Saturday, July 30, 2005 

A Vision of the Future

I came across this today and found it quite funny...

Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EEC, the European Parliament has commissioned a feasibility study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments.

European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult; for example: cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomalies. The programme would, of course, be administered by a committee staff at top level by participating nations.

In the first year, for example, the committee would suggest using 's' instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants in all sities would resieve this news with joy. Then the hard 'c' could be replaced by 'k' sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one less letter.

There would be growing enthusiasm when in the sekond year, it was anounsed that the troublesome 'ph' would henseforth be written 'f'. This would make words like 'fotograf' twenty per sent shorter in print.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reash the stage where more komplikated shanges are possible. Governments would enkourage the removal of double letters which have always been a deterent to akurate speling.

We would al agre that the horible mes of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful. Therefor we kould drop thes and kontinu to read and writ as though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began and peopl would be reseptive to steps sutsh as replasing 'th' with 'z'. Perhaps zen ze finktion of 'w' kould be taken on by 'v', vitsh is, after al, half a 'w'. Shortly after zis, ze unesesary 'o' kould be dropd from words kontaining 'ou'. Similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of letters.

Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli have a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud fin it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of the Guvernmnt vud finali have kum tru.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 

Book Tag


Omar tagged me to write this post so here it is:

Number of books I own: um…Never thought of counting them, you can count them if you want :p

Last book I bought: “Hikayet Jaddi” or The Story of My Grandfather by Elfat AL-Idilbi. Haven’t read it all yet. It’s about a Dagestan family who emigrate to Damascus and how they evolve and adapt to the Damascene society.

Last book I read: “Pastel School by Hazel Harrison”, a great book if you want to learn how to draw with pastels or just learn some new techniques if you already use them.

Book I am currently reading: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, I just started reading it today and I’m already hooked!

Some books I like:

“Gone with the wind” by Margaret Mitchell: I suppose you all know the story. I read it as a teenager and It was the first “serious” novel for me to read. My favorite part is when Rhett tells Scarlet: ”Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.

“Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul”: I don’t usually like these types of books, but this book was different. It’s a collection of stories on life, love and learning some written by professional authors and some written by teenagers who wanted to share their stories. There’s something for everybody in this book.

My dictionary: Sounds geeky but I honestly can’t live without it!

“Guests of the Sheikh” by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, the authors writes about her two year stay in the village of EL Nahra in southern Iraq. Very well written, objective and informative.

I tag anyone who feels like it :)

Friday, July 22, 2005 

El Gordo

Resize Wizard-1
Love me...Feed me...Never leave me.

Friday, July 15, 2005 

Cars in Syria...No longer a dream?

With all the talk about cars in Syria getting cheaper, people are getting very excited at the prospect of finally being able to afford a reasonable car.
This was evident at SyrAuto car fair that was held at the Damascus International Fair two weeks ago.

peugeot 107
Nissan Armada

And would any Fair be complete without Baya3 Dara(corn vendor)?
Corn Vendor

You can view more car pics here

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Damascus by Night

Damascus 2

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Thursday, July 07, 2005 

The Importance of Correct Punctuation

I know I have been boring you with posts about English but I can’t resist them!
(I studied English Literature:))

Now take a look at these two texts and see how changing the position of the comas and full stops can change the whole meaning:

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours?

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 

Antarctica's Ultimate Stay-at-home Dad's

I was reading at work today National Giographic Kids magazine(No i wasn't slacking, It was actually part of my work!) and I came across a great article about Emperor Penguins( I personally love penguins)
The original article is really long so here's a summary of it that I found:

Emperor penguins are the largest of the 17 species, or kinds, of penguins, and they spend their entire lives on the cold Antarctic ice and in its waters. They survive—breeding, raising young, and eating—by relying on a number of clever adaptations.


Emperors clump together in huge, huddled masses. They take turns moving to the inside of the group, where they’re protected from the icy cold temperatures and wind. Once they’ve had a chance to warm up, they take their turns back on the circle’s edges, giving fellow penguins time in the warmer center.

Winter arrives in Antarctica in March. The continent is in the Southern Hemisphere and has seasons that are opposite those in the north. Nearly all creatures leave except for the emperor, the only animal that spends the winter on Antarctica’s open ice. These flightless birds breed in the winter (unlike most birds, which breed in the springtime).


After a courtship of several weeks, a female emperor penguin lays one single egg then leaves! Female emperors take off toward the open sea to feed, traveling up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) across the frozen surface. Where does that leave the eggs? At the feet, literally, of the male emperors.


Each penguin egg’s father balances it on his feet and covers it with his brood pouch, a very warm layer of feathered skin designed to keep the egg cozy. There the males stand, for about 65 days, through icy temperatures, cruel winds, and blinding storms. And they eat nothing that whole time. Finally, after about two months, the females return from the sea, bringing food they regurgitate, or bring up, to feed the now hatched chicks. The males eagerly leave for their own fishing session at sea, and the mothers take over care of the chicks for a while. The youngsters stay sheltered in their mother’s brood pouch for two months. If a young chick falls out of that warm spot, it can freeze to death in as little as two minutes.

As the young penguins grow, adults leave them in groups of chicks called crèches while they leave to fish. They return with food they regurgitate for their young.

There is a reason for the timing of emperor penguins’ hatching. By December, when the Antarctic weather has warmed somewhat, the ice the penguins occupy begins to break up, bringing open waters closer to the nesting sites. Now the chicks are at the age of independence—old enough to take to the seas and fish for their own food.

Emperor Penguins

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Friday, July 01, 2005 

Why English is so difficult to learn

22 Reasons Why English is Hard to Learn

-The bandage was wound around the wound.
-The farm was used to produce produce.
-The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
-We must polish the Polish furniture.
-He could lead if he would get the lead out.
-The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
-Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
-A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
-When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
-I did not object to the object.
-The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
-There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
-They were too close to the door to close it.
-The buck does funny things when does are present.
-A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
-To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
-The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
-After a number of injections my jaw got number.
-Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
-I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
-How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
-The accountant at the music store records records of the records.

Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England or french fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on.
When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?
Now I know why I flunked my English. It’s not my fault; the silly language doesn’t quite know whether it’s coming or going.
Crazy English(An Exerpt from the Introduction)
by Richard Lederer

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