bookmark_borderPenis vs. peonies

Originally uploaded by emrld_cicada

In RP, the distinction between ‘penis’ /?pi?n?s/ and ‘peonies’ /?pi??n?z/ is very clear.

However, in Scottish English, the /?/ in the latter word is omitted, so in my current mixture of RP and Scottish English the two words become almost homophonous: /?pi?n?s/ vs. /?pi?n?z/.

However, applying the standard rules of Scottish English (not of Scots!) would make the difference somewhat clearer – you would expect the difference to be /’pin?s/ [?pin?s] vs. /?pine#z/ [?pine?z].

The difference is even bigger, though.

Something happens to the first vowel in peonies, so the difference is actually [?pin?s] vs. [?pi?ne?z], as if it were /?pi#ne#z/ (almost like a hypothetical compound *pea-nays).

I wonder what’s going on – in Scottish English vowel length is normally predictable if you know the morphology of the word.

bookmark_borderBlogging using XML-RPC

flickr typewriter typo?!
Originally uploaded by bitzi?

I’ve been blogging using XML-RPC for years.

In less technical terms, I’ve been blogging by finding a suitable photo on Flickr and selecting ‘blog this’.

This then generates a draft blog WordPress posting that I can polish off and post.

However, when I migrated to eUKhost, it suddenly stopped working.

After wasting a lot of time digging into the problem, I realised that Flickr was getting a 404 error when sending a POST request to xmlrpc.php.

In other words, there was nothing I could do myself, so I contacted eUKhost’s support, and they promptly created an exception for this file in mod_security, which was all it took for everything to be working beautifully again!

It seems eUKhost are a bit paranoid about security (which can be a good thing!), but they’re also very prompt and helpful.

bookmark_borderEstonian euros

This is old news, but it didn’t seem to get mentioned a lot in the British press:

Estonia will join the Eurozone from 1/1/2011.

The decision is not formal yet – that won’t happen for another month, but it’d be very surprising if anybody decided to block this.

I wonder why it has been so scarcely reported here. Does it somehow not fit in with the narrative of the euro’s imminent demise?

bookmark_borderBlogging again

Sorry for my long absence!

As I wrote in my last blog posting, I had some problems with my hosting provider (Prime Hosting), so I decided to move the blog to a new home.

I chose eUKhost, and I hope it’ll be a good place to live.

I also decided that this was a good time to split the blog into politics and non-politics, but only the latter is up so far.

It’ll take me a couple of days to get everything working again, but I’ll get there!

I also have a complete new theme up my sleeve, but that’ll have to wait for a couple of weeks or so.