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This is basic accounting. Again, how is it possible that Mike Montagne doesn’t know this, if he was always so good at accounting?

Promissory obligations to each other (b)


So be it and so it is.

One letter

A pleasant surprise! Finally somebody seriously read one of my articles (and later also another one) and responded to it! That doesn’t often happen. Otherwise I’ve been largely ignored.

Much clearer now!

He forgot about it all in a threefold outburst of hilarity. They stumbled down the concrete stairs in an ever closer and more chaotic embrace. Outside the building they kept running, through shrubs, along the edge of a pond, and they even tried to impede a fountain’s sprinkling. They all got wet, and the girl showed in her tight blouse dark summits. Not desire, as Ladethe stealthily suspected, had caused them to swell, but the cold of the water.

So he went – Chapter 1

The Arabic language and the script in which it is written have fascinated me for as long as I am aware of their existence. As a result, several of my website pages contain references to the Arabic language or example words in Arabic script.

Below you’ll find a list of those pages.

Pages where Arabic is mentioned


That’s an idea that keeps coming back in what people write. What idea? That the interest that borrowers pay to banks, is lent out again at more interest. For new loans, new interest must be paid, so we’d get a perpetual circle with ever more debt.

Is it true? Does this happen? Can it even happen?

Do banks relend interest?

So I wrote some silly little C programs to do some testing to find out what really happens.

Fixing a hole where the rain gets in

The tuning of the Portuguese guitar is as follows (from high pitch to low pitch; a" means 880 Hz, a' means 440 Hz, a=220, A=110 etc.):

How to fake a normal guitar into a Portuguese guitar

What could have caused these mistaken translations? (That is assuming they are really wrong; I could be mistaken myself, because neither English nor German is my native tongue; but in my own language too, ‘Open camping’ would not express the right idea.)

My assumption is that the text on the sign was written by a French(wo)man, who learned English and German in school pretty well. So he or she is aware that adjectives, which are most often after the corresponding nouns in Romance languages, must be put in front of them in Germanic languages.

Only here the rule was applied too rigorously, in a situation where it shouldn’t have been! The fact that a campsite is open, or opened, not closed, is not expressed by a preceding adjective, but by a shortened predicative sentence.

Adjectives in front

Another example of this combination, sung relatively slowly, so with all the vowels intact, can be found on the latest CD (March 2003) by Cristina Branco: Alegres estão  © [3lEgr1z1St3~u~].

Here is a nice example of a lyrics line, sung by Camané, in which the phenomenon occurs twice. This shows that in fact both possibilities (combining final and initial /S/, or keeping them separate) occur:
Os degraus, quanto mais altos, mais estragadas estão ©, [uZd1grawS kw3~tumajzaltuS majz1Str3gad3St3~w~]. Separate in the first case (mais estragadas), combined in the second (estragadas estão).

Word-initial es

Single-member districts

In every district, only the candidate who won more votes than any of the other candidates, wins the seat in parliament allocated to that district. In practice, the consequence of such a system is that there are only two, at most three political parties. The results of elections are clear and simple and the formation of a government supported by parliament is easy.

But the disadvantage of single-member districts is that small parties have no real chance. The voice of minorities will not be heard.

A more effective democracy

An earlier version of my document used the similar, but not identical ASCII transcription scheme often referred to as IPA-ASCII, which was designed by Evan Kirshenbaum.

Below is a correspondence table of the two systems, limited to phonemic symbols used for Portuguese in my document, plus some phonetic symbols occasionally used for clarifications.
I might one day add a column with the real phonetic symbols, but that requires browsers that support Unicode.

Phonemic and phonetic symbols

Shouldn’t a translator know far more words than the average non-native, and be capable of unwinding even complicatedly structured sentences? If my vocabulary is so limited, this worrying question arises: am I a charlatan who thinks he can do what in fact he can’t? Did I fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger effect?


Meanings of consideration

Banks convert or transform long-term promises by one of their clients into an immediate promise to another client. Of course such risk and time conversion has its price: interest, which the bank also uses in part to pay for the necessary loan funding.

Buying a house with a promise

So it seems that first the notion that Latin unde semantically included the idea of ‘from’ got lost. This must have happened early, because Romanian has it too.

Then de was added in Spanish, incorporated into the word, and its meaning forgotten again. Then to express ‘from where’, de was added a second time!

Spanish de donde, from where, twice added de?

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