20170422

10 Italian musical terms


1. Calando (getting softer, dying away)
2. Giocoso (playful, humorous)
3. Incalzando (getting quicker)
4. Legato (smoothly)
5. Ostinato (persistent)
6. Rallentando (gradually getting slower)
7. Rubato (with some freedom of time)
8. Sforzando (forced, accented)
9. Stringendo (gradually getting faster)
10. Volti subito (turn the page at once)

Purfle, purfling

1. To finish with an ornamental border.
2. to decorate (a shrine or tabernacle) with architectural forms in miniature. noun
3. Also called purfling. an ornamental border, as the inlaid border near the outer edge of the table and back of a stringed instrument.

20170317

Crumpets or Pikelets

Crumpets for tea is a treat I reckon. My mother always called them pikelets.
Crumpets are griddle cakes made from flour and yeast and are apparently an Anglo-Saxon invention. There is a Middle English reference to them in Wycliffe (1382). He mentions the "crompid cake". Early crumpets were hard pancakes cooked on a griddle without yeast, rather than the soft and spongy crumpets of the Victorian era and beyond.
The term itself may refer to a crumpled or curled-up cake, or be Celtic with links to the Breton, Cornish and Welsh words meaning a "thin, flat cake" (in Welsh crempog) a type of pancake.
In Britain crumpets are generally circular, roughly 8 centimetres (3 in) in diameter and 2 centimetres (3⁄4 in) thick. Their shape comes from being restrained in the pan/griddle by a shallow ring. They have a characteristic flat top with many small pores and a chewy and spongy texture. They may be cooked until ready to eat warm from the pan but are frequently left slightly undercooked so that they may be cooled and stored before being eaten freshly toasted. They are often eaten with a knob of butter (the only way as far as I am concerned) or an alternative, such as jam, honey, Marmite, etc.
A regional variation of the crumpet is the pikelet, whose name derives from the Welsh bara piglydd or "pitchy [i.e. dark or sticky] bread", later shortened simply to piglydd; the early 17th century lexicographer, Randle Cotgrave, spoke of "our Welsh barrapycleds". The word spread initially to the West Midlands, where it became anglicised as "pikelet" and subsequently to Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and other areas of the north. The main distinguishing feature of the Welsh or West Midlands pikelet is that it contains no yeast as a raising agent, and was traditionally cooked without a ring, making it rather flatter or thinner than a crumpet.

20160917

Words from my childhood

I put this on my main blog some years ago. Today I chiefly speak standard English but as a child growing up in South Wales I spoke a variant of what is sometimes known as Wenglish (ie English but with some influence from the Welsh language). We were not valleys Welsh so we spoke little real Wenglish but we heard it and spoke a little too. Most of the words below are in Wenglish dictionaries but not all. See here and here for more on that. Here is a list of words I was familiar with as a child but now rarely hear or use. In two cases I have used a Welsh 'w' which has a sort of 'ou' sound.

1. Cwpi down - to squat (cwpi down by 'ere a bit while we wait)
[We had a teacher in Secondary School called 'twti' presumably because, coming from elsewhere in Wales, he asked boys to twti down rather than cwpi down]
2. Scram - scratch (I'll scram yer eyes out you come near me)
3. Wisp - a stye (I think I've gorra wisp coming in me eye)
4. Daps - plimsolls (Miss said we've gorra bring daps today for PE)
5. Scag - snag (I just scagged my jumper)
6. Obstropolous - Obstrepereous (She was an obstropolous type, always causing trouble)
7. Ashcart - Refuse lorry (You'll end up working on the ashcarts if you don't buck up yer ideas)
8. Cwtch -To be fondled and snuggled up in an especially loving way (Come and have a cwtch with yer mam/dad)
9. Caibosh - messed up (That's put the caibosh on that then)
10. Dobber - ballbearing used as a marble ('E lost 'is 10-er dobber to a kid in Standard 4)
11. Conflab - long discussion or meeting (Come up about 11 and we'll have a good old conflab)
12. Ructions - big trouble (There'll be ructions if your father sees it like that)

13. Skewiff - Awry not straight (You've stuck it in the album all skewiff)
14. Tampin' - Angry ('E 'ad it on 'im, aye, when 'e realised. 'E was tampin')
15. Parched - Gasping for a cup of tea (Get that kettle on love, I'm parched)
16. Jibbons - spring onions (My dad used to like jibbons with his salad)

20160808

Learning to pronounce Welsh

The Welsh alphabet has no k, q, x, z or v. (Not even English needs the first four absolutely - cing, cween, ecsecution and sip would work fine. More on the v sound below).
It also has several letters not found in the English alphabet. There are 8 diphthongs - 
ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th.
Ll is famous and though certainly hard to pronounce can be mastered.
Ch is always as in loch not chin.
Ph and th are obvious, as is ng to some extent.
The Dd is used for voiced th. In English we make no distinction in writing between the sound th, as in thin, and th (or dd) as in this (with a word like cloth, I'm never sure which is correct).
The ff is necessary as f is pronounced like an  English v. Even in English the difference applies in the words of and off, pronounced ov and off.

