58 thoughts on “March 27, 2016: Cadbury Eggs”

      1. well, if you want to be orthodox about this...Passover doesn't begin until April 22, so, what CH said. I mean, kinda hard to have a Passover seder Last Supper without Passover.

        1. This is one area I always (well, once I learned about the differences) wished us Westerners would follow the Orthodox. Still, Happy Easter to all who are celebrating today, and Happy Easter to those celebrating it in the not-distant future, and Happy Passover to those celebrating that in the not distant future. We cover all of it?

          1. We are celebrating today with my parents. I'm making a kosher Ham to go with au gratin potatoes and sauteed sugar snap peas.

                1. (Lisa) “I’m going to become a vegetarian”
                  (Homer) “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?”
                  “Yes Dad”
                  “Dad all those meats come from the same animal”
                  “Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!”

                  1. Go big or go home, I say.

                    what's not kosher about ham? I mean, it's been thoroughly salted and all the blood drained, amiright?

          2. The current proposal to fix the date of Easter is no bueno in my book as it will permanently fix the date of Mardi Gras. I quite like the rotating schedule, and it helps to keep the crowds (kind of) in check.

          3. The best part about being an Eastern/Central European who married Orthodox is the dueling Ham & Lamb Easter meals. Unfortunately, Mrs. Hayes doesn't eat ham*, so I hardly ever have it. Few things taste quite as good as a baked ham basted with orange juice.

            * Mrs. Hayes loves jamón and especially prosciutto. (She had acute prosciutto cravings while carrying the Possionnier.) She maintains these are not ham.

            1. my Mrs does not like lamb. 🙁

              (she's not crazy about ham either, declaring it "too salty"; but seemed to enjoy the spiral-sliced ham that I baked for yesterday; glazed with brown sugar, honey, and brown mustard)

          4. Yes, but if we all followed the Orthodox timing, we'll eventually end up with Easter and Christmas overlapping. (May take a few millennia...).
            Or do Orthodox follow the Julian Christmas? (In which case Christmas will eventually be in spring and Easter in winter).

            1. Orthodox Christianity places significantly less religious emphasis on Christmas than its Western counterparts, though many American Orthodox observe the popular celebration of Christmas. Theophany (Epiphany) is the more significant holiday in the liturgical calendar, basically third behind Pascha and Pentecost.

        2. My club (Jewish Community Center) is closed for Passover. I (mistakenly) thot this was Easter. Luckily, I was able to swim 44 laps today (SWOLF 49).

  1. Oh man, I totally forgot to get some at the store yesterday. Those things almost makeup for the existence of peeps.

  2. Something under the kitchen sink started leaking last night, and the peperoncino threw up this morning. Happy Easter!

    (Mama needs some chocolate . . . )

    1. We have a kitchen sink leak also, I think I've narrowed it down to the faucet. No one is throwing up yet, but the new foster pup seems to have an UTI and is peeing on the floor about every 5 minutes.

      (Papa needs some beer...)

      1. Hey, the culprit over here was the faucet. Great sinks leak alike! No, wait . . .

        Anyway, thanks to some assistance from an extremely handy next-door neighbor, the faucet has been replaced. In addition, the peperoncino made a speedy recovery, and I got my chocolate. Here's hoping you got your beer!

    2. I threw up my dinner last night, then again this morning when I tried some water. Fever hit 101.2 eventually, but I just took a very sweaty nap and I'm down to 98.8.

  3. Reading the Economist, I noticed how some entities/countries are titled with 'The'. Like 'The Ukraine'. 'The Commonwealth'.

    What up?

    NBBW pointed out 'The United States'. And 'The District of Columbia'. I noticed 'The Gambia' and 'The Netherlands' being referenced.

    Out here in CT, there is Cigna, but for the old-timers it is 'The Aetna'.

    In CT, we have highway 91, but in L.A. it is 'The 101'.

      1. They don't. It's an example of Great Russian chauvinism. The use of the на locative preposition in Russian (на Украине or "on Ukraine" vs в Украине or "in Ukraine") is a highly charged political statement.

