The reading list
“Last year, an Australian news anchor who was interviewing the Dalai Lama with the aid of an interpreter opened the exchange with a joke: 'The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and says, “Can you make me one with everything?”' His Holiness's baffled stare, viewed by nearly two million people on YouTube, presents a lesson in the risks of translating humor.
“But among the polyglots who convened this month in Rochester for the annual meeting of the American Literary Translators Association — where the topic was 'The Translation of Humor, or, the Humor of Translation' — there is a sense of cautious optimism. At least some measure of levity, these dedicated professionals believe, must be able to migrate between languages. The French, after all, seem to appreciate Woody Allen.
“'It takes a bit of creativity and a bit of luck,' said David Bellos, a professor of French and comparative literature at Princeton, who, as he prepared his keynote speech for this year's conference, confessed to finding a disconcerting shortage of jokes beginning: 'A pair of translators walk into a bar.'
“'The received wisdom that you can never translate a joke is worth examining a bit more closely,' Bellos told me. The trick to translating humor, Bellos argues ... is to abandon the idea of perfect fidelity and instead try to find a joke that rings some of the same bells as the original.”
— From “Me translate funny one day” at nytimes.com
What percentage of people are right-handed?
Wisdom of the ages
“You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” — Irish proverb
“After living at home for a while, young people have kind of maxed it out. They are heading to bigger, vibrant cities, predominantly, because they're looking for economic opportunity and building their social networks.” — William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer, on new U.S. census data showing a big jump in young adults moving out of state.
Ninety percent. Most animals are closer to being ambidextrous.
recusant (REK-yuh-zuhnt), n. – a person who refuses to submit, comply, etc., as in: “The editorial writer thought he was being a cautious fellow, not a stubborn recusant, for declining to agree with the politician.” From the Latin recusare, “to demur, object.”
Today in history
On this date in 1775, the U.S. Navy was established; no, Mr. President, it's not big enough today.
Now you know
The first countries to grant women’s suffrage in national elections were New Zealand (1893), Australia (1902), Finland (1906) and Norway (1913).