CHD Grab Bag of Fall CALL y’All!

CHD Grab Bag
of Fall CALL y’All!
November 2022 … ALREADY???

November …  already? WOW …. and deserving of … ALL CAPS! NOVEMBER … ALREADY? This semester has gone both fast and slow … at the same time! And that sums up the entire year too! 

This post will mostly be a summary with a few teasers about what might be coming up soon in CALL and elsewhere. It has been a very busy semester and quite the varied usage in CALL too! CALL has been around since September of 1989.  That is NOT a typo – since 1989! And so many new and different uses just in this semester alone! And a bit of a list below in very rough chronological order! And the photos will be in a gallery at the end of this post.

  • American Sign Language (ASL) Orientation to start the year!  Very successful on many accounts – they meet their Instructors (Nigel & Tim!), they find CALL so that they know WHERE their quizzes, midterms and Final exams will be and discover it is a drop-in location for them too! Thanks Sandra! Good luck to all the students with their studies! ASL is so much fun and is THE hardest class to get into at UVic with huge waiting lists!
  • CHD Jeopardy Greg's Playlist IIComputer Help Desk Staff Training! Only the 2nd IN PERSON training since returning to UVic! And of course, a new version of CHD Jeopardy: Greg’s Playlist II! And lots of prizes were won – see my last post here.
  • PAAS Korean Chat Cafe is back in full force too! What a perfect blend of location, technology and amazing Instructors! Students get to chat with real live Koreans during their scheduled class time! Thanks Jaerang!
  • All kinds of Linguistics quizzes and mid-terms and later on this semester, ANOTHER Linguistics Poster Session as well! Last year, that event was the genesis of the idea to have dual monitors in CALL! Thanks for the idea, Sandra! Fortunately, I was able to reuse some older tech destined for recycling – dongles, monitors and cables from Heather at HSD and with Tomoyo’s help, setup ALL the computers in CALL with DUAL MONITORS for literally ZERO COST (just my ‘CALL Time’) and avoid shredding this older tech! Check out my PAGE about UVic recycling HERE! And for any students returning to CALL in September, the ‘new’ dual monitors were a huge new and WELCOME update! YAY!  ALL my Bog Blog pages are always to the side of each and every post! YAY PAGES!
  • A Global Community Workshop, 2 sessions over 2 weeks helped international Business students navigate hiring and improving their resumes.
  • Italian quizzes and exams! YAY ESTELLE!
  • Hispanic & Italian Studies Annual Colloquium including a Spanish Lansdowne Lecture – a FIRST for The CALL Facility! And a Spanish Writing Workshop too! Quite the combination of new events hosted in CALL! You can find ALL UVic Public Lectures here.
  • Hosted a group of international students from Pearson College of the Pacific at the end of their weeklong ‘shadowing’ of Spanish courses at UVic! They met in CALL to watch a Spanish YouTube video and workshop the week that was! Thanks Silvia and Adriana!
  • I continued to participate in the Annual Great BC Shakeout! I take cover under my desk and …. I am usually the only one who DOES participate! UVic has a great Emergency Planning site too! And the Earthquake & Tsunami site is here! Check it out!
  • All sorts of Computer Help Desk Pop-Up Tents for Orientation and most recently, Phishing Awareness. AND in the very near future, this November, CALL will be used for Phishing Awareness Training! The OAC Phish Bowl is here! Thanks Kelly!
  • Spanish SIELE exam is scheduled in CALL later in November! It has been about 3 years (pre-Covid) since CALL hosted this prestigious exam! Looking forward to it! Thanks Silvia and Pablo!
  • A very special Spanish class with Gabriela will feature a Peruvian Rapper via a Zoom call for her students later in November! This is ANOTHER new and exciting event in CALL for her Spanish students! Thanks Gabriela and Chrissie!
  • Spanish Oral exams will be conducted in CALL as well, another first! Thanks Pablo!
  •          CSI CALL Halloween

    Halloween Decorations in CALL! Yeah, yet another chalk outline using old Mac Mini cables. Where is Sherlock Holmes when you need him! And amazingly it was gone the next day … without even needing a FAMIS request! They are SO GOOD!

  • And, of course, I am working on the NEXT CHD Jeopardy: A Mixed Bag! Tentatively sometime in January 2023, I want to add more prizes, INSTANT prizes using the new CHD Wheel of Prizes and have all new jokes, puns and puzzles to this next edition! Thanks to everyone at CHD for … putting up with me and my crazy imagination!