        1. The Soviet Union (or The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The European Union. The Commonwealth (of Nations) (of Independent States). The United Nations. The Dominican Republic. The Bahamas.

          Then again, the official names of many (most?) countries are truncated into forms that omit the definite article from them: the Kingdom of Norway; the Hellenic Republic; the Republic of India; the Federal Republic of Germany; the Republic of Korea; the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; the Oriental Republic of Uruguay; the Federative Republic of Brazil; the Russian Federation; the Swiss Confederation; the Plurinational State of Bolivia; the Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace; the Commonwealth of Australia; the United Mexican States...

          The United States of America (along with Canada and New Zealand) may in fact be an outlier in this conversation since it has no longer "official" name.

        2. Almost anything that has a description of the type of government, or plural gets the definite article: The Dominican Republic, The Republic of China, The United Kingdom, The United States, The Netherlands Antilles, The Virgin Islands, The Netherlands ("The Lower Lands"). Somehow the Netherlands gets away calling its capital "The Hague".

          Most others do not. So focusing on them: Congo and Gambia are countries sharing names with rivers. (Furthermore, as the Former Zaire now wishes to call itself "Congo", the indefinite article is more appropriate.)
          So that leaves... the Ukraine? Any others?

          1. Almost anything that has a description of the type of government, or plural gets the definite article:

            I think that gets to my point above about countries' official names vs. their colloquial/common names. Oftentimes the description of that country's government is dropped, e.g. the Russian Federation, but there are situations where the official name is the colloquial/common name. The United States is perhaps the most prominent of these, but the reasons for it seem as perplexing as. Perhaps it's because the USA, at least since the mid-1800s, has lacked a single cohesive and dominant ethnonational identity?

            What I find even more interesting are the times when the official name has very little correspondence to the colloquial/common name in English – the Hellenic Republic (Greece), or the Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) being two prime examples.

            1. I lost a long response.

              1. Apologies, I hadn't seen your comment when I posted.
              2. The United States is probably used because the only natural alternative, "America", is overbroad. We're still Americans.
              3. I don't see "Switzerland" being very different from the government's name. Isn't "Switzerland" just "The Land of the Swiss" (via German)?
              4. "Greece" is the English word for the nation, and unless the nation and its government need to be referred to separately, we default to the English name. Hence, "Germany", "Albania", "Hungary", etc.
              5. Not sure how "Iran" replaced "Persia" or "Thailand" replaced "Siam".
              5.5 Not sure how the Ivory Coast got the whole world to use its French name.
              6. Three more articled states: The Ivory Coast, the Sudan, the Belarus. I might be wrong on the last two.

              1. "Switzerland" and "Persia" are actually on similar footing. Switzerland is drawn from an archaic German term for people from one of the cantons, while Persia comes to us from the ancient Greeks. None of the four official languages of Switzerland use quite that term, and Persians are merely one of the enthnic groups that make up modern Iran.

                Oddly enough, apparently the CH that designates something as having a Swiss origin is drawn from the Latin name for Gallic peoples living in the area of modern Switzerland in Roman times.

                "The Belarus" would be chauvinistic for the same reason that "the Ukraine" is chauvinistic. It would also be agrammatical in Russian, whereas Ukraine is a subject of linguistic-political contention.

          2. El Salvador follows your pattern as well.

            Good catch on The Hague. Only major city I can find with 'The'. Some other variants: El Aaiún, El Alto, El Eulma, El Jadida, El Khroub, El Monte, El Oued, El Paso, El Progreso, Le Mans, Le Havre, La Libertad, Al Fayyum, Al Mansurah, Al Minya.

            To your Ukraine query, perhaps The Vatican?

              1. La Habana. Los Angeles. Las Vegas. The Bronx.

                Another country: The Central African Republic.

            1. I reject any place name with the article in a different language, as obviously different languages have different points at which the definite article is necessary.

              The Vatican is interesting, but no one calls it "The Vatican City", so it's one or the other. Maybe because "Vatican" reads as an adjective?

