The Green Experience

Green is the colour of Kermit the Frog, Mike Wazowski, and two-thirds of Nigeria’s national flag. It’s associated with nature, fertility, tranquillity, money, good luck, health, movement, and ecology. It can also signify illness and envy. Grass is green, the Chicago River is green once a year for St. Patrick’s Day, many political parties are green. Great gardeners have green fingers, inexperienced ones might be greenhorns, and jealous ones might be green-eyed monsters.

Green is my second favourite colour behind red (sorry, blue, you’re in 3rd place now!) thanks to Sporting CP. Green is also a traditional colour in Islam, associated with paradise in the Quran.

A passage from the Quran describes paradise as a place where people “will wear green garments of fine silk.” One hadith, or teaching, says, “When Allah’s Apostle died, he was covered with a Hibra Burd,” which is a green square garment. As a result, you’ll see green used to color the binding of Qurans, the domes of mosques, and, yes, campaign materials.

via Slate

J. Milton Hayes’s “Yellow God” had a green eye (likely an emerald), Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” said “No white nor red was ever seen / So am’rous as this lovely green.”, and D. H. Lawrence said the dawn was “apple-green”. Aliens are often green, little, and men for some reason.

The green room is where performers wait before they go on stage, there are at least 250 films in Letterboxd with “green” in the title including Green Book, Green Lantern, The Green Hornet, The Green Mile, and 17 films simply called Green.

Green and gold go together perfectly in a room and green Victorian tiles adorn many London Underground corridors (but not Green Park’s for some reason).

Judy Horacek and Mem Fox asked “Where Is The Green Sheep?“, Dr. Seuss wrote about Green Eggs and Ham, and Hemingway talked about the Green Hills of Africa (specifically East Africa). Kermit sang it ain’t easy being green, Tom Jones sang about the green green grass of home and Beyoncé gave us the green light (as did John Legend).

In art, you have Karel Appel’s The Green Cat, Lilian Thomas Burwell’s Greening, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Queen Green, and Jean Gabriel Domergue’s Green Park. There have been 3 green colours chosen as Pantone’s Colour of the Year between 2000 and 2021 (the most recent was emerald in 2014).

There’s a lot of love about green.

A compendium of interesting words #

Marijn van Hoorn of marijn.uk has an ongoing list of really cool words, ranging from semi-common words like ‘zenith’ and ‘iridescent’ to obsolete terms like ‘zenzizenzizenzic’ and ‘psychopomp’.

Some of my favourites:

  • cephalophore (n) – A Christian saint depicted in artworks as carrying their own severed head.
  • eggcorn (n) – A reanalysis of a word or phrase for another that sounds similar and could be taken to have a similar meaning.
  • kakistocracy (n) – Rule by the worst and least qualified people.
  • nychthemeron (n) – A period of 24 hours, a day and a night.

Is DeepL the best Google Translate alternative?

When you need a quick translation, you turn to Google Translate. But it doesn’t always work the way it should. But there’s an alternative that TechCrunch claims is “as quick as the outsized competition, but more accurate and nuanced” than any they’d tried. It’s called DeepL.

About DeepL

Ever since the launch of DeepL Translator in August 2017, DeepL has been setting records for machine translation quality.

DeepL Pro, released in March of 2018, allows subscribers to unlock the full capacity of DeepL’s AI translation technology. DeepL Pro subscribers can benefit from an optimized web translator, integrate our algorithms into translation software, or build new apps and services with the DeepL API.

Let’s test an example. I’ve taken an original poem called Círculo Vicioso by Machado de Assis:

Bailando no ar, gemia inquieto vaga-lume:
– Quem me dera que fosse aquela loura estrela,
que arde no eterno azul, como uma eterna vela!
Mas a estrela, fitando a lua, com ciúme:
– Pudesse eu copiar o transparente lume,
que, da grega coluna á gótica janela,
contemplou, suspirosa, a fronte amada e bela !
Mas a lua, fitando o sol, com azedume:
– Misera ! tivesse eu aquela enorme, aquela
claridade imortal, que toda a luz resume !
Mas o sol, inclinando a rutila capela:
– Pesa-me esta brilhante aureola de nume…
Enfara-me esta azul e desmedida umbela…
Porque não nasci eu um simples vaga-lume?