I am fairly certain I have forgotten a few events, so I reserve the right to … add them later on! In CALL, every day is different, every student is different and every joke and pun I think of … might not be different so I reserve the right to use them over and over and over again! And now, for some photos of the events above!

Thanks to EVERYONE at CHD for participating and your support too! I can’t make The CALL Facility or Jeopardy ‘CAN’T MISS EVENTS‘ without all of you! Thank you!


The CALL Facility … and other Mysteries of UVIC – Updated July 2022

DEJA CALL … all over again!

So, what exactly IS
The CALL Facility at UVic?
Well, here goes!
Including new ‘BETA‘ content
for September 2022 !

I have a NEW PDF (and PDF-video!) for a NEW version of The CALL Facility Orientation for September 2022!

  ⬇️ September 2022 ⬇️
The CALL Facility Orientation
  ⬇️ Click Below to download ⬇️

And just below is my “Director’s Cut” YouTube version, converted from PowerPoint – and less than 2 minutes in length (1:59! LOL!) I will definitely have some updates and upgrades between now and then as I ‘Field Test’ this new approach to showing everyone The CALL Facility and preparing for September 2022.

Previous versions (Page) of my CALL intro had MANY slides of all the available resources for each  language/course/Department that used CALL for homework, assignments, WICKET, etc. That has totally changed due to Covid and I wanted a very quick, very informative slide show that ANYONE could quickly see (and show!) and not be resource or ‘click heavy’. I hope I have accomplished that!

I will continue to tweak it and after a few live CALL orientations, I will update these resources! Of course, I retain the right to .. include my brand of humour throughout! Oh, by the way, without a doubt, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is THE BEST STAR TREK SERIES OF ALL TIME! And … Spoiler Alert – this could actually pop up as a Jeopardy Questions in the new September CHD Training Day! You .. never … know!

The CALL Facility is STILL one of the Hidden Gems of Clearihue! Enjoy!

I will  have future Bog Blog posts about “Heading Back to UVic“,  “Oldest Computers in the World“, “On Vacation“, “Welcome Back to UVic” in September, and even some updated Pages and more totally random stuff that I seem to … maybe … specialize in! LOL!

CHD Jeopardy Greg's Playlist II
   CHD Jeopardy Greg’s Playlist II

And … another SPOILER ALERT a brand new CHD Jeopardy Greg’s Playlist II for September CHD Training too! YAY JEOPARDY!

Thanks to EVERYONE at CHD for participating and your support too! I can’t make CALL Orientations or CHD Jeopardy without all of you and your assistance, support and … rolling eyes!! Thank you!



So … What’s Next for … 2022?

So …………
What’s Next for …………..

This is basically a sequel post to my last one ‘What’s Next for September?‘ as I have not had time to post ANYTHING since returning to work on campus, full time, face to face, as everyone else did too!

BUT the exception is TODAY, my first scheduled RWA (Working Remotely) to .. work remotely once a week. Working with my amazing colleagues at CHD,  we each submitted our RWA to our Asscciate Director, making sure we cover each other on our respective RWA days. We have been doing that anyways for years, this merely formalizes it for specific days for each of us. AND if I am needed on campus that day for an orientation, demo or something … I just come to campus that day! Thanks to all  of M, T, H and G for working together on this! Teamwork and communication!

And so NOW, the ultimate question is … What IS Next for 2022

I have absolutely no idea! I can only reflect on this past semester – the challenges and successes I encountered  returning to The Computer Help Desk and The CALL Facility … in a nutshell! 

The biggest change was of course, full face to face with students, staff, faculty and … SO MANY PEOPLE ON CAMPUS! Mask wearing was mandated and basically, we were all back into the swing of things … instantly!

I fielded so many requests for CALL bookings, resources, hours of operation and … bewildered 1st AND 2nd Year students being on campus for the FIRST TIME! And new Instructors, new pedagogy based on technology (Brightspace, Zoom, Teams, OAC, Echo 360, … you name it!). AND many, many regulars of CALL returned if they had not graduated already! Thank you all for your patience and for returning to The CALL Facility!

I even changed the configuration of my desk so that there would be social distancing between CHD Consultants and myself in CALL! Okay, just switched sides, but that is an important change – and now I can see people when they come into CALL!

CALL had a marked increase in usage for American Sign Language, Korean (Chat Cafe!), French, Spanish and Italian! With the need for distancing and masking, I had to modify my approach AND content to everyone, even the Instructors! That was actually SO MUCH FUN and basically I was re-learning my duties and job .. ON THE  FLY!

I literally was hosting a 3 minute ‘demo’ of what CALL is, how to use the NEW computers and even a super fast demo of Audacity at one point, using both WIN and MAC on the VDP!

