Sunday, 27 September 2009

Say It Right - A Pronunciation Guide

To be clearly understood, it is important to pronounce words correctly so that people listening to you know what you are saying.

But some words are often pronounced incorrectly (and the only word that can correctly be pronounced incorrectly is "incorrectly" itself!).

Here's some examples:

Laboratory some of these may contain Lab Rats, but that doesn't mean you pronounce it "lab-rat-ory". There's an O in the middle there, and it isn't silent. It's "luh-borra-tree".

Aluminium this word contains 2 "i"s, and they deserve equal pronunciation rights so don't say "aloom-inum", say "alum-in-eeum". Like "condominium" you don't pronounce that "condome-inum" do you?

Nuclear this means "of or pertaining to the nucleus", and nucleus is pronounced "new-clee-us". Nuclear is pronounced "new clear". Not "nukuler". If you can't say it, you shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of anything nuclear... clear?

Specific The S isn't silent. Don't say "can you be more pacific?" unless you are wanting someone to adopt qualities associated with the world's largest ocean.

Pacific Ocean while this is a specific ocean, distinct from the others, you should not pronounce Pacific Ocean as "specific ocean". A "specific ocean" could just as well refer to the Atlantic ocean for example, or the Arctic Ocean, which brings me to...

Arctic both the Cs in this word are hard Cs, pronounced like Ks. It's c-cold in the Arctic, and it's pronounced "ark-tik". Not "art-ic", which leads us neatly on to:

Artic This is short for "articulated truck". So don't say "Ark-tik truck" unless you are talking specifically about a non-articulated truck that operates in the Arctic. If it IS articulated, it would be an Arctic artic.

Ask The order of the letters are very important. Note that the S comes before the K. It isn't nice to "axe" people.

Cavalry it is pronounced "cavul-ry", not "Calvary", which is another name for Golgotha.

Dilate this is pronounced "die late", which is much better than dying early. Which is what your speech might do if you pronounced it "die-uh-late".

Diphtheria this is a tricky one. Almost everyone gets this wrong. I know I usually do. It is important to remember that it isn't written as "dip" followed by "theria". It is written as "diph" followed by "theria", and is pronounced "dif-theory-uh".

Espresso count the Xs. There aren't any! That's why it is pronounced "ess-presso", not "ex-presso" (which conjures up images of an Italian parcel delivery company).

Et cetera another one where we need to count the Xs before we try and pronounce it. There aren't any! That's why we pronounce it "et setter-ruh" (or at least "et setra"), not "ex etra".

February this contains two Rs. Make sure you don't ignore the first one it's "Feb-roo-erry" not "Feb-you-erry".

Jewelry say "jewel" then say "ree". Don't say "joo lerry". If you are British you can get away with saying "joo-el urry".

Ku Klux Klan you'll probably only ever need to say this when denouncing them, but when you do say it, note that the Ku doesn't contain an L. It isn't "kloo", it's "koo".

Library a little like February, there's two Rs in quick succession here. Keep your mouth fit by pronouncing both it's "libe-rarey" not "libe-aree".

Prerogative don't say "puh rogative", give that first R its due!

And I think this one is a good one to close this article with:

Pronunciation this one is commonly mispronounced it isn't "pronounce-ee-ayshun" it's "pronun-seeayshun".

So that's how you'll be pronouncing all those words from now on, capitchee? :)

Top Tips To Help Men Last Longer (in bed, and out!) And Give Their Women More Pleasure

It is a fact that, on average, we men just can't keep up with women, however hard we try.

In most cases, women, the fairer sex, simply last a lot longer than we men do.

We just don't have the endurance women have, and usually cross that ultimate "finish line" long before they are anywhere near it.

In this "battle of the sexes" finishing first is the worst outcome. Ideally, men and women would cross that magical finish line at the same time, together in bed, but in reality that rarely happens.

It seems to be a fact of life that men generally finish first (nice guys or not!), but luckily there are some excercises and other things we men can do to help us last longer and give the maximum amount of pleasure to the women in our lives.

Pumping iron having a regular weights workout at the gym can increase our muscle mass, and muscles burn calories, and that helps burn fat. Having too much fat in our bodies can significantly reduce our endurance, so keeping it to a low level is a key element in lasting longer.

Plus having good muscle tone and strength make us less likely to injure ourselves when we're called upon to re-arrange the furniture, or lug that heavy suitcase of hers out to the car. It's win win!

Getting that heart pumping the heart has long been a symbol of love, and making it pump well is another key to lasting longer. This means doing cardio-vascular excercises like swimming, jogging, or even just going for long, brisk walks start gently and build it up slowly as your fitness improves.... don't overdo it, as this can be harmful, and could make you finish even earlier, and we don't want that!

Over time you will find you can run up the stairs without getting short of breath, and you'll be able to last for hours (e.g. on the treadmill) your heart will be pumping more efficiently, so you'll find you have the energy to keep on going much longer than before.

