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מפרסם התגובה: Mervyn Henderson

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
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All mine (stolen) Apr 6

All of the images are drawings or paintings copied off other works of art or photography composed as an ensemble, it's all in the composition. Just like a musician, there are only so many notes but how you compose them, there in lies the magic. Don't you think Hammerhead is magnificent, it can be yours for £100 000, my special friend price.

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Tuesday 7 April Apr 7

Headline: “Government seeks legal formulae to force asymptomatic isolation”. And the death count down again, 600 and a bit since yesterday. It’s all getting a bit repetitive.

Work is down a bit. Round about half of what I used to do. Me, I’m reacting to the situation. I’ve thrown out an Agony Uncle service. It’s called “Moan to Mervyn”. It’s like going to the shrink, but much cheaper, and believe me the cheapness shows. Also available on ProZ. At a special ProZ pr
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Headline: “Government seeks legal formulae to force asymptomatic isolation”. And the death count down again, 600 and a bit since yesterday. It’s all getting a bit repetitive.

Work is down a bit. Round about half of what I used to do. Me, I’m reacting to the situation. I’ve thrown out an Agony Uncle service. It’s called “Moan to Mervyn”. It’s like going to the shrink, but much cheaper, and believe me the cheapness shows. Also available on ProZ. At a special ProZ price. Don’t worry, I’ve already cleared it with Henry. And you know you can trust me on this, don't you? Just ask yourself this question: have I ever lied to you?

Anyway, I got my first moan from a bloke yesterday.

I realise I should qualify that statement right away. What I mean is, by way of an introduction to the service, here’s what he said (all totally anonymous, of course):

Dear Mervyn,

I don’t know who to turn to. I think my wife doesn’t love me anymore. We’ve been together for twenty years. She was Miss Saffron Walden 1994, you know. She’s kept those looks, too. I’m still fairly attractive, I suppose, but I have a bit of a paunch and I’ve lost most of my hair, plus I’ve got a bit of a leak and I use a lot of aftershave and that, but most of the time I just can’t get rid of the pissy smell following me around.

The other day we were watching that film Kalifornia, and while Brad Pitt was digging that grave for the bloke he’d just murdered, all naked from the waist up and covered in sweat, I couldn’t help noticing the way she was gawking at the telly like a teenager, eyes all narrowed and mouth slightly open. Later she was all lovey-dovey with me, if you know what I mean, but I noticed she kept her eyes tight shut the whole time. I was happy, though, because she made so much noise and threw herself about a lot. But right after that she asked me if I could go and get her a cigarette and an ashtray from the lounge, and as I was going she asked if I could get her a glass of water from the kitchen too. With a slice of lemon and a couple of olives in it, she added as I was going off down the hall, and then she shouted to get her a bacon sarnie too, if I wouldn’t mind. And a bowl of Lays cheese and onion. Well, I got all that together and went back to the bedroom, and found her with her fist in her mouth and the other hand under the covers. I suppose she didn't hear me because I was in my bare feet, like, but as soon as she saw me she gave a start, said she wasn’t feeling too well and didn’t want anything at all.

I’m definitely a one-woman man, and I always thought she was too. Not a one-woman woman, I mean, a one-man woman. The next day I even asked her if she would pass me over for Brad Pitt, and she said no, of course not, but I saw the hesitation. It didn’t help that the radio was playing "Lying Eyes" at the time. I don’t know whether to believe her or not, but I’m afraid she’s going to leave me. Please help.

Best regards,


Frantic and Fraught


Dear Frantic and Fraught,

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. The first thing I did when I read your missive was to burst out laughing. For God’s sake. We have to admit that all women fall for the likes of Brad Pitt. Some say they don’t find him attractive, simply because it makes for a quiet life. In reality, though, they’re thinking about him practically all the time. Imagining his hot, hungry, horny hands sliding up frissoning thighs, impudently ripping off the skimpy flimsy negligee in shards, feeling his breathtaking manliness to the rear, pulsating and throbbing insanely on top of the glowing aching cleft between expectant buttocks, perhaps imagining the scene helplessly as it unfolds in a handy mirror at the head of the bed, hypnotised in the mind’s eye by the stud’s powerful chest muscles and rock-hard rippling six-pack glistening wickedly with a sheen of sweat, oozing out sex from each and every torrid pore, watching him throw back his head and laugh a long, hollow, throaty, devilish laugh, the knuckles whitening and the iron grip tightening on gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus inbetweenus, a prize stallion servicing a bucking, rucking, cavorting, contorting, gyrating, palpitating, quivering, shivering, neighing, braying filly from another man's stable.