Anytime you are dealing with new equipment, new computers and new students and expectations from new  Instructors …. be afraid! But I was thrilled that ALL THE COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY WORKED FLAWLESSLY!

The WiFi worked flawlessly even for upwards of 40+ students and their own  laptops! The ‘Korean Chat Cafe’ with Zoom worked instantly, Brightspace was in high demand and students could CHOOSE WIN OR MAC! That was VERY welcome amongst students! And ASL mid-terms and Finals just … WORKED! CALL will be hosting the ASL Final exams which make use of webcams, Brightspace, Macs and Windows, recording and … CALL is the only facility that can offer that .. okay, CLE A103 has a room of iMacs, and they work flawlessly too! YAY TKAT!

One of my favourite tasks was creating a new Keynote for each new semester, with all the new ‘stuff’ in CALL. But it was not worth the time to do that, considering I was able to do quick demos, as the class came in, with a minimum of fuss. But, the last ‘5-ish Magic Words” lives on as a downloadable file and at YouTube too! 

Oh yes, NEW COMPUTERS and NEW FURNITURE! Just click on those links and you will see previous posts about all the new stuff, now all installed in CALL! MANY thanks to everyone at CHD who helped moving a literal ‘Mountain of Tech‘ that came in during the summer! And it would be remiss of me to again mention that CHD recycles as much as possible – plastics (hard and soft), cardboard and paper.

I also had a post talking about THIS latest refresh for CALL  too!

CALL Facility Large Screens
   CALL Facility Large Screens

The ‘NEW STUFF‘, EACH computer (Mac Minis  & DELL WIN) makes CALL quite unique! CALL is the ONLY computing facility on campus to offer: a blend of MAC and WIN computers, webcams on each computer, 24″ monitors, ethernet and solid WiFi, external optical media drives (Mac only), USB headphones with stereo microphones, private booths (with and without computers), table space, 55″ monitors at 2- ‘office/desk’ locations, 4 rolling whiteboards (2 big, 2 small) for use anywhere in CALL – AND DROP-

New CALL Furniture
                      New CALL Furniture

IN USE, unless CALL is scheduled!! Yeah, that makes CALL very, very unique! Oh and lots of new furniture too … hint, hint!


A huge, HUGE change was that WICKET was decomissioned. This was our own customizable database program that scanned every student who used CALL and recorded their attendance! My first EVER presentation for CHD was actually about the history of The CALL Facility and WICKET! It was one of the first training exercises for all our staff! But now, CALL is completely drop-in and Humanities have moved on from requiring any attendance requirements in CALL for students. 

I have even  been returning as much media and resources TO each Humanities Department, for their own decisions about what  to do with old CDs, DVDs, software, VHS tapes, etc. The CALL Facility, under the umbrella of Systems, has never ‘owned’ or ‘bought’ any language resources. That was always based on Departmental needs and their syllabus for each language course. So, returning it frees up much needed room.

And a ‘Not-So-Hidden-Agenda Item’ is to re-introduce myself, The Computer Help Desk and of course, The CALL Facility to all the new staff in each Department, usually beginning with their Office Manager! Yes, there IS a method to my madness!

I have kept a few very, VERY unique software packages, including McMaster French, the very FIRST software ever installed in CALL .. and needs MS:DOS to run! THANK YOU Patrick for keeping it going for so many years, I did not have the heart to return it for shredding! So, it lives on in 3.5″ floppy disk format in the CALL closet! The last group to use it was LMF 23 summers ago, pre-Covid.

And instead of returning to in-person training, CHD is scheduling separate 1-hour afternoon sessions on specific topics for all new and returning staff, including Coops. So that does not give me an opportunity to do a full Jeopardy. BUT, at the end of our CHD Reviews (2-3 times a week) I am hosting a ‘Blast From Your Past‘ Jeopardy! I have about 9 previous Jeopardy training sessions, 180+ ‘Questions’ and going through them all to give a sense of history and .. whimsy .. to CHD, CALL and training! A nice way to end each session too – 2 or 3 questions and have some fun at the end of some training.

What else … I decided to buy my own new PURPLE IMAC too, although it is more of a … Lavendar! My computers at home were too old to really be secure, so .. NEW  COMPUTER! 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM, extended keyboard and  …. PURPLE (Lavendar!)

And that is about it for now! A longer post, but catching up on the  most important changes and improvements in The CALL Facility.

