Archive for January, 2011

14 Jan 0

Heated root vegetables. Or hot potatoes?

Google robots were born on Mars. To Martians, clichés are as confusing as a fish on a bicycle. Alas, the vagaries of the English language exacerbate confusion. Clichés may bore readers but do they, I wonder, befuddle robots? “Games consoles fly off shelves like hot potatoes!” could be translated by a robot as “Sympathetic games [...]

5 Jan 0

It’s gotten me mad!

I have a red flag/bull reaction when I read the past participle of the verb “to get” in American English.  “He’s gotten a whole lot better” would be written in British English as “He’s got a lot better.” Ideally, of course, we should ignore such clumsiness and write: “He’s much better now.” Hence avoiding the [...]