Features, dammit

Like, wow, you can record voice on your iPod and use it for interviews. If you buy an iTalk voice recorder, that is. Big fucking deal. I can just picture Jobs’ faithful audience clapping like seals for this ‘amazing’ new feature.

Hello. Why can’t I just stick the (better) microphones I already own in the machine? Superior, feature rich players like the iRiver H-series can do just that. Apple, if you want me to buy your gear, make it do what it should be able to do. It takes a lot more than pretty design to win over this (power) user. I’m not a big fan of the white look anyway. And I really don’t need games on it. Seriously. I’ll take serious features over games, any day.

Oh well, at least those Photo iPods (359 €’s not a bad price, actually) will soon (March, software update) be able to connect directly to digital cameras. Something they should have been able to do from the start if you ask me.

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Dutch and Dunglish spoken

Fabulous. Someone’s started a ‘Dunglish‘ weblog.

The Dutch are known for and pride themselves on their command of the English language, but they’re a lot less good at it than they think they are. (Have you ever heard Dutch politicians speak English? Jaw droppingly bad.) Their need to show off their skills sometimes makes for hilarious examples. Check the blog for some.

English is also thought of as ‘cool’ by copy writers, so we’re treated to mostly inapropriate and often cringeworthy English-language advertising: literal translations, grammatical errors, etc.

I’ve always thought I should keep track of them, write them down, but I never do. Now I don’t have to. Awe, as they say, some.

My English is bloody good, but it is far from perfect. I started learning English at a very young age, 6 or 7, through English speaking relatives. In primary school we started age 10, it was a new initiative of the school I was at. I believe it’s standard practice now, but I’m not sure. By the age of 12 I was more fluent than my teachers and did my school friends’ homework and their written tests. We had a ‘system’. Our teacher suspected what was happening, but he couldn’t prove it and never caught us.

Sometimes I make ‘Dunglish’-type mistakes, especially when I get tired. When I’m abroad, speaking English, for more than three weeks, something happens to the language part of my brain. I’ll open my mouth and *think* I’m speaking English, but Dutch will come out and it takes a few seconds for me to realise it. A few vodka tonics fixes the problem. Do I think in English? Yes.

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Attack of the killer flu

Have been quite ill since Thursday afternoon. I’ve felt exhausted since my last flu (late November) and this time the virus struck an already wrecked system. Fever rose quickly to 39.5 (103F) and hovered around that for four days. The worst (I hope) was last night as I could not find sleep and had to turn down the heating and sip ice water to cool down. The bed was uncomfortable – when I’m flat on my back or on my side, I start wheezing and eventually coughing – so I moved to the couch so I could prop up my back a little better and stay upright. I came close to phoning emergency, because I just didn’t know what to do with myself anymore. The fever broke in the morning, but the thumping headache stayed. Took a gamble and took some migraine meds. Seems to have done the trick. I can’t say I’ve been having the happiest thoughts.

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