Challenges remain – we are still in the Covid Pandemic and everyone should keep wearing your masks, social distancing, wash your hands and stay as safe and healthy as possible. I am including Covid information below as well. I hope to do more Bog Blogs in the future, especially on RWA Wednesdays! And who knows what new Tech is around the corner for us at CHD, The CALL Facility and UVic in general!

Who ya gonna CALL?
THE COMPUTER HELP DESK!Stay safe everyone! 

For now, the best resource to find current information is at UVic’s COVID information site, UVic response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The official BC site is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), with multiple links throughout including the most important one on ‘Orders and notices‘.

The map I go to frequently is the ‘British Columbia COVID-19 Dashboard‘.

As always, information changes, so you can keep up to date with the BC Covid App.

And a chance to see all the Emergency Planning links from an earlier Post (and Page) below too.

  1. Emergency Planning (Take a few minutes for this site please)
  2. Emergency Procedures (And what to do … if ….)
  3. Earthquake and Tsunami (How many in the last 30 days … SEE THEM!!)
  4. An earthquake happened in Oak Bay, WHILE I WAS UPDATING THIS POST! 🔥 HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER 🔥
  5. Snow or Extreme Weather (Yes, it snows in Victoria .. LOTS!)
  6. Specific Hazards (Nitty gritty specifics of what could happen)
  7. Campus Evacuation Procedures (Where to go ….)
  8. Emergency Planning – Events & Upcoming Training (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)
  9. UVic Alerts (Register today, right now!)
  10. Safety Committees at UVic(Join a great committee! I did!)
  11. And .. UVic Covid Information too
  12. Province-wide restriction  🔥 HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER 🔥
  13. BC Covid Dashboard (Added April 9, 2021)





What an exhausting and long year since last August – my last full vacation!

And exhausting … for ALL OF  US! I am so fortunate to have been able to  work with such amazing and incredible colleagues at The Computer Help Desk over the past … 500+ DAYS! Yes, it has been that long since we started working remotely, late in March of 2020!

Without ALL of their support, humour, leadership, imagination, guidance  and every single possible ‘intangible‘ that each and every single one of them, ALL BRING to our Teams meetings, emails, texts, GIFs, Emojis, Jeopardy, Quote Contests, it would have been impossible to accomplish a fraction of what WE ALL DID AS A TEAM!


A few key UVic and BC websites for returning to campus in September for everyone!

  1. Return-to-Campus Guidelines now available
  2. Return to campus info for students
  3. Communicable Disease Plan now available
  4. UVic News
  5. Update on getting your COVID-19 vaccine
  6. Remote work arrangements announced for the fall
  7. Working remotely
  8. Post-secondary studies during COVID-19

Not to worry . . .

August 30th to prep for
. . . Septem . . . PURR !!!!



I will bring Empire Donuts when I return to UVic!



Working From Home . . . What Could Go Wrong?

Working From Home . . . 
What Could Go Wrong?!

DEFINITELY NOT my most productive morning since working from home!

Full Disclosure: Having a relatively frustrating morning, with, you guessed it … my computer! So, probably a short post today.

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: Taking a Tea Time Out, breathing and … over it now!

FIRST AND FOREMOST – amazing colleagues! I can’t say enough about everyone I work with at the Computer Help Desk! Thanks everyone! And they are doing the same for Students, Staff and Faculty with knowledge, humour and steadfast patience!

My laptop went wonky this morning! Still a bit wonky, but still doing what it does best – allow me to work from home during these interesting times! Everyone was quick to help, offer suggestions and give advice and I am back doing my morning OAC post! 

The only downside, would seem to be my bookmarks/Favourites in Edge have gone rogue! And if THAT is the worst thing that has happened on ‘Yet Another Manic Monday‘, then I am good to go with that! I spent the better part of the morning finding and re-setting my bookmarks and access to them. NAILED IT! Well, maybe … THUMBTACKED IT!

I had to take my own advice and just … let it go! I can easily, slowly, rebuild my Favorites and just keep on working at home! A few things that I always try to remember and put into perspective:

  1. PERSPECTIVE! Yup, just how important is it.
  2. Tea! Better than coffee for stress reduction
  3. Meditation – just letting things go. Thanks to Henri at UVic’s Multifaith!
    1. Breathing … kind of a sub-category, at least for me!

Not too much more. Those work for me and me alone. Yes, a big bag of oversimplification, but, it works for me. 

So, a perspective story! My lawnmower started on the second try this weekend! YAY! But the rip cord to start it .. RIPPED OUT! So, standing there, lawnmower RUNNING and no way to start it again Command Line Decision – just start cutting and don’t stop! Just like in Finding Nemo – “Just keep swimming!”, except … mowing the lawn!

