Monday, May 18, 2009

May, Irritations, Bowling.

May was full of promises But she didn't keep 'em quick enough for some And a crowd of doubtin' Thomas's Was predicting that the summer'd never come So far, this is what May is like - courtesy of Carousel. Its supposed to warm up this week for a while and then drop back down again. We have actually been having to cover our herbs because of frost warnings. Its May for goodness sakes. There is lots of blossom around ranging in shades from a dusky pink to a deep almost Fuschia colour. It appears to be a similar tree whatever the colour; I've said before, I am no horticulturalist, but I can appreciate what I see. I was very irritated about an item on the GMA weekend programme; they were doing a car trip (in a '59 Chevy) along Route 66 which was a kind of trip into nostalgia with a nod to the programme of that name. Sunday, we were told that the anchor, Bill Weir, had been informed a lot of Europeans do the Route 66 trip because most of the historical stuff in Europe was bombed and so Europeans haven't got any history to look at. What absolute rubbish. I would use a stronger word but.... There is stacks of history in Europe and England and it wasn't bombed out of existence plus, Route 66, whilst interesting, is modern to Europeans. Whoever told Bill Weir this was talking out of the back of his hat and I am surprised at Bill Weir repeating it. Teed me right off. It then made me think of a few more irritations, one was a church dome in Boston, MA which is covered in Gold leaf. I was on a bus tour of the town and was informed that the dome was covered during the World War II because of the German bombers. Again, what balderdash, the German bombers were totally unable to make it to this side of the pond. Then there were the tour guides in Jamestown who informed my cousin that there was no Georgian architecture in Britain any more, again because of the bombing. Sorry fella there is lots and there are prime examples in Regent St. London and in Bath, Somerset. And my final, current irritation which happened in the last couple of weeks. I am a devoted watcher of Jeopardy. During the College Championships they had a category about words with only one vowel. The answer to one question (or vice versa on Jeopardy) was "What is myrrh?" Y is not, nor ever has been, a vowel, a e i o and u and that's it. I was quite astounded. Particularly since the quizzmaster, Alex Trebek, is an educated man and should certainly know better even if the clue panel didn't. What annoys me even more, is there is nowhere one can write to Jeopardy and point out their gaff. Summer Bowling league today again. We will have our teams allocated according to our averages bowled last week. It will be interesting to see who I am bowling with. I believe we will have teams of 4. We tried a new recipe this weekend. Its one I have had for a while but never got around to trying. It was posted to our cookery group a a year or two back and I saved it. Almond Pork Tenderloin Skillet 1 large pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds 1/2 cup dry sherry 2 Tbs soy sauce 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 cup ground almonds 1 tsp olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 carrot, peeled and diced 1 celery rib, chopped 1 In small bowl stir together sherry, soy sauce, pepper and garlic; pour over pork in a self-sealing bag. Seal bag; marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. 2 Remove pork from marinade, reserving marinade; pat dry. 3 Coat pork with almonds. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Brown pork on all sides, about 5 minutes, turning carefully. Reduce heat to low, add reserved marinade, onion, carrot and celery; cover and simmer 10-12 minutes. 4 To serve, slice tenderloin and serve with vegetables and hot cooked rice. 5 Garnish with chopped cilantro and accompany with a fruit salad. Servings: 6 Have a great day.


  1. I was interested about the vowels Jo. When teaching children to read and write I always told them that y could be either a vowel or a consonant. So I looked it up on and this is what they said.
    Is the letter Y a vowel or a consonant?
    Yes, the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant! In terms of sound, a vowel is 'a speech sound which is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction...', while a consonant is 'a basic speech sound in which the breath is at least partly obstructed' (definitions from the New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1998). The letter Y can be used to represent different sounds in different words, and can therefore fit either definition. In myth or hymn it is clearly a vowel, and also in words such as my, where it stands for a diphthong (a combination of two vowel sounds). On the other hand, in a word like beyond there is an obstacle to the breath which can be heard between two vowels, and the same sound begins words like young and yes. (This consonant sound, like that of the letter W, is sometimes called a 'semivowel' because it is made in a similar way to a vowel, but functions in contrast to vowels when used in words.) Whether the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant is therefore rather an arbitrary decision. The letter is probably more often used as a vowel, but in this role is often interchangeable with the letter I. However, the consonant sound is not consistently represented in English spelling by any other letter, and perhaps for this reason Y tends traditionally to be counted among the consonants.


  2. I'm not sure if you have simplified things for me or not Lor. It seems my emphatic rejection of Y being a vowel is incorrect - was there any kind of dating on this? Certainly when I was at school it was, most definitely, a consonant, but maybe that wasn't true even then. Thanks for the dictionary quotes.

  3. I think I was always told it could be a vowel or a consonant, Jo, depending on whether it sounded as i or y. In linguistics it's called a glide rather than either vowel or consonant, as is l.

  4. Jo, Y wasn't a vowel when I went to school ... a e i o u - and that was the lot.

  5. Nor me Marilyn, but as you will see from what Lorna found in the New Oxford English Dictionary, it cand be considered a vowel.