Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sick hedgehogs and scottish eggs

I'm no longer actually horizontal, but I'm still at a pretty low angle.

That was a very nasty flu and I particularly don't recommend it because it stopped me eating for about three days and I haven't got the fat reserves to deal with that. Going to work on Friday was a really bad decision.

Anyway, now I think whatever it was has really left the building, the doc gave me something to help me eat, my Mum and Dad are feeding me, and I feel a bit better. Today I can sit up and borrow their laptop.

I am not in Scotland. Geoff Pullum, however, a professor of Linguistics, is in Scotland. Language Log is always fascinating, but today Geoff considers possible interpretations (including, you will be glad to know, the correct one) of the following headline in the Scottish Sun newspaper:

Headline language is culturally specific. Any speaker, native or otherwise, of any variety of English, who does not live in Scotland, is defied to decode that headline without looking. Although it may be more fun to think up creative interpretations.


ghost said...

Glad you're feeling a little better :o)

I take it the punctuation (ie the apostrophe) of the headline is gramatically correct?

I would assume Star Trek wouldn't make the front page headline of the Scottish Sun; hmmmm.....

ghost said...

"Rangers" for "Gers" the football team?

Kirk being a player? Captain, Star *whatever*, Manager, Coach?

Egg blast - someone threw an egg at him after a crushing defeat, the 50th consequetive crushing defeat, that kinda thing?

Hmm "blast" in newspapers is normally verbal abuse - he called someone an egg? Likened the playing to an egg?

tangobaby said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, too. I think we had the same thing... and mine's lasted a whole week. That's without leaving the house!

Take it slow and hope you're feeling much better tomorrow.

Captain Jep said...

OK Kirk is usually Church : but Gers' - Gerry's? No cant be. Is there a district called Gerside somewhere? Hmm ... well I would normally assume it's some religious denomination. But I like the Rangers idea so I'll assume it means
"Some Protestant Church that Rangers Fans use has been attacked by egg wielding Celtic supporters"

Now I'll look at the answer ;)

Yes glad to hear you're up and out again..

maya said...

Good to hear about your recovery. I got the egg blast but kept thinking about who was Kirk ?

Claudita said...

oh mi God! Even if you live here, if you haven't got a clue about football you'll have problems - and the egg thing is pretty obscure...made me laugh. Hope you'll feel better soon!!

msHedgehog said...

@tangobaby: I was absolutely flattened, and I still feel pretty rough. I hope you feel better soon, too.


Yes the apostrophe is a correct posessive; there could technically have been one at the start as well, but that would have read 'Gers', which in headline language actually means "said, mayble falsely, to be Gers", not the meaning intended. Gers is indeed Rangers, and knowing that means you know how to interpret the sentence gramatically, but you still don't know whether KIRK means a Scottish church or someone's name. Then there's the egg, and whether to interpret 'blast' in the usual metaphorical sense, the only alternative being an actual explosion involving eggs. It sounds like Maya actually got that, which was the hardest part!

AmpsterTango said...

It's nice to know that you're getting better. :)

msHedgehog said...

Thanks Ampster and Ghost and Claudita and Captain and Maya as well - I'm pretty sure I'm better now, probably not allowed out till at least Sunday, though!