Thursday, July 20, 2017

Saxon genitive ... a confusing little construction


Ukraine Today, an English-language paper from Ukraine, had this headline today ... er quite a while ago
Ukraine Today: Russian Ambassador's in Ukraine party goes off course
The party was not, of course, an "in Ukraine party". Not even "a party in Ukraine" - well, sort of, I suppose, as it was at the embassy. It was a party thrown by the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine (or "to" as we'd probably say).

But that curious possessive construction we have in English - the "Saxon genitive" it's sometimes called - actually attaches to the end of the whole phrase. Weird but true! It's "the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine's party" that went off course.

Once upon a time, I had a native Ukrainian speaker tell me that I had mistranslated a Ukrainian phrase as "the president of the United States' speech", because he wasn't the president of a speech that belonged to the United States. But Ukrainian grammar does possessives differently from English, and you really can't say "the president's of the United States speech" or "the president's speech of the United States". Those things don't mean what "the speech of the president of the United States" (which is how Ukrainian does it) means.

All those textbook examples - "the king of England's crown", "the boy next door's old jalopy", even something like "my neighbor I haven't met yet's dog"- look deeply weird to non-English speakers. But that's how English does it.

Put that 's on the last word in the entire phrase that describes the possessor.

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At 3:11 PM, July 22, 2017 Blogger Peter Threadgill had this to say...

That Saxon genitive must have driven the Latinizers bonkers

 

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Oh. What. The. Hell.

Here's a lovely book I ran across: For Such A Time. How could anybody think this book was a good idea?
"Lovely blue-eyed, blonde Jewess" gets fake papers but still ends up in Theresienstadt where she ends up falling in love with the SS-Kommandant, Arik von Schmidt. (Yeah. "von Schmidt".)

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Three more young uns

A Blue jay, an American crow - looking particularly gangly and teenagerish - and a Song sparrow.
blue jay

blue jay

blue jay

crow

crow
song sparrow

song sparrow

song sparrow

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At 11:02 PM, July 20, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

That's a lot of young birds. We have a lot of the same birds here, but I never see the fledglings, except for the unfortunate one or two that is run over on the road.

 

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Walnut Caterpillar moth

Found this guy sheltering under a planter on my patio today.
It's an Imperforate Datana Walnut Caterpillar moth, Datana integerrima. Despite their name, the caterpillars also eat the leaves of victories, pecans, and oaks; this one most likely the latter around here. Handsome guy, no?

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Barsa!

A few recent shots

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At 9:56 PM, July 16, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

We can all see who's really the boss Chez Ridger!

 

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Young birds

'Tis summer, and the fledglings are out and about.

First were the mockingbirds. They raise two, and around here and on south three, broods a summer, so their first group was out early compared to the others.Their fledglings leave the nest very early, several weeks before they can fly (instead of days); their father feeds them while their mother broods the next set. They have very speckledy breasts and short tails and wings, and often spend time in bushes.

mockingbird

mockingbird

mockingbird

mockingbird

mockingbird

Here's dad.
mockingbird

And here dad is looking very put upon and tired.

mockingbird

Young Northern cardinals are drab, usually with less red than adult females. Their bills are dark instead of orange.

cardinal

cardinal

Cooling off in 90°
cardinal

cardinal

Broody teenage boy - his bill is almost orange and he's almost all red.

cardinal

These Carolina wrens nested in one of my hanging baskets. Here the parents are feeding peanut pieces to one of their offspring.

wren

wren

The drabber one is the juvenile, following one parent around looking for seeds.

wren

This is a juvenile Eastern towhee, looking like the giant sparrow they are.

towhee

This is probably a female, being so brown...

towhee

... and this is probably her brother, getting his black wings and back.

towhee

Here is an adult Brown thrasher feeding a fledgling

thrasher

thrasher

A couple of Red-Bellied woodpeckers wait for a parent to feed them

woodpecker

And here's dad, with a beak full of suet for junior

woodpecker

woodpecker

This is a flock of Brown-headed cowbirds, mostly males but with four females and one advanced juvenile who's left his foster parents to join his own kind. That's him, at the bottom looking left.

cowbird

Another (or maybe the same) cowbird, with a female cowbird ...
cowbird

... and a chipmunk
cowbird

And here he's following a female around the feeders.

cowbird

American robins are thrushes, and the fledglings have a thrush's speckled breast before the orange comes in.

robin

robin

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Surprise!

That's right. I'm baaaaack.

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At 11:31 AM, July 16, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

*Waving enthusiastically*

How's Barsa these days? All grown up, I'd imagine.

