Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More slants on language

In the Sachzwang thread, we ended by briefly talking about Heinrich Böll's critique of language as a tool for overt or covert political propaganda. A reader reintroduced the topic under a more general perspective...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

FIFA World cup 2010 in S. Africa: Who is qualified?

I created this thread to keep the soccer fans among my friends up-to-date on the qualifying rounds currently played all over the world. I continue to post updates as soon as new informations comes in. The official FIFA website will give you more details.
Update 11/18: All 32 teams have now been determined--and they include some real surprises. I'll create a new thread on Dec. 4, the day when the 8 groups of four that start competition next year will be set up (through a mixture of seating and random drawing).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chandler--which novel is the best?

On a different blog, several fans of Raymond Chandler have outed themselves, which motivated me to start a discussion dear to my heart: Which of his half-dozen or so novels is the best?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Word of the month: Lebensgefährte, Lebensgefährtin

Both words mean literally "life companion" (male and female form, respectively--they combine Leben ("life") with Gefährte/Gefährtin ("companion"). The words are used to indicate the person one is sharing ones's life with without being married, i.e. a live-in lover. I do not expect these terms ever to enter English usage, but they are interesting to me because they point to a real difference I perceive in the way Americans and Germans deal "officially" with sexual relations. More in my first comment...