Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Full of Cheers

I am going over the copyediting queries for Jaclyn Moriarty's wonderful next novel, The Spellbook of Listen Taylor (to be published in Fall 2007), and I've just discovered this very cool feature on Dictionary.com: Whenever you look up a word, the bottom entry provides not only an English definition, but translation of that word into twenty-eight other languages! Thus I can tell you that "plate glass" is not only two words in English (in its noun form, anyway; the adjective can be compounded or hyphenated), but it is "lembaran kaca" in Indonesian; "telefonstolpe" is Norwegian for "telegraph pole"; and "hood" translates not just to "Capuchon" in French -- meaning it probably gave its name to the Capuchin monks, and perhaps the monkeys too? -- but also "cappuccio" in Italian; so the drink name, I'm guessing, derives from the hood of foam over the top of the coffee. This could provide just hours of distracting fun: Yay language and etymology!

Also, in completely unrelated but equally cool news, a documentary that my boyfriend worked on has just been nominated for an Oscar! It's called "My Country, My Country," about a doctor in Iraq under the American occupation, and he (the boyfriend) served as assistant editor. Yay him!

Lisa Yee has posted the winners in her Bodacious Book Title Contest, which was judged by Michael Stearns and yours truly. Yay Lisa and winners!

And did you hear George W. Bush mention health-care credits, climate change, and balancing the budget in his speech tonight? I'm reserving the hoorays on this for real action; but it's nice to see him becoming a Democrat -- or at the least, a rational and responsible Republican -- at last.


  1. Way cool about your boyfriend's documentary. And thank you soooooo much for being a Celebrity Judge. It must have been hard to choose from among the over 300 book title entries!

  2. Also in the news, the SCBWI Writer's Day LA Signup arrived yesterday and "Words, Wisdom, Heart and Art: Making a Picture-Book Cake" is the first talk. And Lisa Yee is speaking too after lunch! How cool is that?
    I received my long awaited packet from Scholastic on Monday Morning at 7:30AM. It is a totally awesome project and I am STOKED!
    Doing the happy dance!


  3. Google to the rescue: "1946: In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. Cappuccino is named for the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order." From here. Or from Wikipedia, "Cappuccino originated in post-World War II Italy. The beverage is named after the color of the Capuchin monks habit, which is light/darkish brown with a white hood. Indeed, the word for hood, cappuccio, is often used colloquially for the beverage."

    Mood today: Nerdy.

  4. I think you proved your keen intelligence and tremendous judgment by your choices as a judge over at Lisa's contest, Cheryl (though I echo Lisa in saying it must have been hard). And I must thank Rebecca for her info, as I had thought that cappucino translated as "elixir of life best appreciated through an I.V." Who knew?