 

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Solstice!

solstice sunrise


It's the Solstice! Summer solstice here in the northern hemisphere - nearly Midsummer Day - and winter solstice in the southern, nearly Midwinter.


Longest day or longest night: may it find - and leave - you happy.

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At 11:23 PM, June 30, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I find the summer solstice depressing, because it means the days are going to be getting shorter for the next six months. Needless to say, spring's my favorite season.

 

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Juneteenth

The Hidden History of Juneteenth tells a story that this week shows us we still need to hear: Juneteenth and what it really was.

Not just that white, rebel Texans hid the news of Emancipation.But that
Ending slavery was not simply a matter of issuing pronouncements. It was a matter of forcing rebels to obey the law. To a very real extent, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment amounted to promissory notes of freedom. The real on-the-ground work of ending slavery and defending the rudiments of liberty was done by the freedpeople in collaboration with and often backed by the force of the US Army.

Granger’s proclamation may not have brought news of emancipation but it did carry this crucial promise of force. Within weeks, fifty thousand U.S. troops flooded into the state in a late-arriving occupation. These soldiers were needed because planters would not give up on slavery. In October 1865, months after the June orders, white Texans in some regions “still claim and control [slaves] as property, and in two or three instances recently bought and sold them,” according to one report. To sustain slavery, some planters systematically murdered rebellious African-Americans to try to frighten the rest into submission. A report by the Texas constitutional convention claimed that between 1865 and 1868, white Texans killed almost 400 black people; black Texans, the report claimed, killed 10 whites. Other planters hoped to hold onto slavery in one form or another until they could overturn the Emancipation Proclamation in court.

Against this resistance, the Army turned to force. In a largely forgotten or misunderstood occupation, the Army spread more than 40 outposts across Texas to teach rebels “the idea of law as an irresistible power to which all must bow.” Freedpeople, as Haywood’s quote reminds us, did not need the Army to teach them about freedom; they needed the Army to teach planters the futility of trying to sustain slavery.

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At 4:49 PM, June 21, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I don't do much hating, but I have a deep and abiding hatred for the men who brought such hell down on the people of this country. And I save a little of that hatred for the spiritual descendants of those slave owners who seem to long for those days.

 
At 5:59 PM, June 21, 2017 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Amen.

 

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Egypt 6: Temples on the Nile

Today we visited Edfu and Kom Ombo temples and the Crocodile Museum and sailed to Aswan.

You can't drive to the temple to Horus; you take carriages.




Leaving the waterfront


A little mosque with a new, modern minaret


Traffic jam! Notice - no bit!



Parking lot at the temple site


One second later, our horse (the gray) tried to kick the friendly chestnut in the head.

 Edfu is the site of the famous Horus statue.


The present temple was started during the reign of Ptolemy III, in August 237 BC, and completed in 57 BC under Ptolemy XII. It was built on the site of an earlier, smaller temple also dedicated to Horus, under the New Kingdom rulers Ramesses I, Seti I and Ramesses II. The temple is one of the best preserved shrines in Egypt. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt.

A gift of water


Cartouche of one of the Ptolemys



In the main courtyard

Me and Horus

Symbols of life and power, the ankh and the was (a bird-headed scepter). 

Horus and the king

Some slightly damaged carvings


The entrance, with Horus facing the king


 The mirrored other side of the entrance, with a complex employee for scale




Offering to the gods


 Rows of gods receiving offerings


The inner courtyard


The king being bathed by Horus and Sekhmet


Osiris and Horus presenting the Key of Life to the king



A tiny Horus


Another shot of the entrance


After rejoining the boat, we had lunch while sailing to Kom Ombo.






Kom Ombo, our guide said, most likely means "pile of gold" - Nubian gold.



The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple,  constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, 180–47 BC. The building is unique because it was built to honor two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world, along with Hathor and Khonsu. The northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).

Walking up to the temple





Sobek


The cobras are a symbol of kingship


Kleopatra (not the famous one, of course; there were seven in all - more if you don't restrict your count to ruling queens)


Ptolemy

Somebody else, I forgot to not who!




Sobek

This well was used to measure the flooding in order to assess taxes.








Horus and Tasenetnofret watching as the king is ritually bathed


Sobek and Hathor watch as the king is crowned by Upper and Lower Egypt



Sobek's crocodiles were especially venerated here, and hundreds of mummified crocodiles have been found here, many of which are displayed in the Crocodile Museum. Unfortunately (perhaps), the construction of the High Dam has banished the crocodiles from the lower Nile to Lake Nasser.
 
We returned to the boat and sailed on up the Nile, to Aswan.






A bridge being built across the Nile







We would leave at midnight(!) for Abu Simbil.

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At 8:25 PM, March 19, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I am loving this.

 

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