Bible Concordances

In the days before modern translations there were three recommended Bible concordances. These usually hefty times were compiled by
Alexander Cruden whose complete concordance first  appeared in 1761
Robert Young whose analytical concordance first appeared in 1879
Dr James Strong whose exhaustive concordance first appeared in 1890.
Some wag said that Strongs was for strong'uns and Young for young'uns ... and then there is also Crudens.

20160707

10 More Tennis Terms

 
1. Ace
A serve where the receiver fails to return or even touch the ball. The point is won by the server.
2. Approach Shot
Usually occurs when a ball is hit short of the baseline. The receiving player then moves forward to the ball and places it deep in his/her opponents court, while continue moving forward to the net in order to kill off the point with a volley.
3. Drive
A powerful shot using a bit of Topspin. Common as a passing shot down the line to leave your opponent scrambling for the ball.
4. Drop Shot
You need to use a lot of Backspin to perform this shot. It is a more severe version of a Slice, in that the idea is to get the ball just over the net and stop almost immediately just after the net without much bounce.
5. Ground Strokes
Any type of shot (Forehand and Backhand) across the net where the ball bounces.
6. Half-volley
To hit the tennis ball immediately after it has come off the ground, so you're hitting the ball on it's upward bounce.
7. Lob
To hit the ball over your opponents head using a lot of Topspin. Best played when your opponent is at the net.
8. Overhead Smash
A shot played above the head, hitting the ball downwards, hard and fast into your opponents side of the court
9. Passing Shot
A shot played down the line while your opponent is close to the net, but is unable to return.
10. Slice
You use Backspin to perform this type of shot. Often used as a defensive shot to return fast served ball deep into your opponents court and slow the game down. Similar in execution to the Drop Shot.

10 Tennis Terms

I'm relying on info found here.
1. ATP
Association of Tennis Professionals. The ATP are the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuit. (The women have the WTA).
2. Baseline Tennis
Lleyton Hewitt is the perfect example, as he is a Baseliner. It simply means that players remain on the baseline (at the rear of the court) during a rally. This method of trying to win points can be tiring, but a good Baseliner will either wear down an opponent or set them up for passing shot.
3. Double Fault
If the server fails to serve correctly on both 1st and 2nd serves this is called a Double Fault. The server then loses this point.
4. Foot Fault
Where the server puts his foot onto or over the Baseline before hitting the ball. If performed on a 1st serve, you will only have your 2nd serve remaining. If performed on your 2nd serve you lose the point.
5. Golden Set
A set of tennis which is won 6-0 without dropping a single point. Only one player in the history of professional tennis has ever achieved this, Bill Scanlon (USA). It was against Marcos Hocevar (Brazil) in the first round of the WCT Gold Coast Classic at Del Ray (Florida, USA) on 22 February 1983. Bill Scanlon won the match 6-2, 6-0.
6. Grand Slam
To win all 4 of major tennis tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) in one season you are said to have won the Grand Slam. Therefore, the 4 major tournaments are also known as Grand Slam events.
7. Let (or Net)
Called to announce that a point is to be replayed. A common example is when a serve clips the top of the net but still lands correctly in the court.
8. Rubber
A term used in the Davis Cup, which essentially means a "heat" or a "leg". The Davis Cup consists of one Doubles Rubber and four Singles Rubbers. As an example, if you win the first Singles match, you have won a Rubber or a Singles Rubber.
9. Show Court (Showcourt)
A tennis court which is the one of the most prized of all to play on or to spectate on. For example, at Wimbledon the show courts are Centre Court, No.1 Court, and No.2 Court.
10. Tie break
This method is used to determine the winner of a Set once the score in Games is 6-6. See Rules Of Tennis (Brief) for full details. There is a Champions Tie Break variant that is sometimes used.

20160615

Man not suited to life in heaven

 

"By this stage in history, we are familiar with the fact that it is impossible for a man to survive in outer space without artificial support. It is one of the great barriers to any idea of colonizing the moon. The moon’s atmosphere is alien to human life. Man is no more able to live unaided on the moon than he is to fly like a bird in the air or live like a fish in the sea.
It is equally true that man is not suited to life in heaven. The problem is not a lack of oxygen, a surfeit of water or an inability to fly. Rather the problem is moral. In heaven all things centre on God and, by nature, this is not man’s inclination."
From my book What the Bible teaches about being born again, p 87