I even emptied the catch bag – WHILE IT WAS RUNNING – and kept on mowing! Whew, finished frontyard, lane, alleyway and backyard in about 50 minutes while on FULL THROTTLE!

Makes a good story and then the best part – there are kits to replace the staring cable for under $10!

In hindsight,it was not as stressful as at the moment! But … I decided to …. just keep mowing, just keep mowing and it relieved my stress! Thanks Dori!

I also did a previous post on “Relieving Stress . . . International Words and Self-Care Trends

And I leave you with some great UVic and other sites on stress including BC and Canadian government sites.


  1. 10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety about Coronavirus (COVID-19) (UVIC)
  2. Ways to cope if you are in isolation due to COVID-19 (UVIC)
  3. Anxiety and Stress (UVIC)
  4. Managing COVID-19 Stress (BC Government)
  5. COVID-19 (BC Centre for Disease Control)
  6. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Canada)
  7. World’s Most Advanced Lawnmower

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







Most Insane Lawnmowers







Kopi and Kaffee and Café and Kafés and … COFFEE in Different Languages

Kopi and Kaffee
Café and Kafés

Coffee in Different Languages!

I install JAVA every single morning! And I tend to update it again within hours! And you probably know where I am going with this – COFFEE!!!!

Full Disclosure: I am drinking coffee right now, as in … RIGHT NOW!!!! And the rumours are true … I have a coffee mug shaped like … The TARDIS!

Ah, that morning nectar, that brown liquid ambrosia, that chocolate wine, that beige magic … and … enough with!

And below are just a few of the many words for coffee in other languages!


Chinese: 咖啡 (Kāfēi)
Malay: Kopi
French: Café
German: Kaffee
Japanese: コーヒー (Kōhī)
Korean: 커피 (Keopi)
Portuguese: Café
Russian: Кофе (Kofe)
Spanish: Café
Afrikaans: Koffie
Dutch: Koffie
Finnish: Kahvi
Greek: Καφές (Kafés)
Hindi: कॉफ़ी (Kofee)
Icelandic: Kaffi
Romanian: Cafea
Swedish: Kaffe



Did you know that coffee dates back to 800 A.D.? And that in Arabic, it literally translates into ‘wine’! Cool! There are multiple links below, as always, and you can try a few out and find out even MORE interesting facts about the World’s Most Popular Beverage, by far – if you don’t count … TEA!

And what about coffee here in Victoria! You basically practice some Italian every time you go into a Starbucks – Grande, Venti, And Trenta. But what about some great coffee locations here in Victoria!

Full Disclosure – I like ALL the coffee shops in town! They are all amazing! But the best part of coffee is always … the conversation and companionship with coffee buddies! Check out for a list of all the great LOCAL coffee shops here in town, updated to April of this year! Nope, I don’t get anything from this at all. It is just a great site for finding local coffee! And you probably already know who runs the site!

And, the whole idea of the topic of this blog, originated in yesterdays’ blog about Made Up Languages in movies. Specifically, the Heptapod B language!

Why? Because it was described at one site as a ‘Coffee Stain‘ language! What a great segue, eh! Oh and one more cool site about Arrival and Linguistics!

And I leave you with some great coffee sites to peruse on your next Java Break!


  2. 21 Surprising Coffee Facts That Will Perk Up Your Afternoon
  3. 16 most interesting facts to know about coffee
  4. 30 Coffee Facts That Every Coffee Lover Should Know
  5. 17 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee
  6. Coffee Facts
  7. 22 Facts About Coffee: The World’s Most Important Beverage
  8. How to Order Your Local Cup of Coffee in Different Languages
  9. Coffee in Different Languages and Cultures
  10. Words for “Coffee” Around the World
  13. How to Say Mocha in Different Languages
  14. Coffee Crew Blog (in Victoria!)
  15. Coffee Crew (in Victoria!)
  16. What’s Hot in the Victoria B.C. Canada’s cafe scene (during COVID19) – Updated April 2020
  17. 12+ Extremely Caffeinated Coffee Brands
  18. 10 Most Expensive Coffees in the World in 2020

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







Coffee Facts

The Basics
About Coffee

About Coffee

7 Facts About Coffee
That You Probably Didn’t Know

How to Order a Coffee in Italy

How to Order a Coffee in Greece

How to Order a Coffee in Russia

How to Order a Coffee in Japan







pe’vIl mu’qaDmey . . . or Curse Well in Klingon . . . or Made Up Movie Languages

pe’vIl mu’qaDmey
or . . .
Curse Well in Klingon
or . . .
Made Up Movie Languages!