Google TranslateDeepL TranslatorEnglish translation
Dancing in the air, an uneasy firefly moaned:
I wish it were that blond star,
that burns in the eternal blue, like an eternal candle!
But the star, looking at the moon, with jealousy:
I could copy the transparent fire,
that from the greek column to the gothic window,
she gazed, sighingly, at the beloved and beautiful forehead!
But the moon, staring at the sun, with bitterness:
Misera! had I that huge, that
immortal clarity, which all light sums up!
But the sun, tilting the rutile chapel:
This brilliant number aureole weighs me…
Put on this blue and immeasurable umbilicus …
Why am I not born a simple firefly?
Dancing in the air, a restless firefly moaned:
I wish it were that blond star
That burns in the eternal blue, like an eternal candle!
But the star, staring at the moon, jealous
If I could copy the transparent light,
That from the Greek column to the Gothic window
from the Greek column to the Gothic window, gazed, sighing, upon the beloved and beautiful brow!
But the moon, staring at the sun, with bitterness:
Misera! had I that enormous, that immortal
immortal clarity, which all light sums up!
But the sun, inclining the ruddy chapel:
This bright aureole of nume weighs me down…
Pities me this blue and unmeasured umbrella?
Why was I not born a simple firefly?
Dancing in the air, the firefly moaned restlessly:
– How I wish I was that blonde star,
That burns in the eternal blue, live an infinite candle!
But the star, gazing at the moon jealously:
– Who am I to copy the transparent light,
That from the Greek column to the gothic window,
Contemplated, sighing, forehead beloved and beautiful!
But the moon, gazing at the sun, sourly:
– Misery! Had I that huge, that
Immortal brightness, in which all live is summarized!
But the sun, tilting its shining chapel:
– This bright halo weighs down upon me…
This blue and unmeasurable umbrella sickens me…
Why wasn’t I born a simple firefly?

While neither translator could emulate the original English translation (which likely had its own artistic flair), they both did a good job. DeepL picked up “restless” in the first verse compared to Google Translate’s “uneasy” and in the word fitando, DeepL goes for “staring”, which is closer to the original “gazing”, while Google Translate chooses “looking” which doesn’t have the same feeling.

That said, there were some glitches with DeepL, for example duplicating the line “from the Greek column to the Gothic window”, and neither picked up the word misera translated to “misery” but that’s not the traditional translation so that makes sense.

Maybe a poem wasn’t the best example. Here’s a paragraph from a news story from Le Monde:

L’heure de la réconciliation entre la France et le Rwanda est-elle arrivée ? Vingt-sept ans après le génocide des Tutsi, qui a fait près de 1 million de morts entre avril et juillet 1994, on veut le croire au sommet de l’Etat français. Emmanuel Macron reçoit son homologue rwandais, Paul Kagame, lundi 17 mai, à Paris, en marge d’une conférence sur le Soudan et à la veille d’un sommet sur le financement des économies africaines. Les deux hommes « ont pris l’habitude d’échanger en anglais dans un climat de confiance, de sincérité et de respect »,précise un membre de l’entourage du chef de l’Etat. Au cours de sa visite, Paul Kagame doit aussi s’entretenir avec d’anciens officiers de l’armée française, dont le général Jean Varret, responsable de la mission de coopération de 1990 à 1993, qui s’était opposé à sa hiérarchie lors de la tragédie.

Google TranslateDeepL Translator
Has the time come for reconciliation between France and Rwanda? Twenty-seven years after the genocide of the Tutsi, which killed nearly 1 million people between April and July 1994, we believe him at the top of the French state. Emmanuel Macron receives his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, on Monday, May 17, in Paris, on the sidelines of a conference on Sudan and on the eve of a summit on the financing of African economies. The two men “have become accustomed to speaking in English in an atmosphere of trust, sincerity and respect,” said a member of the head of state’s entourage. During his visit, Paul Kagame must also meet with former officers of the French army, including General Jean Varret, responsible for the cooperation mission from 1990 to 1993, who opposed his hierarchy during of tragedy.Has the time for reconciliation between France and Rwanda arrived? Twenty-seven years after the Tutsi genocide, which killed nearly one million people between April and July 1994, people at the top of the French government want to believe so. Emmanuel Macron received his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, on Monday 17 May in Paris, on the sidelines of a conference on Sudan and on the eve of a summit on the financing of African economies. The two men “have become accustomed to exchanging in English in a climate of trust, sincerity and respect,” said a member of the entourage of the head of state. During his visit, Paul Kagame is also expected to meet with former French army officers, including General Jean Varret, head of the cooperation mission from 1990 to 1993, who had opposed his superiors during the tragedy.

