And the Teacher of the Year Award goes to

It’s always fun to be enlightened and titillated at the same time. Not an everyday occurence. I had to play the video a few times because it was hard to keep my eyes on the spelt-out pronunciation of the words. Not complaining, though.


spaghetti alle capesante

And this is Spaghetti Alle Capesante. That’s ‘Spuh-get-tee Ahl-lay Kah-pay-sahn-tay’


Some other amusing examples of teachers behaving badly:



  • 79 Common Mispronunciations by Mental Floss


Day 77

79 Common Mispronunciations by Mental Floss

I’ve noted here a while back about a video by Mental Floss that I enjoyed, on idiom origins. Well here’s another interesting one I’ve watched a few times now.

I don’t know if I’m relieved (that I can be corrected now) or just mortified to discover I’ve been mispronouncing some words all this time.

There are some showbiz names in the list that I’m not interested in, but there are also people whose work I admire, like Ralph Fiennes. I can’t believe ‘Ralph’ doesn’t sound like Ralph but more like ‘raif’, or at least his does. Ugh. Fine. But as for Martin Scorsese, doesn’t Scorsese sound Italian, in which case it should be ‘scor-say-say‘, and not ‘scor-say-see‘? Oh well.

The full list below.

Words in green: I got them right. Yay.

Blue: Extra points! Not easy, but I got them right too. Extra yay!

Red: I got them wrong.

Purple: I didn’t even know what they mean, let alone used them or knew how to pronounce them properly.

  1. Colonel
  2. Awry
  3. epitome
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Ethereal
  6. Meme
  7. Nene
  8. Gangnam Style
  9. Psy
  10. GIF
  11. Pwned. Believed to be a misspelling of the word ‘owned’, as in ‘dominated’.
  12. Facetious
  13. Hyperbole
  14. Lava
  15. Pasta
  16. Nuclear
  17. Official
  18. Hermione
  19. Ralph Fiennes
  20. Taylor Lautner
  21. Jake Gyllenhaal
  22. Gotye
  23. Rihanna
  24. Zooey Deschanel
  25. Martin Scorsese
  26. Ke$ha
  27. Niall Horan
  28. Manolo Blahnik
  29. Accessory
  30. Versailles
  31. Illinois
  32. Arctic
  33. Alzheimer‘s disease
  34. Asperger‘s syndrome
  35. Etc. (Et cetera)
  36. Ask
  37. Pinochle
  38. Forte
  39. Parenthesis / Parentheses
  40. Regardless (no such thing as irregardless) (argh I think I was guilty of this one, using irregardless)
  41. Anyway
  42. Reoccur / Recur
  43. Mauve
  44. Ku Klux Klan
  45. Gnocchi
  46. Crepe
  47. Quinoa
  48. Quiche
  49. Hors d’oeuvres
  50. Penne
  51. Merlot
  52. Caramel
  53. Guacamole
  54. Chipotle
  55. Wikipedia
  56. Thyme
  57. Prosciutto
  58. Mayonnaise
  59. Prescription
  60. Realtor
  61. Jewelry (we use the British jewellery)
  62. Athlete
  63. Asphalt
  64. Ptolemy
  65. Bacchus
  66. Veteran
  67. Veterinarian
  68. Definitely
  69. Supposedly
  70. Especially
  71. Comfortable
  72. Larvae
  73. Library
  74. Triathlon
  75. Asterisk
  76. Affidavit
  77. Schadenfreude
  78. Chauvinist
  79. Les Miserables

YouTube can be such a fun learning tool if one chooses to use it that way, and kudos to the people behind Mental Floss for their creativity and effort in putting together such useful and interesting videos.


Update: Nope, it’s Martin ‘scor-seh-see’ after all. Straight from the horse’s mouth haha, can’t beat that: In this video. So the host John Green is right after all.