Now you know how to gracefully exit yet another Klingon late night gaming party! You never know when learning Klingon will save your life!

Full Disclosure: Contrary to many rumours, I do not speak Klingon. I just like to have the Netflix Closed Caption on for any Science Fiction movie that has … space languages!


DOUBLE Full Disclosure: Early disclosure but my favourite made up language is from the movie ‘Arrival‘. Not only is it a fabulous movie, but they managed to add something new to a language that is CRITICAL to the storyline! WARNING!:- spoilers below about what that is!

The most popular and well known ‘Alien’ language is without a doubt, Klingon! Star Trek has become part of our Pop Culture ever since Spock first said ‘Illogical’. For many years, I would imbed an ‘Easter Egg’ in my CALL Facility demos that had Klingon as one of the many courses taught at UVic. And then … IT REALLY HAPPENED!

And of course, one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and prequel The Hobbit, contain MANY made up languages by J.R.R. Tolkien! And another UVic course was offered as well, but treating Middle Earth more as a history course than a Linguistics course!

And even more blockbuster movies contained made up languages: Avatar (Na’vi), Arrival (Heptapod B), Despicable Me (Minion), Serenity (The Galactic Language), Harry Potter (Parseltongue), Cloud Atlas (Old Georgie) and one not for the faint of heart in A Clockwork Orange (Nadsat).

SPOILER ALERT!: And my favourite of them all, that would be top of my own list to learn would be ….. HEPTAPOD B! This is a language that is quite literally … FLUID or maybe SMOKE or maybe SENTIENT INK! And it allows for Time Travel! There simply is no other cooler language than Heptapod B! I will be the first to register when it is offered at UVic!

And if Heptapod B ever IS offered at UVic, since it is a Time Travel kind of language, you would never have to do any homework because … you would have already learned it! That is my kind of course!

Imagine ordering Take Out in …. Heptapod B! They would already know when and what you wanted and it would arrive … INSTANTLY! So many benefits! 

And I leave you with the best Elvish script from The Lord of the Ring:


  1. The top 10 made-up movie languages
  3. Arrival — Decoding the Universal Language of Time
  4. A 100-word dictionary was made to create the alien language in this year’s highly anticipated sci-fi thriller ‘Arrival’
  6. Learning From Time
  7. Fictional language
  8. 12 Fictional Film and TV Languages You Can Actually Learn
  9. 11 fictional languages created for movies and books
  10. Top 9 Best Made Up Languages Ever Created
  11. When Hollywood Needs A Made-Up Language, They Come To Us
  12. 6 Fictional Languages You Can Really Learn
  13. Klingon Phrases
  14. Klingon proverbs
  15. 18 Klingon Phrases That’ll Save Your Life One Day

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!






Arrival’s Linguistic Relativity
and Time Perception

Top 10
Fictional Languages

Embrace the Problem of Language

Arrival: Sabotaged
Diplomacy Scene

Accent Expert Breaks Down
6 Fictional Languages

4 Fictional Languages
You Can Learn

5 Fictional Languages
You Can Actually Learn

Artlang: A Compilation of
Movie and TV Clips


J.R.R. Tolkien Reads
A Poem in Elvish







Of Unconscious and Precocious Surveillance of Foudroyant Chrysanthemums . . or Hard to SPELL English Words

Of Unconscious and
Precocious Surveillance of
Foudroyant Chrysanthemums
or . . .
Hard to Spell
English Words!

Yet another sentence that you won’t find at Google. BUT, each word IS spelled correctly!  And the reason being … SPELLCHECKERS!

Full Disclosure: Eye I am knot bad at spelling, but I am not grate at grammar! Bear with mee

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: My Grade 1 teacher traumitized me when under constant threat of being whacked with her ruler, could not properly spell ‘cat’ in her presence! All that could come out of me when challenged by her was ….. ‘KAT’! 

WAY back when, I took a computer science course at the University of Calgary. One ‘advanced’ assignment was to read in a random paragraph, generated by the Prof, then scan the paragraph and change some words to … OTHER words! They weren’t misspelled, but it was the pre-cursor to spellcheckers, grammar checkers and word processing! Oh, did I mention … we had to program in FORTRAN and … ON PUNCHED CARDS!!!! Good times, good times … KNOT!

Everyone probably has a few words that they consistently misspell, including the word, misspell!