If it makes you feel any better, an old girlfriend of mine said to me once I reminded her of David Beckham. Dead chuffed, I was. “Because I’m sporty, handsome, and a huge social and financial success, I take it? I suggested. “Well, no,” she said sweetly, “because he dribbles before he shoots.”

Now listen to me. You’ve got to pull yourself together. Or forget about the “together”, even. We can’t compete with the likes of Brad, you know. Is she going to leave you? Of course not. She’d have done that a long time ago if she could, and even from your brief account it’s obvious she can’t. Does she love you? Do you love her? Maybe it’s time you fought back, sunshine. Dig out a Keira Knightley film, and ooh and aah and phwoaar over Keira all the while during it. Watch as she twitches nervously. When she asks you afterwards in that sad little-girl-lost voice, “Would you swap me for Keira Knightley, love?”, you look her straight in the eye and say, “Are you serious? Swap you for that Keira? Of course I wouldn’t swap you, my darling, my everything. Not on your life. I’d never swap you. I’d keep you as a spare.” Get HER worried, mate. See how SHE likes it.


[Edited at 2020-04-07 08:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-07 08:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-04-07 08:59 GMT]
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Chris S
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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Dear Mervyn Apr 7

Dear Mervyn,

I jiked it a lot. I have a problem myself. I am overcome by a murderous rage every time I spot a typo in a forum post and the offender quietly corrects it before I can comment and get the nitpicking glory. What can I do? And why do people insist on proofreading their posts only after they post them?

Anon, Tunbridge Wells


Mervyn Henderson
Andrew Morris
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Dear Anon, Tunbridge Wells Apr 7

My heart goes out to you. By God, those people get my goat too. I’m afraid the only thing you can do is make a screenshot to produce the damning evidence, and post it online with a shedload of cutting remarks. That'll get you a roaring good start to the day, no matter what. Sorted.

Edited for a typo ...


[Edited at 2020-04-07 09:20 GMT]


Andrew Morris
 

Andrew Morris
Local time: 01:21
ProZ.com team
What's the past tense of "jike"? Apr 7

Chris S wrote:

Dear Mervyn,

I jiked it a lot. I have a problem myself. I am overcome by a murderous rage every time I spot a typo in a forum post and the offender quietly corrects it before I can comment and get the nitpicking glory. What can I do? And why do people insist on proofreading their posts only after they post them?

Anon, Tunbridge Wells


Surely it's jike, joke, jaken?

PS thanks for not proofreading your post, Chris. An excellent illustration of your point.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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To jike or mot to jike Apr 7

We’re in tricky territory now. Did Anon write jiked deliberately to underline their point, accidentally to undermine their point, or ironically to refer to one such corrected typo in another post? And we can’t ask them because we don’t know who they are, so sadly we may never know.

Andrew Morris
Mervyn Henderson
 

Andrew Morris
Local time: 01:21
ProZ.com team
Great mysteries of our time Apr 7

Chris S wrote:

We’re in tricky territory now. Did Anon write jiked deliberately to underline their point, accidentally to undermine their point, or ironically to refer to one such corrected typo in another post? And we can’t ask them because we don’t know who they are, so sadly we may never know.


Sadly indeed. This will now trouble me until my dying day. But don't let that be on your conscience...


Mervyn Henderson
 

Youssef Chabat  Identity Verified
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staying home Apr 7

As far as I'm concerned, I've just had a back surgery for a herniated disc, so these restrictive measures just help me stay home with no regrets as I see other people who have no health problems do. but it always feels like in prison if you see what I mean. looking through the window and seeing nobody, is just enough awkward. the thing I like about this tough period is this kind of humanitarian collaboration. Everybody is concerned about humanity, families are gathered, AGAIN, and getting to kno... See more
As far as I'm concerned, I've just had a back surgery for a herniated disc, so these restrictive measures just help me stay home with no regrets as I see other people who have no health problems do. but it always feels like in prison if you see what I mean. looking through the window and seeing nobody, is just enough awkward. the thing I like about this tough period is this kind of humanitarian collaboration. Everybody is concerned about humanity, families are gathered, AGAIN, and getting to know each other better.Collapse


Chris S
expressisverbis
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Wednesday 8 April (jike-joke-jaken and teach-teached-teached) Apr 8

Doomsday headline today: “Rementeria [president of the provincial council in Vizcaya] warns that ‘the worst is yet to come’ this week for senior citizens’ homes”. Bloody hell. Good job Easter’s just around the corner. Oh no, I forgot, it’s not. It’s cancelled. No pointy-hats this year. And I probably have to head on down to El Corte Inglés today like everyone else because, in Euskadi, Maundy Thursday (worra daft name) is a holiday as well as Good Friday.