For me, it’s a tie on that one. Google Translate’s first sentence felt more natural while DeepL’s “Tutsi genocide” vs. GT’s “genocide of the Tutsi” sounded better. DeepL’s “climate of trust, sincerity and respect” was better than GT’s “atmosphere of trust, sincerity and respect” as well as “opposed his superiors during the tragedy” vs. “opposed his hierarchy during of tragedy.”

Ultimately, this both use machine learning based on data that’s already out there and as language continues to change and evolve, it’ll be almost impossible to get things exactly right. But, for me, DeepL offers more nuance and less literal translations for words which is what you want as a human being.

An Australian woman woke up with an Irish accent after a tonsillectomy #

[…] when 27-year-old Angie Yen from Brisbane, Australia, apparently woke up on April 28 to find out she’d lost her Aussie accent to an Irish one, her confusion was understandable.

Yen posted videos of her new Irish lilt on her TikTok account, garnering thousands of views as she documented her experience. How did this happen, you might ask. Yen had her tonsils removed in April, and after then, her accent mysteriously changed.

This isn’t the first time that such a drastic change in accent has happened to someone. What Yen might be experiencing is called Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)

Phrases to help you protect your mental health

For Grammarly, Devon Delfino wrote a great guide on language that can protect your mental health while you work from home or just talking to friends and family.

Social isolation. Work-from-home burnout. Public health-related stress. Political upheaval. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that mental health matters and has become a central issue for many. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily become easier to talk about.

Mental health awareness is one thing but we need more active behaviour to quash the stigmas and myths that surround mental health so those who need help can feel safe to talk about it (or not).

And if you need any alternatives to ableist terms, you can check that out too.

Wislawa Szymborska had the best writing advice #

Polish essayist and Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska answered letters from people seeking poetry advice for Poland’s Literary Life. Here are some of the best bits:

To Heliodor from Przemysl: “You write, ‘I know my poems have many faults, but so what, I’m not going to stop and fix them.’ And why is that, oh Heliodor? Perhaps because you hold poetry so sacred? Or maybe you consider it insignificant? Both ways of treating poetry are mistaken, and what’s worse, they free the novice poet from the necessity of working on his verses. It’s pleasant and rewarding to tell our acquaintances that the bardic spirit seized us on Friday at 2:45 p.m. and began whispering mysterious secrets in our ear with such ardor that we scarcely had time to take them down. But at home, behind closed doors, they assiduously corrected, crossed out, and revised those otherworldly utterances. Spirits are fine and dandy, but even poetry has its prosaic side.”

To Esko from Sieradz: “Youth really is an intriguing period in one’s life. If one adds writerly ambitions to the difficulties of youth, one must possess an exceptionally strong constitution in order to cope. Its components should include: persistence, diligence, wide reading, curiosity, observation, distance toward oneself, sensitivity to others, a critical mind, a sense of humor, and an abiding conviction that the world deserves a) to keep existing, and b) better luck than it’s had thus far. The efforts you’ve sent signal only the desire to write and none of the other virtues described above. You have your work cut out for you.”

To Michal in Nowy Targ: “Rilke warned young poets against large sweeping topics, since those are the most difficult and demand great artistic maturity. He counseled them to write about what they see around them, how they live each day, what’s been lost, what’s been found. He encouraged them to bring the things that surround us into their art, images from dreams, remembered objects. ‘If daily life seems impoverished to you,’ he wrote, ‘don’t blame life. You yourself are to blame. You’re just not enough of a poet to perceive its wealth.’ This advice may seem mundane and dim-witted to you. This is why we called to our defense one of the most esoteric poets in world literature—and just see how he praised so-called ordinary things!”

To B.L. from the vicinity of Wroclaw: “The fear of straight speaking, the constant, painstaking efforts to metaphorize everything, the ceaseless need to prove you’re a poet in every line: these are the anxieties that beset every budding bard. But they are curable, if caught in time.”

