Friday, October 8, 2010

Fourth Word: Meander

Meander: 1570s (n.) "confusion, intricacies," from L. meander, from Gk. Maiandros, name of a river in Phrygia, noted for its winding course. The verb meaning "to flow in a winding course" (of rivers) is attested from 1610s

A beautiful day, no classes, and several bus routes to the coast made for an intriguing adventure today. I can't say it was "successful," but we went somewhere we've never been. Leith is a port city on the Firth of Forth easily seen from any of the tall hills or monuments in Edinburgh. It's only about a 25 minute bus ride but might not be worth the fare. Evidently, Alex and I walked the wrong direction after getting off the bus. The water was pretty but it was only a busy road and some row houses. Not much to see. We walked along the water for a while until we decided to just get on another bus in the other direction. We walked a bit around Leith when we finally got into town but it wasn't that great so we left and took a bus to Calton Hill. We had fabulous sunny views of Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags from Calton Hill. We also got a splash of fall color from the trees as we climbed to the top.

Apart from that little adventure, classes have occupied my time. They're really nothing to write home about, but here I am doing it anyways. I guess my intro classes feel like intro classes (really basic stuff...unless you count Semantics, which is pretty much logic and equations (and confusion!) all the time)). I am enjoying Middle English and Reading Old English very much. I have at least one translation per night, and it's cool to actually be able to read (somewhat) this ancient form of English. Other than that, I don't have any homework. To be honest, I don't feel like I'm getting my money's worth yet, but I suppose we do need to get everyone on the same page before all the specialized classes.

I am increasingly interested in Phonology (the study of speech sounds in a language) and perhaps using that to a historical end. After taking Old English though, I don't think I could handle morphology (which had been my other interest. It's the study of word formation, endings and inflections of nouns and verbs...ugh).

Alex has been working a few "trial shifts" at some restaurants nearby and will, hopefully, be deciding on a job this week. He also has an audition for RENT tomorrow...I'll let you know how that goes. Alright, I've decided to add a portion to my blog called "Say What?" dedicated to a particular silly thing the Brits/Scots say that is totally weird/different to us (no offense!).These will be examples we've actually heard used.

Say What?

Bob's your uncle (sometimes elaborately Robert's your father's brother) is a commonly used expression mainly in Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth nations. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions to mean, "and there you have it," or "you're all set." For example, "To make a ham sandwich, just put a piece of ham between two slices of buttered bread, and Bob's your uncle." (-wikipedia)

Week 3 Pictures:


  1. There's a pizza place in Iowa City called "Bob's Your Uncle!" I had no idea why (still don't, really, but there you have it).

  2. so your pictures make me want to be in europe. Looks so wonderful! hope you have a great time (how long are you staying??)