Archive for October, 2009

The title of this post is a mondegreen, a snippet of spoken language (in this case a song lyric) that has been misheard. Ever had this happen to you? Sylvia Wright did. Throughout her childhood, her mother often recited “The Bonnie Earl O’ Murray,” a poem from the 17th century. Wright always heard the first stanza as:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl Amurray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

The actual fourth line is “And laid him on the green.” Wright did not realize for years that there actually was no death of Lady Mondegreen. In 1954, she invented the term mondegreen to describe this type of mishearing, naming it after her fictional heroine.

Here are some other mondegreens. See if you can recognize what the line should actually be.

Olive, the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names

Baking carrot biscuits

Sleep in heavenly peas

Jose, can you sing?

The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind

Looking for more? Family Circus cartoons are a treasure trove of mondegreens (and other examples of language running wild). See some examples below.

mondegreen_2 mondegreen

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13 Films with Vampires


Thursday Thirteen #90

Hello all. This week I’m making it quick, as my computer seems to be freaking out. I bring you a list of 13 Vampire films. What would you add to this list?

13 Vampire Films:
1. The Lost Boys (1987)
2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
3. Fright Night (1985)
4. Twilight (2008)
5. 30 Days of Night (2007)
6. The Hunger (1983)
7. Blade (1998)
8. Interview with the Vampire (1994)
9. Near Dark (1987)
10. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)
11. The Little Vampire (2000)
12. Dracula (1931)
13. Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)

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The next Twilight Saga film is New Moon. It’s headed to theaters on 20 November. In fact, I’m told that the midnight showings of the film are selling out all over the place already. Good thing I wasn’t planning on catching one of those.

While we wait for 20 November to get here, I offer you a few videos to keep you entertained. They seem to have changed a few things in the transition from book to film, but I remain hopeful. Okay. Really, I can’t wait.

New Moon Clip 1:

New Moon Clip 2:

TV Spot 1:

TV Spot 2:

Most Recent Trailer:

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Wicked: The Film


It’s all over the ‘Net, and, more specifically, over on Nancy Holder’s website. The rights to Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié‘s New York Times Bestselling “Wicked” series have been purchased by DreamWorks. Word is that Aaron and Matthew Benay are the ones working on scripting. I’m not sure how many films are being planned, but the series itself spans five books. As usual, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it all works out.

Congrats Ladies!

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Thursday Thirteen #89

This week I’m pondering things that folks wonder about, so here’s a list of thirteen of them. I’m including some links so that you can learn more on each topic, and where possible, I’ve given you both sides of the issue. For example, is the Bermuda Triangle real? Not according to the U.S. Military. Other folks disagree.

As usual, let me know if you have anything to add to the list.

13 Things to Ponder…
1. UFOsUFOevidence.org vs. The CIA and The FBI

2. Crop CirclesNational Geographic, Circlemakers.org, and the Independent Crop Circle Researcher’s Association.

3. Mysterious Moving RocksDeath Valley National Park, Roadside America, and Geology.com.

4. Bermuda TriangleNaval Historic Center, A Disappearance Database, and Bermuda-Triangle.org.

5. Bigfoot/Yeti/SasquatchBigfoot Field Researchers Organization, Sasquatch Information Society, and BBCNews Links for “Bigfoot”

6. AtlantisAtlantis: Island of the West, The UnMuseum, and BBC: Atlantis.

7. The Loch Ness MonsterLoch Ness Monster Cam!, Legend of Nessie, and BBC Proves Nessie doesn’t exist.

8. StonehengeGoogle map, Stonehenge Dig 2008, Britannia History: Stonehenge, and Stonehenge Decoded.

9. The Nazca LinesWorld Mysteries, Lost City of Nasca, and Nazca Lines.

10. Lost Colony at RoanokeThe Colony at Roanokae, The Establishment of the Colony, and America’s Lost Colony.

11. The Jersey DevilUnexplained America, Jersey Devil and Folklore, and The Devil Hunters.

12. Winchester Mystery HouseWinchester Mystery House and Winchester House

13. Elvis SightingsThe Elvis Sighting Bulletin Board, The Truth about Elvis: A Documentary Film, and Elvis.com.

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Local artist Larry Van Deusen recently made a generous donation of 29 of his paintings to Centerville Library.   An artist’s reception/open house will be held on November 24, 3:30-6:30 p.m.  However, the public is still welcome to visit the library now and have a preview of these beautiful artworks.  Here for your enjoyment is a short introduction video of this series of paintings entitled “My Global Village”.

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Favorite Historical Mystery?

Do you have a favorite Historical Mystery? For that matter, is there a time period that you prefer for your mysteries? Personally, I especially enjoy historical mysteries that teach me something about the time period. For example, The Cater Street Hangman has a wealth of information about upper middle class life in Victorian Britain. Crocodile on the Sandbank manages to insert all kinds of information about the state of Egyptology during the Victorian era. Hmmm…I seem to enjoy Victorian mysteries. Well, I also enjoy books from the 1920s/30s…and Kate Ross’s Julian Kestrel mysteries that take place in the 1820s in London. A ha! My taste in mysteries seems to be quite anglo-centric. I knew that there was a trend in there somewhere. I need to branch out more. What about you? I need a list of new historical mysteries to try.

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Did you ever stop to think how important punctuation is? Take a look at what might happen if you put just a little comma in the wrong place.

Jennifer walked on her head, a little higher than usual.


Jennifer walked on, her head a little higher than usual.

Just moving the comma changes the whole meaning of the sentence. Is Jennifer walking on her head or is she just walking on?

But what about during conversation? Ever heard of phonetic punctuation? It’s something developed by comedian Victor Borge and involves inserting punctuation when you speak. In this clip from the Dean Martin show, which ran from 1965 to 1974, Borge and Martin set phonetic punctuation to music. Try not to laugh.

And here is Victor Borge doing his classic phonetic punctuation skit with book in hand.

Want to know more fun facts about the English language? Check out The Word Snoop by Ursula Dubosarsky.
For a more grown-up but still very funny approach to language and punctuation you can’t beat Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

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Thursday Thirteen #88

Are you ready for Halloween? If you don’t yet have your plans locked in, here are some suggestions for having fun with Halloween.

13 Bits of Halloween Fun:
1. Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci

2. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

3. Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett
(Click “Pop Out Player” to Listen)

4. Play on the Ben & Jerry’s Halloween site.

5. Try Pumpkin Carving.

6. Frankenstein makes a sandwich : and other stories you’re sure to like, because they’re all about monsters, and some of them are also about food… by Adam Rex

7. 13 Spooky Songs

8. This is Halloween (From The Nightmare Before Christmas)

9. Visit The Winchester Mystery House (or your local equivalent)

10. Laugh at some Halloween Jokes.

11. Check out your local “Ghost House” or Haunted Maze. Perhaps even play a haunt yourself there.

12. Visit your local Pumpkin Patch or Corn Maze.

13. Throw your own party! Try Halloween How To or Homemade Halloween for some inspiration.

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You can place a hold on The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks here, you know…just in case.

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