It just doesn’t ‘look right’ with a double-s in the middle! Other words that always seem to throw me are: pronounce, pronunciation, comfortable, principle & principal, compatible & compatible, weird, catchup & ketchup, and of course … CAT! Some are context based confusion for me, some are just … they don’t look right!

So why do some people misspell words? Turns out, it can be a major cognitive challenge!

It turns out that misspelling in the brain (if it’s not being influenced by some kind of learning disorder, like dyslexia, which is another matter entirely) is a multi-layered problem involving diverse areas of brain tissue and multiple processes. Spelling, neurologically, isn’t as simple as rummaging in a brain-bin, finding a word, and reproducing it perfectly on paper. There are many stages where things can go slightly awry, and new science means we can pinpoint exactly where in the brain various processes are going wrong. Not much of a comfort when you’ve misspelt the main word in the title of your Powerpoint presentation, but there it is.

And one of my favourite words and that I often spell wrong is QUIXOTIC! It has a neat pronunciation and an imaginative, literary and historic background! Beauty and Chaos all in one word, including how to pronounce it!

What a wonderful word quixotic is! While it is most often used to mean equally impractical and idealistic, it also has the sense of romantic nobility. Its source is from the great Spanish novel “Don Quixote,” whose title character is given to unrealistic schemes and great chivalry. In the middle of a recession and high unemployment, it would be quixotic to imagine that you could quit your job and find another easily.

Spellcheckers are amazing … and annoying at the same time! If I recall, our lab computers have spellchecking turned on automatically for documents in Word/Office. And that causes a clear 50/50 split amongst students using Office! Literally half the students want it turned OFF when it is ON. And you can guess the other half! You can’t hope to win …. best you can hope for is a tie!

Personally, I just crank out the text, I try and catch my spelling mistakes, but I know that upon another read through, I will let Bill Gates decide what word I want to use. OOPS, forgot about that US vs Canadian spelling! And that might also be a future post too – different spellings for common words in US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc. and more curiouser and curiouser … WHY?

And nice to know that Word has spellcheckers in foreign languages too! That is always a ‘weight off my shoulders’ for First Year German students! LOL!


  1. 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
  2. 25 Hard Spelling Bee Words & Meanings
  3. 15 of the Hardest Words to Spell in the English Language
  4. Top 10 hardest words to spell
  5. These are the hardest-to-spell words in the English language
  6. 10 Hard Words to Spell in English
  7. The 8 most Difficult words to spell
  8. Difficult Spelling Words Quiz
  10. 100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English
  11. 300 Most Difficult SAT Words
  12. Robert Heckendorn’s List of Hard to Spell Words
  13. Why Some People Are Bad Spellers, Unscrambled

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!






Top 20 Hardest
English Words to Spell

7 Year Old Child Spells out
the LONGEST English Word!

8 Extremely Long Words
Everyone Must Learn in English

Top 20 Hardest English Words
to Spell! Guess the Right Word!

Top 10 Hardest Words
to Spell

10 Difficult
English Words to Spell

Can You Spell
These 10 Difficult Words?

How to Pronounce the
Longest Name in Canada

Home Simpson
I Am So Smart






Of Specific Rural Isthmuses Surrounded by Anemones Overrun by Squirrels . . or Hard to Pronounce English Words

Of Specific Rural Isthmuses
Surrounded by Anemones
Overrun by Squirrels
or . . .
Hard to Pronounce
English Words!

I guarantee you that sentence will never be found using Google!  And the reason being … it is made up of some of the words that are considered THE hardest to pronounce in the English language!

Full Disclosure: That is the weirdest sentence I could think of. Don’t make me write another one! I am saving other weird sentences for a future post about using …. Google Translate!

A previous post looked at “Unpronounceable Words or . . . I Didn’t Quite . . . Catch That . . .” about hard to pronounce words in the World! This time, let’s just look at English! Last time, I included ‘Worcestershire’ and … it is still difficult to pronounce, even in other languages!

So why are some English words so hard to say, even if you are a native speaker? There are those that simply say, “My mouth just doesn’t work that way!” and that actually might be true for some speakers!

Other words throw a curve by including a sound, that does NOT have the corresponding, and logical, letter within the word! For example, Colonel!

But it turns out, there is a rationale for it:

The key is phonology – the science of sounds within the language. Hebrew has five or six vowel sounds and more than 20 consonant sounds. In contrast, English has five written vowels, but 20 vocalic sounds. A written ‘a’ will have numerous different sounds depending on what letters are couched around it.

And to throw yet another curve at you, try this extract from a famous pronunciation poem circa the turn of the century!


(And a really tough poem is here!)

