Aside #4

Long List of Starbucks Lovers?

I was bored, so I decided to analyze why in Taylor Swift‘s Blank Space we mishear “long list of ex-lovers” as “long list of Starbucks lovers” even though with lyrics in front of us it seems ridiculous.

Because the “st” sound at the end of “list” is a vocal stop, it carried into the next word, “of”. This is actually pretty common in English; when you say “stop it”, the actual syllables you are saying are “sto-pit”. In this case, we have “li-stof”.

The “f” in “of” is pronounced like a “v”, and this sound also carries into the next word “ex-“, so we get “li-sto-vex”. Take of the “li” sound for a bit and repeat the “sto-vex” a bunch of time and you will realize how easily you can mishear it.

However, this would mean that even without lyrics you should be hearing “long li-sto-vex-lovers”, which would (mis-)sound like “long li Starbucks lovers”, which doesn’t exactly sound like “long list of Starbucks lovers.”

Thing is, when you hear a song, you process lyrics in parts. On first listen, you might have (mis-)heard the “Starbucks”, then on another listen picked up “long list of”. Then on subsequent listens your brain is primed to hear “long list of Starbucks lovers” and you think, with the blaring music, that it was just some sort of tech-y effect.

Hope you found this interesting.


Aside #3

I have always found it astounding when people have the gall to say, in buying something from you or trying to trade (especially within the Magic community), something as ridiculous as “Hey, since we’re friends, can you just cut me a break and give me a friend discount?”

Public Service Announcement: If you were really my friend, you wouldn’t try to cut me down. You don’t support a friend by only going to their practice/doing business with them if they give you a special discount. You support them by paying full price and by both being a regular customer and constructive with your criticism.

Don’t make yourself seem like a victim when you’re basically just selfishly trying to gibb your friend.


Aside #2

About Recent Activity:

I have been preparing for a piano recital, trying to get back into Magic: the Gathering (and teaching my girlfriend), and learning how to program. Posting seems to have been neglected somewhat, and I am aware that my posts are less frequent and not as long.

I will try my best during this summer to post at least something good every week. I will also try to do writing prompts more often.

On the subject of writing prompts: It is best if you try writing about the prompt before you read what I wrote. Although I guess you could also read mine and use it as some sort of inspiration.


Aside #1

Today I learned that Tanabata (Japan) = Qixi Festival (Chinese)!

TL;DR: Tanabata in Japan is derived from Qixi in China, and even share the same characters for their name. Found out when my Japanese friend posted about Tanabata and I recognized the characters.

Ever since I was young, I would be told by my parents when it was Qixi (7th day of 7th month); it’s basically Chinese Valentine’s Day, and we would all be told the story of the weaver maid and the cowherd (Vega and Altair).

From anime, manga, and Katawa Shoujo, I knew of this Japanese festival called Tanabata where everyone wears traditional clothing, makes wishes and puts them on trees, and attends outdoor festivals. I thought very little of it, except that it was a fun summer festival of sorts.

Turns out it originates from the Chinese Qixi Festival.

My mind is so blown right now. I only found out because a Japanese friend made a post concerning “七夕” and I was thoroughly confused as to why he celebrated Chinese Valentine’s Day.

A quick search of Qixi Festival on Wikipedia blows my mind.

Maybe to someone who isn’t Chinese/Japanese or to someone who already knew this there is nothing learned from this post, but I found this to be quite cool.

This is the first aside I have posted on this blog. The difference between an aside and a full post is mostly the formality and the structure. For a full post, I try to make it complete and long enough for a small reading session (or, in the case of my writing prompts, interesting enough that a reader would try writing along with me). An aside will more often than not just be an account of something interesting I learned or something that happened that day.

This will be a huge boost to my post frequency, and maybe it will end up being a very interesting part of my blog.