonemes with different tones. So if you know enough Chinese to know what you're doing (I don't) and you feel like doing it, go for it. If anybody questions you, claim Renegade Status.

Similarly, if you see analogous opportunities in other languages, have at it.

And no, I don't know if the English word Plergb is pronounceable in Chinese. Many people say it's hard enough to pronounce in English.

In other news, I just happened to come across hints that Wile E. Coyote was designing weapons for the British during World War Two.

That's the impression I get from this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panjandrum

It was supposed to assist Allied landing forces by rolling across beaches in advance of our troops, blowing up any obstacles in its path.

It's a pair of wheels with a cylinder full of explosives between them, looking sort of like a cable spool. It's propelled by rockets around the periphery of the wheels.

Note that the rockets produce no net horizontal thrust. They merely cause the wheels to rotate. Any forward progress is the result of friction between the wheels and the ground, just like with the wheels on a car. Note that this thing was intended to travel on beaches, and that the wheel tread is smooth. Then think of what happens when you try to drive a car through loose sand. It's not surprising that it didn't do well. I suspect that cleats or some such might have helped.

In the YouTube video of the re-enactment at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAE7PKv4vgY

you can see the model sometimes making progress and sometimes just spinning without really getting anywhere.

Although it was supposedly a secret weapon, tests were done at a public beach in view of crowds of civilians. That leads me to wonder if it was supposed to fail. Maybe the idea was for the Germans to see the spy reports on it and laugh themselves to death?

Date: 2015-03-17 03:24 pm (UTC)
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] weofodthignen
Thanks for the link to the Panjandrum weapon. I'm surprised nobody mentions where the name came from: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Grand_Panjandrum . And I note that years ago an IP pointed out on the article talk page that the word continues in the use presumably derived from that, for a ruler, particularly a self-important one - they link to a Wiktionary entry and that's clearly how it's being used in the title of the book on Queen Victoria.

I've retired from Wikipedia; if you have a log-in, or don't mind revealing your IP, it would be good if you noted the origin of the word :-)
Edited Date: 2015-03-17 03:24 pm (UTC)
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