The recent
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Doomsday headline today: “Rementeria [president of the provincial council in Vizcaya] warns that ‘the worst is yet to come’ this week for senior citizens’ homes”. Bloody hell. Good job Easter’s just around the corner. Oh no, I forgot, it’s not. It’s cancelled. No pointy-hats this year. And I probably have to head on down to El Corte Inglés today like everyone else because, in Euskadi, Maundy Thursday (worra daft name) is a holiday as well as Good Friday.

The recent banter between Andrew and Chris S reminds me of a funny story. Or rather, it starts off as a solemn little story, but it gets better near the end.

Five years ago I went back to Northern Ireland to scatter my portion of my mother’s ashes in the sea, near where she grew up. Over the previous ten years I’d been there back and forth to visit and help out for a week at a time, two weeks, whatever (bringing the office with me, if you know what I mean, sitting in the lounge, her watching the telly and me typing out my blaargh ...), and one entire August, to the extent that on the last occasions I went there I could have screamed out of Dublin airport in the hire car and negotiated the drive to her flat up in the Frozen North on the M1 and the M2 blindfold, but on that occasion it had been a long time since I’d been there, almost two years. The successive options of neighbours giving a hand, state carers looking in three times a day and making meals, and live-in helper had finally exhausted themselves for a wheelchair-bound case who needed 24/7 assistance. She still had her head in place, though. As some of you out there may know, that isn’t always an advantage, because they know what’s going on, don’t they, and in my mother’s case especially, since she had been a GP back in the day.

So she came over here to live, and spent almost two years here, but really she came here to die, I suppose. Which she did, rather “unexpectedly” too, just after I’d gone back - again - to spend 10 days on my own packing up her flat and signing over the deeds to the flat. Sometimes I think that’s what she was waiting for, for everything to be wrapped up.

So anyway down I went to the cold, cold sea in Ballycastle, did the scattering, had a couple of pints of Guinness to her health in the Marine Hotel afterwards, and then went to check out her family’s old house, and the old school she’d taught at briefly before she went to university, neither of which I’d seen since I was about 12.

I had no idea of the terrain, and had to ask an old lady digging in her garden. If anyone is familiar with the geography, my mum’s old stamping ground was the Ballycastle hinterland. It could have been other places with the same syndrome I’m about to explain, but that’s where it was. My dad was from a different place right in the centre of Northern Ireland, and it was the same there. The farming folk round about may well be the salt of the earth, like many rural areas, but if you want to work elsewhere, better change your accent and change your diction. I’m sure rural Wales and other places have the same scenario. When I explained what I was looking for and mentioned the maiden name, she straightened up over her spade:

“Aye,” she said, “I remember her all right. She teached me at the school down the road there.”

Teached? I was so surprised, I said to her with the automatic correction:

“Really? So she taught you?”

That woman looked at me like she’d never heard the word before. And I think she hadn’t.

“Oh aye, she teached me.”

At first I thought, Jesus, how can they TALK like that? Teached. Teached! Teached, for God’s sake! But as I was mulling it over to myself on the drive back, the more I said it to myself, the more reasonable it sounded. Why not teached? What’s so special about the verb to teach that you have to make it irregular? And it could have been perfectly regular, too, if they’d just left it alone – teach, teached, teached. Occasionally I think the same about Spanish verbs – andar, caber – what’s the point of making them irregular? The verbs to go and to be and a few others are irregular in both languages, but “to teach”? Such an ordinary run-of-the-mill verb. Who decides this stuff?


[Edited at 2020-04-08 08:04 GMT]
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Andrew Morris
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
expressisverbis
 

Andrew Morris
Local time: 01:21
ProZ.com team
Someone with a consistency problem Apr 8

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

At first I thought, Jesus, how can they TALK like that? Teached. Teached! Teached, for God’s sake! But as I was mulling it over to myself on the drive back, the more I said it to myself, the more reasonable it sounded. Why not teached? What’s so special about the verb to teach that you have to make it irregular? And it could have been perfectly regular, too, if they’d just left it alone – teach, teached, teached. Occasionally I think the same about Spanish verbs – andar, caber – what’s the point of making them irregular? The verbs to go and to be and a few others are irregular in both languages, but “to teach”? Such an ordinary run-of-the-mill verb. Who decides this stuff?