Update 2 (7 November): Mauve at No.43 bothered me a bit, so I checked. According to the host, what I think is the correct pronunciation, like ‘mowv’, is incorrect (He pronounced it like ‘moff’ at 4:04 of video). But not according to three other sources:

So, I don’t know, maybe it’s just an American-vs-British difference thing. Maybe I should check out some of the other words on the list when I have the time, just to be sure.

Manly hobbies for men


Image from The Meta Picture. Click to go there. First seen via Pinterest of Ms. Tracy McDonald.

Manly hobbies as listed by Mr. Brian Cornwell in Seventy-five of them, to boot. For an interesting list called ‘Top 75 Best Manly Hobbies for Men‘, which I first came to know of via Gaybros.

I have to say I like lists; they can be funny and entertaining. Buzzfeed has a lot of fun ones. Some if not most are obviously not meant to be taken seriously, but I think I came across some thought-provoking ones as well.

Lists with a ‘best’ or ‘worst’ in their titles like this Manly Hobbies one, I take with a pinch of salt. But I have to say I like this one, for a few reasons. Firstly I’m impressed with how comprehensive it is (not ten or twenty but seventy-five hobbies!), and secondly it includes some stuff that’s not conventionally considered masculine, like fashion design, dancing and thrifting. Third, it has some unexpected and fascinating-sounding suggestions. Knife making, anyone? Uhmm, gold panning?

I guess the title is not meant to be taken seriously, it’s there just to attract eyeballs. It certainly did mine. The list is about suggesting activities for guys who are considering to engage in new stuff, and in that regard I think the writer did a great job.

Below is the full list. I’ve gone through it and checked how I can relate to it.

  1. Cooking and Grilling 
  2. Homebrewing Beer
  3. Skiing and Snowboarding
  4. Leatherworking
  5. Chess
  6. Rocketry
  7. Investing
  8. Lockpicking
  9. Archery
  10. Thrifting (does getting brand new junk at 2-dollar shop Daiso count? hah)
  11. Tattooing
  12. Bodybuilding (working out in general)
  13. Rock Sports
  14. Classic Car Restoration
  15. Traditional Sports (e.g. rugby, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.)
  16. Magic
  17. Paintball
  18. Electronic Models
  19. Survival
  20. Cycling and Mountain Biking
  21. Photography
  22. Reading
  23. Martial Arts
  24. Skateboarding and BMX
  25. Geocaching
  26. Knife Making
  27. Landscaping
  28. Sculpting Stone
  29. Wet Shaving
  30. Electronic Music Producing
  31. Writing
  32. Darts
  33. Sailing and Canoeing
  34. Flying
  35. Rock and Mineral Collecting
  36. Drawing and Painting
  37. Digital Design and Coding
  38. Astronomy
  39. Scotch Tasting
  40. Billards
  41. Fantasy Sports
  42. Rebuilding Motorcycles
  43. Gold Panning
  44. Fencing
  45. Volunteering
  46. Poker and Cards
  47. Guitar
  48. Golfing
  49. Coaching and Mentoring
  50. Meditation and Yoga
  51. Fishing
  52. Traveling
  53. Auto Racing
  54. Fishkeeping
  55. Surfing
  56. Bowling
  57. Interior design
  58. Currency Collecting
  59. Foreign Languages
  60. Whittling
  61. Genealogy
  62. Cigar Enthusiast
  63. Wine Tasting
  64. Movie Watching
  65. Gardening
  66. Fashion Design
  67. Snorkeling
  68. Dancing
  69. Boxing
  70. Watchmaking
  71. Woodworking
  72. Internet Marketing
  73. Metalworking
  74. Camping
  75. Model Crafting

Green: Done, either as things I still do as hobbies, or used to do, or at least have tried/sampled doing.

Blue: Interesting ideas, or stuff that had crossed my mind before. Would love to try someday, time permitting.

Red: No. Just no interest.

