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Rubberstamp

Publiziert am 14.12.2014
When used as a noun, a rubberstamp is a device for stamping ink on paper, something children and bureaucrats love. A rubberstamp does not have to made of rubber, a simple potato will do, but rubber lasts longer. I admit that I usually do not like rubberstamps , although I once got ... weiterlesen

With a pinch of salt (& dragons)

Publiziert am 06.11.2013
Sometimes the ties between the English language and Latin are interesting. Anglophones often pronounce Latin in an unexpected way, at least for the speakers of south-European languages like Spanish and Italian, who think they are closer to Latin anyway and therefore pronounce it right as a ... weiterlesen

Seamless

Publiziert am 12.11.2018
I hesitate when this word is said in meetings, and it is used much too often, I am afraid. Its meaning is clear, it means that something is achieved without hickups, interruptions, with no awkward transitions. They mean they want no problems, plain and simple. The German language uses the ... weiterlesen

serendipity

Publiziert am 22.05.2014
The English Wikipedia writes: Serendipity means a "fortuitous happenstance" or "pleasant surprise". It was first coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. In a letter he wrote to a friend Walpole explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian fairy tale, The ... weiterlesen

Shibboleth

Publiziert am 30.03.2014
A shibboleth is a word that some people pronounce in a characteristic way, so they can be recognised by listening carefully. The word goes back to the Bible, Judges 12: 6, (King James Bible "Authorized Version", Pure Cambridge Edition) that reads: Then said they unto him, Say ... weiterlesen

Shortchange

Publiziert am 18.12.2013
The verb to shortchange means, according to my Merriam-Webster Dictionary, either to give less that the correct amount of change or to deprive or give less than something due: cheat. The first recorded use was in 1903. Now, how do we express this in German or Spanish? After all ... weiterlesen

Smug

Publiziert am 27.09.2014
Smug is an adjective, according to my Merriam-Webster´s, apt to denote a person h aving or showing the annoying quality of people who feel very pleased or satisfied with their abilities, achievements, etc. I reckon the key word in this definition is annoying. It is easy to ... weiterlesen

To Sneer

Publiziert am 17.08.2016
Lakritze has suggested the word to sneer for this blog. I agree, it is worth looking into, so I will try. To sneer is defined in English as a look of haughty disdain, scorn and/or disgust expressed by smiling in a conptemtuous way. It is used both as a verb and as a substantive ... weiterlesen

Speed and velocity

Publiziert am 21.11.2013
Reading Ian Stewart's book ¨17 Equations that changed the World¨ I came across the following statement on page 38: ¨To understand Galileo's pattern we need two everyday concepts (! bold and underlined are mine) from mechanics: velocity and acceleration. Velocity is how ... weiterlesen

spin

Publiziert am 30.11.2013
What a wonderful English word! So short. So many meanings! And many of them so difficult to translate into other languages! Let's see some of them: The primary meaning as a verb: to rotate around an axis. Like the earth. ES: girar sobre su eje . DE: sich um die eigene Achse drehen ... weiterlesen

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