I’ve linked to it before, but I decided it was high time I gave bulbulovo (“bulbul’s online notebook”) its own post and added it to the blogroll—there’s just too much good stuff to ignore. Thursday the “Philologist in making” listed some wonderful books he got at what sounds like a wonderful Bratislava bookstore; earlier he bitched about the poor quality of Slovakian translators while providing his own versions of some colloquial usages from Law and Order (a show I also enjoy) and explained the derivation of the language name Bislama from beach-la-mar, an edible sea slug much traded by the Vanuatu islanders who use the language (and may I add that the inhabitants of Vanuatu must get tired of jokes about their national anthem, “Yumi, Yumi, Yumi,” continuing “…I’ve got love in my tumi”). And check out this post from last week, which not only links to a Swedish site for minority languages but gives his own analysis of the dialect features of “meänkieli (meidän kieli = ‘our language’), also known as Tornedalen Finnish,… a dialect of Finnish spoken in the area around and including the twin-city of Tornio-Haparanda on the Swedish-Finnish border in Lappland.” Keep it up, O Slovak songbird!
Apropos of nothing, by the way, here’s a sign I encountered in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport last time I passed through there; it adorned the location that had apparently been 360° Gourmet Burritos (gourmet burritos??):
“This concept is closed at this time. For service, please visit one of our other concepts in the Marché.”
What I want to know is, are these concepts a priori or a posteriori?


  1. Could “concept” have been a compo for “concession?”

  2. Hat, I think it should be “bêche de mer”.

  3. Paul: bêche-de-mer is of course the dictionary form, reflecting the proper French spelling, but the name of the language derives from the anglicized form beach-la-mar. I guess I should have clarified that in the post. Oh well.

  4. Sorry, I shouldn’t have doubted you!
    I’m just so familiar with the French spelling, which I always saw in Australia. I’d never heard of the English-ed version, but then I’ve never travelled in the South Pacific.

  5. Fitzroy Cyclonic says

    Maybe the concept they were referring to was the same being presented in a pub sign I came across once, which declared proudly that
    ‘All our Burgers are made with 100% “Beef”.’
    The ‘Beef’ in question presumably being an asymptotic substance to which the burger material gestured, nevertheless participating ‘100%’ in the Platonic ideal of ‘Beef’.
    Or maybe not.
    F Cyclonic

  6. I believe that Paul Pelliot has a thing about the beche-de-mer in his “Reflections on Marco Polo”, but I don’t know which box I’ve stashed it in.
    Pelliot, PBUH, is the champion pedant of the modern age. When he’s on he cancompare a Manchu word with its Armenian version (via the Mongol) and make sense.

  7. Wow, what an honor! Thank you, hat :o)
    By the way, I do recommend that book by Peter Englund, it’s fascinating.

  8. “Apropos of nothing, by the way…”?
    You can do better than that.

  9. clerambault says

    I’ve taken a look at some restaurant industry publications in which the word “concept” is regularly used for a particular chain. Say Mondocorp runs a bunch of different chain restaurants – maybe one is the low-budget taco joint “Crunchy’s” with stools at counters and another is 360 Gourmet Burgers at a slightly higher price point — well, each of these is a “concept,” combining the price, the food, and the feel of the restaurants. I can only suppose that the term drifted down in Dallas to get stuck on an individual installation.

  10. Not far from where I live is a restaurant proclaiming itself to be ‘an Irish pub concept’ where one can get ‘beer battered fish’. Me, I want to know why you would batter a fish with beer, when a club would be more handy….

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