Saturday, 22 September 2012


The subway has this new ad for the radio station Kiss 92.5, with the word "listen" in various languages. Except that, as usual, the scripts are messed up.

Here the letters are not connected; this should be عمتسا, which is apparently Arabic for "listen".

For this word, not only are the letters disconnected, this is printed in the wrong direction. It should be گوش دادن goš dādan Persian for "to listen" - literally "to give ear".

The Hindi is disconnected too. tsk tsk…

And a lot of these words are infinitives, not imperatives. It's almost as if someone used Google Translate.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

juice and enzyme

Proto-Indo-European *yeuH "blend, mix food" in the suffixed zero-grade form *yuH-s- became Latin iūs "juice, broth", and French jus. This came to be spelled juice in English; ce replaced s in many words by analogy with French, even in words that were not spelled that way in French.

The form *yuH-s-mā- became Greek ζύμη zumē "leaven". This was combined with ἐν en "in" and was borrowed as enzyme, which first meant "The leavened bread with which the Eucharist is administered in the Greek Church".

The biochemical term enzyme was apparently borrowed from modern Greek ἔνζυμος "leavened".