To Zb. K. of Poznan: “You’ve managed to squeeze more lofty words into three short poems than most poets manage in a lifetime: ‘Fatherland,’ ‘truth,’ ‘freedom,’ ‘justice’: such words don’t come cheap. Real blood flows in them, which can’t be counterfeited with ink.”

Thanks to Zito Madu for tweeting this out (and check the rest of the thread for more great insights from the likes of Flannery O’Conner, Susan Sontag, and Jose Saramago. And the title is all his too; credit where credit’s due).

The Klingon language and its influence on modern culture #

Like any story worth telling, the history of the Klingon language begins with improvisation. Some reports—including the DVD commentary for Star Trek: The Motion Picture Director’s Cut—maintain the genesis of the language rests with James Doohan (who played Montgomery “Scotty” Scott on the original show) and the film’s associate producer Jon Povill. The two had a meeting where they established a few basic words the aliens would utter throughout the movie. Doohan recorded the words for veteran Trek actor Mark Lenard, who portrayed a Klingon captain in the film. Lenard transcribed the words phonetically and practiced them to nail the delivery of his lines in the film. Doohan and Povill didn’t develop the language further. That honorable duty befell another man who wouldn’t enter the picture until Wrath of Khan’s editing phase.

Enter legendary linguist Marc Okrand, the creator of the Klingon language.

See also: Triqqa Pli’c: a Pizza Hut advert for Klingons

Google celebrates the letter 'ñ' #

Today’s Doodle artwork, illustrated by Barcelona-based guest artist Min, commemorates the consonant Ñ (pronounced “enye”). The only letter in the Spanish alphabet that originated in Spain, the Ñ is not only a letter but a representation of Hispanic heritage and identity as well.   

The Ñ’s story started with 12th-century Spanish scribes. While hand-copying Latin manuscripts, these scholars of the Middle Ages devised a plan to save time and parchment by shortening words with double letters. They combined the two figures into one and scrawled on top a tiny “n”—a symbol now known as a ”virgulilla” or tilde—to signify the change. Thus, “annus,” Latin for “year,” evolved into the Spanish “año.” 

When did 'damn' become a naughty word? #

The folks at Grammarphobia were asked this question and this was the opening excerpt from their response (click the link in the title for the full version):

When the word showed up in Middle English in the 14th century, “damn” was a verb meaning to condemn. It wasn’t until the 16th century that “damn” was used profanely.

English borrowed the term from Old French, but the ultimate source is the classical Latin damnāre or dampnāre, meaning to damage or condemn. (In fact, “condemn” ultimately comes from the same Latin source as “damn.”)

In Middle English, according to Oxford English Dictionary citations, “damn” had three related meanings: (1) to doom to eternal punishment; (2) to pronounce a sentence; (3) to denounce or deplore.

See also: The origins of the “black sheep”

Whiteness and racism aren't illnesses

a sign that says racism is a pandemic

I initially opted for a softer title but it was a life goal to be more active with my language back in 2016 or 2017 so there you go.

Three things popped up on my social feed today regarding the connection between whiteness and racism and the language of illness. In reverse order:

  1. An article called “Whiteness is a Pandemic” by Damon Young, referenced in this Kottke.org post of the same title.
  2. An Instagram story from Josh Rivers of Busy Being Black discussing his personal use of language linking white supremacy to illness
  3. This thread from Dr Subini which Josh had originally referenced from an Instagram screenshot post as a counterpoint to the above

Before I dive into anything else, it’s amazing how circumstances can connect through the power of the Internet. And yet that’s exactly what it was created for. Large networks of information rabbit holes that are never too far apart to be deemed coincidence.

Anyway, the final paragraph from Young’s piece for The Root:

White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.

It’s common to see racism and its structures to be represented that way and while I’ve not done it myself, I know many friends and family who have and haven’t argued against it. But then Josh Rivers mentioned how he’d used similar language before finding this Instagram post from Project LETS which referenced a Twitter thread by Dr. Subini Annamma, a Black Asian feminist and author of The Pedagogy of Pathologization: Dis/abled Girls of Color in the School-prison Nexus. Here’s the first tweet of it:

Fam, racism is not a virus. White supremacy is not a pandemic. Using illness & disability as a metaphor situates white supremacy & racism as passively spreading. These metaphors evade the way white supremacy & racism are purposefully built into structures & strategically enacted

Now this I can relate to. I understand the idea of white supremacy and racism like diseases in that they pervade society and you don’t always see it or can do little to prevent or cure it at all in large quantities. But viewing them as physical structures makes more sense because there are actual constructs that were built for the purpose of promoting white supremacy.

