It is a great comfort to me, knowing that you are all out there. My people, gritting your teeth at superfluous apostrophes and throwing your collective hands up in horror at dangling participles. I could kiss the lot of you, so I could!
Anyway, having recovered from the agony inflicted by the headline writer of a supposed national newspaper (which I will from now on always call The Scot'sman - thanks McBobo!), I bring you a timewaster for the weekend. I think I have mentioned in the past that we have spent some hilariously idle hours in the Loth family with the Google translation engine. Much amusement can be gained from taking a well know phrase or song lyric in English, translating it a few times into other languages (German, Japanese and Korean are always good) and then back into English. The results can be devastating. My younger son has at times laughed so hard he nearly vomited.
This was obviously a popular enough pastime that someone has kindly done the hard work and produced www.translationparty.com. Whoever that was, I love him. Or her. Or them. The site is a simple work of genius: you type in an English phrase, the site translates it into Japanese. And back to English. And Japanese again. And it keeps going until it reaches equilibrium, ie until the two phrases in English and Japanese match. Or until the machine gets bored (which it usually does if you give it, say, the entire lyrics of "American Pie" to play with.)
This is, I warn you, a time waster of epic proportions. Once you start, you will keep coming up with stuff to stick in there. Would you like some examples? Some of our favourites:
"Thy finest gifts in store, on her be pleased to pour" (one of the lines from the UK national anthem in case you don't recognise it, asking God to give the Queen lots of good stuff)
"The best gift shop that you fill with her"
"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?"
"He assumed I knew auld lost?"
and our piece de resistance
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
"Two birds with one hand, the value of President Bush"
I recommend having a wee play on it but can't take any responsibility if you are still there two hours later, scouring the internet for Pink Floyd lyrics to put in and giggling to yourself. You have been warned. (And if you get any particularly good results, come back and post them in a comment, won't you?)