Tag Archives: languages

The Multilingual Keyboard

multilingualI was once reading “Diacritical Issues for Multilingual Searching” – yes, I read things with titles like that – by Susanne Bjorner. Actually, by Susanne Bjørner. It appeared back in the January 2008 issue of Searcher magazine. It goes on about whether you miss information when you fail to use those diacritical marks over letters (using the n instead of the ñ, for instance) when you search. For the most part, the answer is no, since most databases will translate the ñ as an n.

Still, if one is writing a lot in a different language one could change the keyboard, by opening regional and language options, click on language tabs, under installed… Wait a minute, I only want to use those diacritical letters occasionally, to write someone’s name properly. Well, for that, Bjørner came up with this nifty cheat sheet. It involves using the Alt key and numeric keypad to the right of the QWERTY keyboard. Hold the Alt key, type in the four numbers, then release. Thus:

Alt 0193 Á
Alt 0225 á

Alt 0197 Å
Alt 0229 å

Alt 0198 Æ
Alt 0230 æ

Alt 0201 É
Alt 0233 é

Alt 0235 ë

Alt 0205 Í
Alt 0237 í

Alt 0211 Ó
Alt 0243 ó

Alt 0214 Ö
Alt 0246 ö

Alt 0216 Ø
Alt 0248 ø

Alt 0218 Ú
Alt 0250 ú

Alt 0220 Ü
Alt 0252 ü

Alt 0209 Ñ
Alt 0241 ñ

At home, I found I had to have my Num Lock on, but not at work.

But here’s an issue: your laptop may not HAVE a numerical keypad. So, you’ll need to create a Word file with the cheat sheet on your standard computer, save it to the laptop, then copy and paste. Still, if you prefer writing María to Maria – if that’s the way she spells her name – this is a lovely way to create linguistically more accurate names.

Roger Answers Your Questions, Tom the Mayor and Jaquandor

Jaquandor, the Buffalo area’s finest blogger, asks:

1. Are there any words you dislike, just because of the sound of them and not necessarily the meaning?

Used to be that German words I tended to dislike as too gutteral. The K sound would get stuck on the roof of my mouth. But I’ve mellowed, and nothing immediately comes to mind.

2. Are there any subjects you really want to know more about and yet never seem to get around to learning about?

Oh, yeah, dozens, everything from various sciences, such as astronomy and botany; to languages, which I do not seem to have a talent for, starting with Spanish and Latin. But I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I probably won’t do anything about it unless I give up something else, and evidently, I’m not willing to do that.

3. Are you surprised that gay marriage passed in New York? (I am, a little….)

Heck, yeah. It failed miserably some 600 days earlier, when the State Senate was controlled by the Democrats. OK, “controlled” is probably an overstatement Continue reading Roger Answers Your Questions, Tom the Mayor and Jaquandor


I was reading Tegan’s blog a couple weeks ago. She was telling this really interesting story about some friend of her who had purchase an e-book for his Kindle or Nook or whatever, and wanted to lend the book to his wife. But because the DRM restriction he was unable to. Then Tegan found for him a, let’s say, non-standard copy of the book. The act of obtaining the pirated copy may have been – OK, almost certainly was – a legal wrong, but Tegan categorized it as a moral right; I found myself agreeing with her assessment.

I know I’ve done similar things for the greater good. The only example that comes to mind involves the purchase of marijuana for a friend’s uncle who was on chemo. This was – the statue of limitations has run out, I’ll put it that way.

Which always brings me back to Dickens: Sometimes, at least, “The law is a ass.”
I always notice when people put the wrong word in an article Continue reading Musings

Y is for You

I don’t think I considered it until I took French in high school, but I realized at that point that standard English was deficient. While French has tu for second person singular and vous for second person plural, English uses the word you for both. I subsequently discovered that most languages followed the French rule, such as German du/ihr and Russian ty/vy.

So some groups have developed their own set of second person plural pronouns, such as y’all and yous. Continue reading Y is for You

Y is for YES!

Sometimes, it feels like such a NO world. Things go wrong: from natural and man-made disasters to personal crises, such as illness, accidents and economic problems. Stress and strain, stress and strain. And “the power of positive thought” can’t always fix it.

Yet, today, I’m saying YES anyway! And what says YES more to me than music?!

So, I started by looking at the pop charts for songs that start with the word Yes. The first one is the oxymoronic Yes, We Have No Bananas, which charted no fewer than five times in 1923. The first version to chart went to #1. Click on HERE to hear Billy Jones with Arthur Hall & Irving Kaufman. Ben Selvin’s version ALSO went to #1. (This is sonically interesting: George Wilton Ballard on a 1927 Edisonic Beethoven Diamond Disc Phonograph.)

Also charting five times in one year is 1925’s Yes, Sir! That’s My Baby! Gene Austin’s #1 version can be heard HERE. It was also recorded by everyone from FRANK SINATRA to Ricky Nelson (#34 in 1960) and the Baja Marimba Band (#109 in 1968). A couple non-charting 1925 versions: Dajos Bela Tanzorchester and, perhaps my favorite, Lee Morse.

A couple YES songs charted in 1941: Yes, Indeed! by Tommy Dorsey and Yes, My Darling Daughter, by both Glenn Miller and Dinah Shore.

There are a lot more YES songs in the modern era of rock Continue reading Y is for YES!