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Dybbuk Jones

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    Latin, German

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  1. I suspect that catsup was the original word, but over time the people spoke it fast and it came out as ketchup instead. It's probably a lot like the way that J developed by the sound of the letter Y being spoken fast - so would you became wouldja. Only with ketchup the fast version was so popular that companies just started calling it ketchup.
  2. Many of the irregular verbs just need to be memorized. Go is one of them. I do not know why goed is not working with went.
  3. The Catcher in the Rye is a book that was written for 17 year old boys. It seems more clever than profound the older you get, but when you are 17 it just hits because Holden Caulfield is frustrated and angry and afraid of the future. But he's also hilarious and funny. He is a bit of a jerk and he can't give anyone a break, but he is also smart. I also like the short story collection King David & The Spiders from Mars. The stories are based on Bible stories and they are weird and funny.
  4. I sometimes have trouble convincing people to read the Disc World series because I think that they should read it like I read it which is random and out-of-order. I felt particularly justified in this endeavor when I read the Rincewind books in one college volume and they were terrible. I really do not like Rincewind as a character or any of the plots that he is in. Terry Pratchett got steadily better in these books and nothing quite proves it like reading the poorly rendered imitations of Hitchhiker's Guide that started the series.
  5. There is a move in English to use "they" as third person gender neutral. It sounds better and while there are many people who claim that they should only be a plural pronoun, the other options for third person gender neutral are either clumsy (he or she) or sexist (he). Apparently "they" has been used as a gender neutral pronoun 200 years ago in English and then there was a movement to make it plural only. According to my friends Jane Austen would use "they".
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce is difficult for native English speakers. I am greatly impressed with anyone who reads it as a second language book. Most of the words are made up and everything takes place in the characters' heads.
  7. There actually was a Shakespeare. His biography is known in the roughest sketch. He married Anne Hathaway when she was pregnant. He had three children including a son named Hamnet who died young. He moved to London and made a name for himself in the theater and at the age of 50 returned to Stratford where he died two years later. The major controversy surrounding Shakespeare is whether he wrote those plays in the first place. There is a conspiracy theory that claims that Shakespeare was merely a front for a noble who didn't want to be associated with the works and the theater. The theory probably got a lot more traction after the 1950s blacklisting where several Hollywood screenwriters (most notably Dalton Trumbo) kept working and used other people to pose for them. In other words, if Dalton Trumbo could write Roman Holiday and other screenplays and watch other screenwriters accept his awards, then some noble (Bacon, the earl of Oxford, etc.) could do the same thing in the 16th century and use Shakespeare as his front. However, there's an underlying class snobbery in this theory. Shakespeare is respected now but in his time he was a playwright who was trying to work and make plays that he could act in. He gained popularity but most people thought that the theater was low class which is exactly what a community college Catholic from a small town could succeed in at the time. Later on, both Shakespeare and theater became high class so the class snobs want to claim him.
  8. I really like Michael Hemmingson. I knew him for a time and he was a thriller, mystery, literary writer. A lot of his books were erotica (written as himself and under pseudonyms) for Blue Moon Books. His books were brilliant and tragic full of sad people in the worst moments of their life. He also wrote funny stuff like his novella Hardboiled Stiff where he tries to take a Raymond Chandler approach to zombies where the zombie detective wakes up in the grave and while he's investigating the hippie conspiracy eats brains along the way.
  9. I learned it as "Ich Bin" which might just because it seems more informal. Although formality is a major thing in German so I don't know if Mein Name would work better. Then again, I am going from an English perspective and I know that German is more formal in a cultural context. I really appreciate the way that familiarity is not imposed on people in German when I was working in a job where I had to wear a name tag and people would just call me by my first name.
  10. Goethe is considered to be the German Shakespeare so he is difficult in the original German, but like Shakespeare the effort to discern the meaning of his words is really worth it. There's something about Young Werther that sounds sublime and beautiful in the original German that just sounds whiny when you read him in an English translation.
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