Cardio-vascular excercise will burn calories and so will reduce the amount of fat you carry, which also means your veins and arteries will be less likely to narrow or get blocked. That means your blood can easily get where its needed.

A strong heart pumping blood through good veins can only be a good thing, especially since poor blood flow and narrow blood vessels can seriously reduce male performance and endurance.

For similar reasons, Stopping Smoking will also help you last longer. Quite a lot longer, especially if you are currently a heavy smoker.

Check your balls regularly it may be embarassing, but it saves lives. Make sure your balls are healthy and you might well find you last longer!

Eating a healthy diet getting a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet is very imporant you will feel healthier, have more energy, and you will last a lot longer!

These are the basic keys to lasting longer, but how long can you expect to last?

In the UK, the average member of the male sex lasts for 76.52 years.

Not bad, but he needs to last even longer because the average UK female lasts a lot longer at 81.63 years. That's a difference of just over 5 years.

Given that couples tend to be of similar age, or with the man being slightly older than the woman, that means that on average most men stop being around to please their women 5 or more years too early, and that is not a good result for either sex!

With you gone, who is going to open all those jammed jam-jars?

With the exceptions of Namibia, Lesotho and Mozambique, it seems that men in almost every country aren't lasting long enough to keep their women happy right up to the grand finale.

If you follow the tips above, you have a good chance of lasting longer and being around to keep your woman happy for those extra years.... good luck men, I hope this helps you keep up with your other halves!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

How To Talk Like A Pirate Day

It be September 19th and that, me hearties, is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Sail your pirate ships into the bay, drop anchor and I'll give ye the clues to unearth the little known treasure that is talking like a pirate.

All hands to the pumps, for a flood of pirate knowledge be comin' right for ye!

First of all, we need to know what sort of pirates we're talking about.

Today is not a day to say "zomg I've illegally downloaded Harry Potter And The Deadly Hallows off The Pirate Bay". That is not the kind of pirate this day is all about.

And don't worry, you won't need to learn Somali, as it isn't about that type of pirate either.

No, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is all about talking like the classic era pirates of the 1500 – 1700s. More specifically, it is about talking like our modern, heavily romanticised version of them.

This is the kind of pirate we need to try and talk like today.

He has all the traditional pirate regalia – eyepatch, big hat with skull and crossbones, a hook for a hand, a peg leg, a cutlass, big gold ear-rings and of course a parrot.

The parrot will almost certainly be able to say "pieces of eight" (referring to coins used back in classic pirate days) and "who's a pretty boy then", which is a question that was finally answered with the release of Pirates of the Carribean. According to women across the world, Captain Jack Sparrow, aka Johnny Depp, is a pretty boy.

So now we have established what sort of pirate we are aiming to talk like, we need to learn some of their lingo.

How to talk like a Pirate

The following words and phrases should be all you need to get started – by the end your pirate-talking should be the envy all your friends and family.

Ahoy – although no-one has yet discovered what a hoy actually is, the word ahoy is used by Pirates at every opportunity, and means "hello" but also "spotted". If a Pirate spots you, he will probably say "Ahoy there!" in greeting. If he spots land, he will say "Land ahoy!".

Landlubber – it means "a person who should stay on land because they're not cut out for the nautical life" (literally a "land lover"), and is often used as an insult.

Avast! - Means "stop", or "listen", so a Pirate Captain might cry out "Avast me hearties" when he wants his crew to stop what they are doing and pay attention.

Me hearties – means "my friends", often used to refer to the crew of the pirate's ship. Also "maties" (singular: matey).

Grog – a proper Pirate drink this be, made from water and rum.

Shiver me timbers – an exclamation of surprise.

Lily-livered – cowardly

Jolly Roger – a Pirate flag, almost always black, and usually depicting a skull and crossbones

Ye – you

be – is / am / are. As in "We be Pirates, I be the Captain, and they be lily-livered landlubbers!"

Scurvy dogs – a common Pirate insult, referring to the disease scurvy, which resulted from Vitamin C deficiency (which was quite common until the British started carrying supplies of limes on board their ships, earning themselves the nickname "Limeys")

Some general rules to follow when speaking like a Pirate:

Drop any "g"s that occur after "in", so that you be "sailin' the seven seas".

Drop as many "v"s that occur in the middle of words as you can, so its "o'erboard" and "ne'er"

Be generous with your adjectives – don't say "he was a big man", say "A mighty powerful man he was, wi' arms wider'n a grown man's torso"

Play around with the order of words, Yoda style, from time to time: "A mighty great ship this be, maties"

Be loud, and throw in "arrrrs" and "yarrrs" as often as you like.

Put all of these together and you'll pass for a Pirate rather than a lily-livered landlubber, and you might even find some buried treasure!

Even Google can talk like a Pirate - why not give it a try today?