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“Cash recycling,” “fried enema,” “Flagrant and Hot Marxism,” and “Urine District” — you'll get an idea watching A Sampling of Chinglish slideshow.
The problem with the phrase "off the record" is that many people, reporters and the general public alike, misunderstand its precise meaning. These days many interviewees think "off the record" is largely synonymous with "on background" or "not for attribution."
—NYU Journalism Handbook for Students.
On the record, on background, not for attribution and off the record defined.
New Oxford American Dictionary:
stake 2 |steɪk| |steɪk|
noun (usu. stakes)
a sum of money or something else of value gambled on the outcome of a risky game or venture : playing dice for high stakes | figurative the mayor raised the stakes in the battle for power.
• a share or interest in a business, situation, or system : GM acquired a 50 percent stake in Saab.
Needs minor revision: sold instead of acquired.
"With a grain of salt is a translation of Latin cum grano salis. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, the Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote that General Pompey had discovered an antidote for poison that was to be taken cum grano salis. This was apparently to make it effective. That doesn’t quite explain the current meaning, though."
"The definition of an idiom is a phrase whose meaning isn't clear from the words in it. What a bizarrely illogical way to communicate."
The idiotic joys of idioms at The Guardian.
A new weblog at The New York Times, Schott’s Vocab is “a miscellany of modern words and phrases” for those who enjoy watching the language evolve.
Along the same lines:
Entry no.: 663
10 Dec 2008, 11:53 AM
"It’s funny to see the ampersand creeping into the Russian usage... Apparently, it is being associated with things ‘Western’, ‘capitalist’, &c. And it looks so chic in the Cyrillic context. Some ad agencies just love it. Incidentally, the Russian for ‘and’ is the i (yes, that ‘inverted N’, U+0418 and U+0438), and the meaning of the ampersand (& = et) is completely lost on the Russians. But who cares? It is so cute."
Maxim Zhukov at Typophile.
"When type was handset, a period or comma outside of quotation marks at the end of a sentence tended to get knocked out of position, so the printers tucked the little devils inside the quotation marks to keep them safe and out of trouble. But apparently only American printers were more attached to convenience than logic, since British printers continued to risk the misalignment of their periods and commas."
Using diacritics shows respect for the language but it usually turns into a maddening ordeal. Diacritice.com is the only foreseeable easy way out: it painlessly adds diacritics to any given text, even though it prefers incorrect (Microsoft style) Turkish 'ş' and 'ţ' (s and t with cedilla) over correct Romanian 'ș' and 'ț' (s and t with comma below).