Purple: No. Sounds a teeny weeny bit interesting, but no resources or not applicable. Or it requires buying too many new stuff. For some years I’ve been cutting down buying things instead of acquiring new unnecessary things, because 1. to save money; 2. my residence is small, and 3. for the environment (less stuff bought equals less packaging thrown out and less used broken stuff thrown out.)

42 Idiom Origins by Mental Floss

I really enjoyed this video courtesy of Mental Floss, and which I first saw via Tastefully Offensive, a humour site I have on my Reader feed. When you think about it, idioms are pretty interesting.

As fascinating as the origins listed in the video are, I don’t think I’m going to remember any of them. Frankly I’m more interested in the meaning, and not so much the origins. Most of them do sound fun to know, even the morbid ones, which prompts the presenter John Green to quip at one point, “Boy am I glad I don’t live in the past“, but fascinating in a passing interest kind of way.

Still, it’s a very interesting video, and a useful learning tool. Some of the idioms are familiar and common enough to me, like ‘cup of tea‘, ‘once in a blue moon‘ and ‘bury the hatchet‘.

Some I’ve heard of before but had not really grasped the meaning fully, like ‘ride shotgun‘, ‘always a bridesmaid…‘, and ‘fly off the handle‘.

Some are completely new to me, like ‘close, but no cigar‘, and ‘Halcyon days‘, ‘jump the shark‘, and definitely ‘how sharper than a serpent’s tooth…‘.

Then there are words which are commonly used but it didn’t occur to me that they fall under the category ‘idiom’, which in the video is explained as ‘a figure of speech used to mean something other than its literal meaning.’ Words such as ‘blacklist‘, ‘loophole‘, and ‘hot-blooded‘.

The 42 Mental Floss covered in the video are:

  1. Fly off the handle: to lose one’s temper
  2. Jump the shark: when a TV show takes a turn for the worse
  3. Beat/flog a dead horse: to waste time doing something that won’t succeed.
  4. Speak of the devil: to mention the name of one who then appears.
  5. Cup of tea: something one likes or is good at
  6. Ride shotgun: to ride iin the seat next to the driver
  7. Once in a blue moon: not often
  8. Cold shoulder: to intentionally ignore someone
  9. Caught red-handed: to be caught in the act of doing something wrong
  10. Apple of my eye: something that one values
  11. Skeleton in the closet: something one wants to keep a secret
  12. Blacklist: a list of disapproved items or people
  13. Silver lining: a positive aspect of a negative situation
  14. Bite the bullet: choosing to do something unpleasant
  15. To win hands down: winning easily
  16. Barking up the wrong tree: to look for something where there is nothing
  17. Head over heels: to be in love
  18. Beat around the bush: to avoid talking about something
  19. Bury the hatchet: to make peace
  20. Always a bridesmaid but never a bride: never the most successful or centre of attention
  21. Close, but no cigar: almost successful
  22. Pardon my French: to excuse a profanity
  23. Cold turkey: to stop a habit suddenly
  24. Busy as a bee: to be very busy
  25. Peeping Tom: a person who watches another secretly from a distance
  26. Spill the beans: to tell a secret
  27. Broken heart: to experience great sorrow
  28. Rise and shine: wake up
  29. Wolf in sheep’s clothing: to hide something bad under the guise of good
  30. Seeing eye to eye: to agree
  31. A leopard can’t change its spots: one can’t change who they are
  32. Halcyon days: a period of calm
  33. Loophole: ambiguity in the wording of a contract or law that allows one to avoid following it
  34. Get a life: go do something worthwhile
  35. Foaming at the mouth: to be uncontrollably angry
  36. Dish fit for the gods: a gourmet meal
  37. Hot blooded: to be easily aroused or angered
  38. In stitches: to laugh uncontrollably
  39. Green-eyed monster: to be jealous
  40. Wear your heart on your sleeve: to express one’s emotions openly
  41. One fell swoop: to happen as a single event
  42. How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child: It is terrible to raise an ungrateful child