I’ve been playing more Scrabble lately, having rediscovered ISC. It’s possible to play games as short as 8 minutes, making it quicker than the new Facebook Scrabble. Anyway, I’m used to a lot of the weird and wonderful words that are allowed, but tonight a new one on me was “BOEP“. I couldn’t find it at all the first time I searched on Google, and thought that maybe it’s a trap street, but then I discovered it’s an Afrikaans word for belly, and adding .za to my search I was able to verify that English-speakers in South Africa do indeed use this word, a word that I assume sounds like “burp”! How do I get rid of my beer boep, indeed…
First time I saw Emily and Joshua’s alphabet blocks I was a bit sceptical. They’re so surreal, and the photos looked like they might’ve been photoshopped. But real they are. And to prove that they’re no fluke, I just found my own version while out shopping here in Birmingham. I was browsing in a cheap-shop (one of those where everything costs £1) when I saw this item among the children’s toys:
I’m sure that 90% of the toys for sale in Britain are made in China, but the quality is generally better than this piece of junk. I had to buy it though, for the Chinglish. Look closer:
That’s some dictionary they must be using. The words “refection” and “carbonado” had completely passed me by, until today. And that’s bad luck, picking the most obscure spelling of “cookie” (as a translation of “bread”). Not such bad luck though, to pick “malt” when the word you need is in the picture. I wish I could say that from now on I’m going to call Big Macs “Greatness Folds”, but it’s too much of a mouthful.
Notice that the blocks are numbered 13-24, so I’m sure there must be a 1-12 set out there somewhere… Happy hunting!
Birmingham News, 24 June 2004:
(Brummies don’t talk foreign.)