              The Dalles: plural
              The CAR: description of the government

              The Bronx: also interesting. Maybe because it reads as a potential plural? (Remember, people thought "Sox" was a legit spelling for "Socks".) Is it for North Bronk and South Bronk collectively?

              1. OK... The Bronx is named after the Bronx River, named after Jonas Bronck ("Bronck's River" into "Bronx River"). So... Rivers (like the Gambia and the Congo).
                Also, it includes West Bronx and East Bronx, so it could also be Bronx as a plural of Bronx.

                1. It's a plural word (like "The Philippines" and "The Netherlands"). Wikipedia:

                  The name of the city comes from the French word dalle (meaning either "sluice" (akin to English "dale" and German T[h]al, "valley") or "flagstone" and referring to the columnar basalt rocks carved by the river,[7][8] in voyageur French used to refer to rapids), which was used by the French-Canadian employees of the North West Company to refer to the rapids of the Columbia River between the present-day city and Celilo Falls. Also in the same area was the Petite Dalles or Little Dalles, or Short Narrows.

                    1. The rule I believe we've divined is: the definite article ("The") is used in English before city, district, state, nation, etc. place-names when:

                      1. The name is a phrase that's synonymous with the government of the place (The United States [of America], The United Kingdom [of Great Britain and Northern Ireland], The Czech Republic, The District of Columbia)
                      2. The name has the form of a plural noun (The Dalles, The Maldives, The Philippines, The Virgin Islands, The Netherlands, possibly The Bronx)
                      2a. Except if the plural form is for a singular item and has a descriptor before it (Coon Rapids, Idaho Falls).
                      2ai. Not sure if "the Wisconsin Dells" is an exception to this exception, as the city is just "Wisconsin Dells". The definite article seems to separate the region from the city.
                      3. Russian chauvinism (The Ukraine, The Belarus). Kindof surprised here that there are no "The ___" names for any of the other former Soviet republics or Poland.
                      4. The name is taken from a geographic feature such as a river (The Gambia, The Bronx, The Congo), coast (The Ivory Coast), or sub-desert (The Sudan)
                      [I assume that if any places are named after deserts or forests, they would get an article as well] and
                      4a. The place is not one of the United States (Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado, Wisconsin) or
                      4b. The place is not a city (Savannah, many others though none comes to mind) or
                      4c. It is not restricted subset (South Sudan, Upper Volta)
                      [I believe an exception would arise if the restriction applied to the river as well. If an east African country named itself after the Blue Nile, I believe we'd call the country "The Blue Nile"]
                      4d. This rule is not very clear-cut, perhaps because some rivers are named after the place they run past or through rather than the other way around, or if the river and place were both named around the same time.
                      4e. Jordan seems a clear exception (perhaps stemming from the fact that it arose from Transjordan, to which 4c would apply?)

                      5. Never when another language's article is considered part of the English name (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, El Salvador, Le Havre).

                      I don't disagree that The Dalles just one city, (just as the Maldives are one country), but the form of the noun is plural.
                      Looking into it, I think that the Sudan should have the definite article, because the full name of the country is "the Republic of the Sudan".

                    2. I don't know how all these rules enter into it; NBB said The Hague was the only major city with "The" that he could find, and I added The Dalles. If you wanted to argue whether it was a "major" city or not, I would give you that.

                    3. Oh, I thought you mentioned it as some sort of exception to the list.
                      Then I decided to waste time spelling out the full rules (as I understand them) so more nits can be picked by others.

    1. I had a floormate freshman year who was a singer and song-writer. His rule for band names: "No `The'!"

        1. Something Fierce (a power-pop band, not the more recent thing from Tejas).

          I very much remember the early days, what with "SWAT Team for God" and "Beach Bitch". Catchy stuff.

  4. but in L.A. it is 'The 101'

    aw, geez, no, stay off the 101! take the 405 instead

    You might say "The KC Royals", but it's also "Da Bears", "Damned Yankees", and "Your Minnesota Twins", so "the" doesn't entirely hold sway in sports teams

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