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MARCH, 2010 → ← JULY, 2010

Enkephalitis … Перельман is my homeboy … Obstipation 14th of June, 2010 POST·MERIDIEM 05:56

Minor language detail that I haven’t seen documented elsewhere, so I may as well write it up here. In English, in RCSI and as far as I can tell in the other medical schools in Ireland, the Greek root ‘ceph’ (from κεφαλή, ‘head’), is usually pronounced as /kɛf/. So ‘anencephaly’ is /ænənˈkɛfəlɪ/, ‘cephalosporin’ is /ˈkɛfælɔspoʊɹɪn/. One example of encephalitis written to reflect this spelling, by someone who’s apparently not a medic, is here; the original poster writes the word ‘enkephalitis’. The OED doesn’t list this pronunciation at all, so I’ve no idea of its age.

On another subject entirely, for any nerds who remain reading this, it occurred to me back in aught-six, after reading this, that the world needs a tshirt that says “Перельман is my homeboy”, in the same spirit as the comic’s “Knuth is my homeboy” shirt. All these years later, to that end, zazzle.ie have such a tshirt; surprisingly difficult to achieve, given most of the online tshirt templating places don’t accept Cyrillic text!

Word of the day: obstipation has nothing to do with fruit; instead, it means constipation that is so serious the patient can’t pass wind.

Last comment from trebots on the 31st of October at 9:11
There used to be a parallel and curious coëxistence of Enzephalitis and Enkephalitis in German, though I think the former won out.

[Four older comments for this entry.]

Afghan keyboard layouts for Windows XP, Vista, etc. 7th of June, 2010 POST·MERIDIEM 04:34

Michael Everson and Roozbeh Pournader wrote up a document back in 2003, describing the keyboard layouts that they proposed for Afghanistan under the aegis of the UN. In May this year, Michael Kaplan of Microsoft said that the data provided in that document didn’t help in providing those layouts on Windows; so to that end, I’ve put up those keyboard layouts in the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator format. They’re available here:

The files are all public domain.