The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, December 01, 2004  

Items in the News, or Not
December 1, 2004

In the Form of a Question, Please
When we’re talking “Jeopardy!” it’s not a “clue,” Randy, it’s an answer.

Yes, That, and Also This
Look, buddy, you can’t put your feet up in the subway. Apparently it’s still okay for guys to sit spread-legged, thereby taking up two seats, and there’s nothin’ you can do about it.

Approaching Finnish
Yes, I’m officially a nerd. Or maybe a dork. Or just plain weird. Long-time readers know I have a thing for foreign languages. To me they’re like puzzles, things to be mastered for the pure pleasure of cracking the code. If you’ll let me brag, I’ll tell you I can read German, Italian, and French with considerable facility, and lately have been working independently at Dutch, Swedish, and Spanish. (Mrs. Atrios is on call as my private tutor in Spanish.) I’m getting there; maybe I have a knack for this, or maybe I’m kidding myself. But as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve found Finnish to be a tough nut to crack. Almost impossible, actually. And so it is with eager anticipation that I approach the prospect of learning Finnish from a native speaker here in Philadelphia come the next semester. If you’re in the area and are similarly inclined, send me an e-mail and I’ll put you in touch with the instructor.

[Post-publication addendum (December 3): See also “Finnish as a World Language?” selections from Richard Lewis, posted by John J. Emerson at his eponymous web site.]

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