Yesterday a colleague sent me an invitation to a team lunch in James Squire Brewhouse. I opened a Google Maps link provided in the email and the first thing I saw was user reviews. It was good fun to read them aloud:
But it was not all doom and gloom. There was one glowing recommendation – guess who wrote it…
Recently we visited Power Plant at Darling Harbour, an exhibition presented by Sydney Festival and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority in Chinese Garden of Friendship. I didn’t have any expectations – it was my wife’s idea and I simply tagged along. What I found there was one of the most dazzling experiences in my life. Below is my account of the visit – spilled dragées of impressions coated in words. Continue reading “Power Plant at Darling Harbour”
If in a fiction book I saw words “be4” and “there4” I would have thought that the book was a recent creation and an author was quoting an SMS message. Imagine my surprise when I found those words in Artemus Ward‘s Interview with President Lincoln written in XIX century. Ward was using them to imitate writing of an uneducated person. What once was a sign of illiteracy, in our days became a smart space-saving trick in electronic communications.
This thing repeats over and over again. What used to be a jailbird’s pride has become a fashionable skin adornment. Onetime shameful secrets are now worn on a sleeve. Ward’s story nicely puts the linguistic changes, that we observe now, in the same context. I won’t be in the least surprised if “be4”, or even “b4”, in 20 years time makes it in a dictionary, and in 50 years time the word “before” gets “archaic” tag. Moreover, I can easily imagine it will happen even earlier.
Anyone wants to know future trends? Don’t go to a fortune-teller – just check modern taboos.
Yesterday I talked to my colleague about Brisbane flood alert:
He: Oh my God, in Brisbane they have a river flowing through the city.
I: Yes, just like in Sydney.
He: We don’t have a river in Sydney.
I: We do – it’s Parramatta River.
Puzzled look, then: Oh, right!
This just shows how much Sydney is the Harbour City in Sydneysiders’ psyche. Interestingly, the first settlers chose this location for Sydney not because of beautiful harbour views and not because it would be a nice place to build an opera house and a bridge. Their immediate concern was a source of fresh water, and it was humble Tank Stream that they built their settlement around.