The Chaos

by G. Nolst Trenite a.k.a. “Charivarius” 1870 – 1946

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear,
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,
Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.
Exiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing.

  1. The 10 hardest English words to pronounce, according to Reddit
  2. 14 Hard Words to Pronounce in the English Language
  3. 40 Hard-to-Pronounce Words You’re Probably Getting Wrong
  4. What’s The Most Difficult Word In The World To Pronounce?
  5. The 14 Hardest Words to Pronounce in the English Language
  6. 20 Words That Are Really Hard to Pronounce in the English Language
  7. The most difficult words to pronounce in the English language revealed – as well as the world’s favourite English tongue-twisters
  9. Psychologists reveal the world’s hardest tongue twister

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!






Pronounce 33 Most Difficult
English Words

100 HARDEST English Words
Pronunciation Practice Lesson

Top 60 Mispronounced
English Words

60 Words You Are
Pronouncing INCORRECTLY!

How to Cheat at Pronunciation!
10 Most Difficult English Words!

10 English Words You Are
Probably Mispronouncing!

10 Most Difficult Words
to Pronounce in English

The ‘Chaos”
English is Tough Stuff!

Watch People Try to Pronounce
the 5 Hardest Words







Culturally Specific Words and Phrases or . . . How’s it goin’, eh!

Culturally Specific Words
and Phrases . . .
or . . .
How’s it goin’, eh!

Large Double-Double please and half a dozen Tim Bits to go, eh! And Canada is (probably) the only nation that you will hear and know what that means!

Full Disclosure: I have never ordered a double-double at Timmie’s! I like a bit of milk in my coffee and no sugar … but I will never turn down a Tim Bit!

DOUBLE DOUBLE Full Disclosure: I don’t know a single person that pronounces ‘about‘ as ‘aboot ‘! 

Every country has very specific culturally important words and phrases that not only define but describe instantly where you are from … mostly! I find this endearing and patriotic as well!

I love to talk about Canada with the many International students that visit and attend UVic!

Fun Fact: It is often a homework assignment for ESL students to seek out a Canadian and ask them questions about CANADA! This is especially fun during ‘Roll Up the Rim’ time!

And think of how many will now return to their home country and continue to use … ‘eh!’ in their native language! Canada’s “Not So Secret Plan To Take Over The World”!

Worldwide, Canadians can usually be identified instantly by … wearing a Canadian Maple Leaf or Flag on their luggage or back packs! When I travelled through Europe in (ssshhhhh!!!)  ’79, my entire BACKPACK was one huge Canadian Flag! It served me very well!

And of course, the obiquitous phrase,How’s it going, eh!! is only pronounced PROPERLY by Canadians! I have American cousins and they try, very hard, VERY VERY hard to say that simple phrase, but …. they can never do it! There is a tell-tale ….. pause ….. just before the ‘eh!’ and they just don’t have the timing down, eh!

I bet you don’t know how OLD usage of this phrase is! I certainly didn’t until I watched the next video!

There is even a full Wikipedia page about Canadian English, eh! That means we have arrived BIG TIME!!!!

I am a proud Canadian and will always smile, chuckle and OWN our incredible Canadian distinctiveness of history, culture, origins and especially languages! Now, if you excuse me, I am going to go to the nearest Drive-Thru Tim Horton’s!

And some of the best of MANY Canadian Language, Phrases, Pronunciations and Canadiana that are out there .. and there are ALOT out there! After all, it IS … The Internet, eh!

So that should cover most of Canadian words, phrases and pronunciations from ‘Eh to … ZED – but not ZEE!

  1. Speak like a Canadian – sayings, phrases and words
  2. 27 Canadian Slang Words You Need to Know
  3. 50 Canadian Slang Words Our American Friends Don’t Understand
  4. Canadianisms
  6. 7 Totally Canadian Things About Tim Hortons (But That May Change)
  7. Canadian Words You May Not Know or Understand
  8. Appendix:Glossary of Canadian English
  9. 55 Canadianisms You May Not Know or Are Using Differently
  10. Canadian / American Spelling Differences …
  11. Words we pronounce differently in Canada
  12. 35 Canadian words and phrases Americans just don’t get
  13. Captain Canuck!

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!






How to Speak
Like a Canadian

Will Arnett Teaches You
Canadian Slang

Canadian Words
From Eh to Zed

Canadian vs American

Canadian Spelling

Bob and Doug McKenzie
12 Days of Christmas

I Am Canadian!

(Best Canadian Commercial … EVER, eh!)

My Name is Willliam Shatner
and  . . .  I.Am.Canadian!