11 March 2007

Блин! (and an unintentional phonetics lesson)

I wrote a post (two posts, actually) last weekend, and failed to post them for several reasons, not the least of which was that on Sunday/Monday we were hit with the Blizzard of the Century. Then I wrote another one yesterday, and somehow failed to put it on my flash drive to convey it to the internet center. Blin!* Anyway, maybe I'll post it tomorrow or something. So, just checking in to reassure you that I've dug my way out of the snow and everything's normal here. Or as normal as it can be in a city that's been turned on its head (besides the blizzard, our mayor was just arrested).

By the way, I fixed the pictures from the last post, so they aren't so huge. Now they'll fit on the page and it shouldn't take as long to load.

*Blin (pronounced 'bleen') means 'pancake,' and is my favorite mild oath in Russian. It translates to something like 'shoot' or 'darn.' It's very satisfying to say; this is a little dorky, but I think it has something to do with the way you can really build up oral pressure before a bilabial stop (the 'b') and forcefully expel the sound. Also, it has a soft l, and I love soft l. Soft l is a very hard sound for Americans to make, because we don't have it in American English. Try making an 'l' with your tongue pulled back a bit and really mashed against the roof of your mouth; that's (approximately) soft l. I like it because it's fun to make, and because after taking phonetics, I can make it almost perfectly (although when I'm actually speaking Russian I tend to forget to use it).

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