There is no vaccine for racism and knocking down buildings of oppression won’t solve the problem in and of itself. Instead, we tear those walls down and we clear the debris and we use those bricks to create the opposite. The work doesn’t stop because the buildings aren’t standing anymore.

(featured image by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona)

36,336 versions of the 'I know a place' meme #

Remember the X be like ‘I know a place’ and take you to a Y meme? Well, Darius Kazemi decided to create over 36,000 variations of it using ConceptNet, a semantic network designed to help computers understand the meanings of words.

As Darius says, there is probably some bad stuff in here but that just adds to the charm.

One of my favourites:

180 degrees be like ‘i know a place’ and take you to the corner

Genius.

Meme related: Conflict in Literature with Daffy Duck and the opposite of ASMR.

Audrey Hepburn speaking Dutch in an interview from 1959 #

Transcript via Direct Dutch Institute; footage via VRT Archive and thanks to Eyes on Cinema for uploading it.

Interviewer: Waar bent u geboren?

Audrey Hepburn: Hier in Brussel. Dat kan ik met heel veel vreugde aankondigen.

Interviewer: U spreekt zeer goed Nederlands met een tikje Hollands accent. Hoe komt dat?

Audrey Hepburn: Omdat mijn moeder Hollands is en ik de oorlog in Holland heb doorgebracht. Ik heb er acht jaar gewoond.

Interviewer: En bent u dan terug naar België gekomen?

Audrey Hepburn: Ik ben er een paar keer geweest, heel kort. Het is heerlijk er weer te zijn vandaag.

Interviewer: U bent een filmcarrière begonnen enkele jaren terug. Hebt u daarvoor een toneelklas gevolgd?

Audrey Hepburn: Ik heb gedanst. Ik ben mijn carrière begonnen als balletleerlinge in Holland en ben als balletleerlinge ook naar Londen gegaan in 1948. En toen langzamerhand – van het een kwam het ander – heb ik heel kleine rolletjes gespeeld en een enkele film in Londen en toen heb ik de opportuniteit gehad om ‘Gigi’ te spelen in New York in het theater en diezelfde jaar heb ik een test gemaakt voor ‘Roman Holiday’, dus. 1952 was een groot jaar voor mij.

Interviewer: Er waren verschillende actrices die zich hebben aangeboden voor die film.

Audrey Hepburn: Ja die zijn uitgezocht, nee die rol was niet voor mij bedoeld.

Interviewer: U hebt in Londen gewerkt . U hebt in New York gewerkt en u bent naar Hollywood gegaan. Heel different. Was dat zoals men leest in publicaties in dagbladen? Hoe was dat om in een paar woorden te zeggen?

Audrey Hepburn: Het is niet zoals men werkelijk in dagbladen leest. Daar is het altijd óf mooier óf niet zo mooi en ik moet zeggen dat ik erg veel ervan houd om daar te werken. Ik heb heel veel vrienden. Zoals u weet, de filmindustrie is al heel lang in Hollywood. Dus is er een heel hoog peil, een heel hoog professioneel peil. Ik weet niet of ik dat goed zeg…

Interviewer: Ja, u zegt dat zeer goed.

Audrey Hepburn: Ik vind het heerlijk. Ik werk er erg graag.

Interviewer: En is er een goede geest onder elkaar, onder de acteurs…

Audrey Hepburn: O ja, er is een hele ernstige geest. Het is jammer dat men dat niet vaker leest. Men leest vaker over… de dingen die gebeuren. Maar men leest zelden van die hele vroege ochtenden dat mensen opstaan en al heel vroeg in de studio zijn. En honderden en allemaal klaar staan om heel vroeg te werken en de hele dag lang heel serieus aan het werk te zijn en er heerst een hele ernstige atmosfeer omdat men zijn werk heel ernstig opvat.