[Edited at 2020-04-08 08:04 GMT]


Yes, because even if we looked into all the old Germanic forms and made a detailed exposé based on diphthongs and consonant clusters, we'd still have to ask why those changes apply only to certain verbs.

I preach
I praught
I have praught?

Leach, laught, laught?

And if it applies to catch, why not to latch or hatch?

The chicken haught, then instinctively laught on to its mother?

I think the committee was having an off-day the day they decided on that issue...

PS Mervyn, dost thou speak with a Nornireland accent? Woe betide anyone called Andrew who ever has a girlfriend from Belfast... (Unless he actually prefers being called Orndriuw or some close approximation thereof).


Mervyn Henderson
 

Andrew Morris
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Fessing up Apr 8

PPS I added the PS after posting the first time.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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Getting philosophical Apr 8

No offence, Mervyn, but she didn’t taught this woman very well...

All languages are stupid. All unnecessarily complex. Too many rules, too many words.

Take Welsh. “Yn” means “in”. “Cymru” means “Wales”. But “in Wales” is not “yn Cymru”. Oh no, that would be too easy. Apparently “yng Nghymru” trips off the tongue more easily. (Trips and breaks its hip more like.)

Language is supposed to be about communication and bringing people
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No offence, Mervyn, but she didn’t taught this woman very well...

All languages are stupid. All unnecessarily complex. Too many rules, too many words.

Take Welsh. “Yn” means “in”. “Cymru” means “Wales”. But “in Wales” is not “yn Cymru”. Oh no, that would be too easy. Apparently “yng Nghymru” trips off the tongue more easily. (Trips and breaks its hip more like.)

Language is supposed to be about communication and bringing people together, but it’s the most divisive thing out there. Even beats religion.

There should only be one language.

Why am I even in this job?
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Andrew Morris
Mervyn Henderson
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Thomas T. Frost
 

Andrew Morris
Local time: 01:21
ProZ.com team
Mutants'R'Us Apr 8

Chris S wrote:


Take Welsh. “Yn” means “in”. “Cymru” means “Wales”. But “in Wales” is not “yn Cymru”. Oh no, that would be too easy. Apparently “yng Nghymru” trips off the tongue more easily. (Trips and breaks its hip more like.)



Even Welsh speakers (and I am one) are sometimes bamboozled by "treigladau" (mutations).

Your homework for tomorrow, digest and memorise this:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/welshgrammar_mutations.pdf


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Norn Iron Apr 8

I do, in fact, still have the largely unintelligible NI accent, although it's mellowed over the years due to less contact with my origins and the economic necessity to be understood in the language I teached for a few years over here, like everyone else. Oh dear, "teached" - see that? See how easy it is to fall into it? See how easy it could have been? Or could have "beed"?

I'm secretly proud of my accent, I suppose, but over the years you get tired of repeating things, and especia
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I do, in fact, still have the largely unintelligible NI accent, although it's mellowed over the years due to less contact with my origins and the economic necessity to be understood in the language I teached for a few years over here, like everyone else. Oh dear, "teached" - see that? See how easy it is to fall into it? See how easy it could have been? Or could have "beed"?

I'm secretly proud of my accent, I suppose, but over the years you get tired of repeating things, and especially to people who supposedly speak the same language as you do. Mostly we could always understand them, because we had the Yanks and the Taffs and the Scots and the English, broken down into Scousers and Geordies and Brummies, and all the rest on the TV as we were growing up, but nobody ever gave NI accents any space on national telly!! No wonder. Too harsh and rasping to compete against the largely melodious brogues you might come across Down South. Although, having said that, you walk around parts of Cork or West Cork and you might not get much of what the locals say either.

But mine was never as unintelligible as that of others. When I was in my midteens I worked at a restaurant only two miles from my town, and they also had a farm I had to work on too, feeding the pigs mostly. Suffice it to say that at the restaurant I struggled at first to even understand my co-workers, and as for the farmers right back even further at the point where the arse end of nowhere begins, it was literally like another language. Now that particular accent I never had.
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Andrew Morris
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Welsh Apr 8

Scary stuff. Well, I had an idea Welsh was scary, but that proves it. And, to enhance Chris S's example of "in Wales", I see even the letters change depending on what follows, like Gaelic. Now there's a confusing concept. Although I must say I am interested in knowing how you pronounce "yng Nghymru". No use asking those new arrivals at the caravan sites outside Lampeter, I suppose ...

 
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