Sunday, 25 October 2015

Tortilla humps

Some time ago, in a PS to this,  I wrote:
The Tortilla Tie
A while ago (too long ago for me to find an exact match on the M&S site) I was given a tie quite like this. And the pun in my title has reminded me of its stock ID: Sartorial tie. But the person who programmed the stock control software – the magic stuff that makes receipts say so much – must have been dyslexic (or maybe it was just a Friday afternoon). As a result, the receipt said that what MrsK had bought was a TORTILLA TIE
And here it is, by the magic of Bluetooth.

Yesterday, the Tortilla tie had one of its rare outings, on the occasion of the wedding of two friends for whom I wish all good things; at last they have made honest women of  each other. All my love to Karen and Catherine.

Interesting word tortilla.... It is, etymologically, a 'little torta', or 'tart'. but it is savoury, and takes two forms.
The first meaning  I met improbably, at St Gregory's RC Primary School in the late 1950s (in the assembly hall, as it happens). We sat on the floor in the hall to listen to BBC Schools Radio (or whatever it was called then), though we didn't know it was radio. It was a huge lump of loudspeaker, a veritable ziggurat of a thing, too big to stand on a table, with none of the controls (none visible, that is)  that would have identified it as a wireless [or TSF as I would learn to call it a few years later, when I wondered Why does 'Barren telegraphy' mean radio? {Geddit? Sans fils. Bou-boum/Tsh}], except for a large Bakelite on/off switch. 
The programme was an 'opera' called, I think, The Midnight Thief, set in Mexico.  It was full of funny words. The opening chorus, for example, ended 
Cock-of-the-rock and cuckoo
Are our comrades and hobnobbers
But we think it right
To shoot at sight
All bandits thieves and robbers 
The main characters were Fernando and Frasquita, and I played the G chime bar. At one stage, Fernando 'packed his tortillas with cheese'.
This is the pancake-like tortilla. The other I met about 10 years later – the omelette-like sort.
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Omelette, now there's a word....
Gotta go.


Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs – but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each vowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common pairs of vowels used to represent the /i:/ phoneme, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

I'm thinking about doing a native iBook version in due course, but for now Mac users can use Kindle's own (free) simulator.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this

Freebies (Teaching resources:  
Well over 49,300 views  and nearly 9,000 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with nearly 2,700 views and nearly 1,100 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.


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