Interviewer: Hebt u een bepaalde voorkeur voor een regisseur? U hebt gewerkt met Billy Wilder…

Audrey Hepburn: Eigenlijk niet. Ik heb ontzettend veel geluk gehad, zoals u weet, met de regisseurs waarmee ik heb mogen werken. En dat is het enige dat ik zeggen kan.

Interviewer: Parijs heeft in uw films een voorname rol gespeeld.

Audrey Hepburn: Ja is dat niet merkwaardig? Helemaal in mijn carrière. Ook in het theater. Want ‘Gigi’, zoals u weet, is van het Franse verhaal afkomstig van Colette. En het tweede stuk die ik met mijn man Mel Ferrer heb gespeeld was ‘Ondine’ van Jean Giraudoux. En in het verhaal ‘Sabrina’ kom ik uit Parijs en in ‘Funny Face’ ga ik naar Parijs. En er is vaak zoiets geweest. Het heeft me heel veel geluk gebracht.

Interviewer: U hebt uw man toch niet ontmoet in Parijs?

Audrey Hepburn: Nee dat niet.

Interviewer: Maar dat had dan toch ook een groot geluk geweest, ook al is hij niet afkomstig uit Parijs. Houdt u van muzikale films?

Audrey Hepburn: Ja, heel veel. Het is heerlijk om te werken met muziek almaar om je heen, wat men eigenlijk doet.

Interviewer: En de reden waarom u hier bent is natuurlijk de film ‘The Nun’s Story’ die voor een deel gedraaid is in België en voor een deel in Belgisch Congo. Hoe is Belgisch Congo meegevallen? Hebt u geen moeilijkheden ondervonden, kwestie van temperatuur…?

Audrey Hepburn: Helemaal niet. Ik zou het heerlijk gevonden hebben om interessant te mogen zijn en te zeggen: ‘oe, het was zo warm, ik viel iedere dag flauw’. Maar dat was niet zo. Het was heel warm en ik vind het fijn om dat te kunnen zeggen en het was wel ontzettend mooi. Ik zou dolgraag terug willen gaan. Mijn man kent het nog niet en ik zou dolgraag eens samen teruggaan. Ik vond het prachtig.

Interviewer: En de rol zelf, hoe is dat u meegevallen?

Audrey Hepburn: Het is een moeilijke rol. Moeilijk en ik heb heel hard gewerkt zoals iedereen. We hebben ons best gedaan. En ik hoop dat het zo zal aflopen dat het publiek ernaartoe gaat. En dan, weer, het is een ernstig onderwerp en ik hoop dat we het eer aangedaan hebben.

Interviewer: En dan een laatste, een klassieke vraag. Welke zijn de plannen?

Audrey Hepburn: Op het ogenblik heel weinig voor mij. Mijn man gaat een andere film regisseren dus wij gaan morgenochtend terug naar Los Angeles en dus hij gaat aan het werk en ik ga huishouden doen, net zoals alle andere vrouwen doen.

Interviewer: Ik wens u veel succes in uw carrière…

There are over a sextillion ways to spell 'viagra'

blue viagra pills

I’m asking for trouble putting that word in the title but I thought it was a quirky internet thing.

Rob Cockerham of Cockeyed.com discovered something unique about viagra emails:

Because internet marketers love teaching others about medicine and the alphabet, the word “Viagra” is always spelled in hot, new, creative ways. For example, it might have a lower case “L” in the space where a capital “I” would go, or perhaps an “@” symbol where the letter “a” should be.

After I received 80,730 different emails trying to sell viagra, I started to wonder: How many different ways are there to spell Viagra?

I began my quest by simply collecting the Viagra spellings that showed up in my email. In 12 days, I had 79.

With two single letter substitution and addition characters used between letters, he found 600,426,974,379,824,381,952 variations of the word ‘viagra’ (that’s over 600 quintillion).

But upon further inspection, Rob found more and managed to get up to 1,300,925,111,156,286,160,896 variations (that’s over 1.3 sextillion). Put into context, if each variation was a grain of sand, that’d be enough to cover ever beaches in the world (approximately). Also, sextillion… viagra… it was destiny!

Then that got me thinking: I wonder how many variations there are of ‘COVID’ or ‘COVID-19’? If anyone can be bothered to work it out, let me know!

Word related: The man who submited a 52,438 word dissertation without any punctuation and passed and the etymological debate around daughters and milking cows