Circa symbol

Circa – circling around the abbreviation of an approximation in translation

German technical texts tend to be liberally littered with the abbreviation “ca.” to indicate that what follows should be read as an approximation.  Usually our preference has been to render this Latin term for “about” or “around” as “approx.” when translating into English.  This can, however,  be awkward, as that may appear too long in tables and other contexts.  Is there an alternative? If we seek an expert opinion,  The New Oxford Style Manual has this to say on the matter:
Circa symbol

“The Latin circa, meaning ‘about’, is used in English mainly with dates and quantities. Set the italicized abbreviation c. close up to any figures following (c.1020, c.£10,400), but spaced from words and letters (c. AD 44). In discursive prose it is usually preferable to use about or some when describing quantities”.

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Person absorbing heat of the sun

Alien immission impacts English

Or: Restoring the efficiency of a lost Latin term

A report by TastyWebDesign.com

Following yet another long and interesting discussion on the term ‘immission‘ in a translator network, we decided to give up (at least for the time being) campaigning for its reintroduction into the English language, although we still think it would be entirely justified, not least based on the fact that the term is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. Anyway, we intend to use ‘environmental impact’ henceforth, although we reserve the right to use other solutions (e.g. ‘exposure’ or indeed the apparently frowned-upon term itself), depending on the context or situation.

Photovoltaic solar panel array installed in field

Why is this word so worth using? The term concisely describes the process that necessarily occurs in a technical context when we translate the eventual destination, absorption, or impact of an emission.  When a source emits an emission, and after its transmission, a recipient receives an immission, for example sound, light or heat.  As an emission is something sent out, so an immission is something sent in. Read more

manual coffee grinder and coffee beans

Ersatzkaffee – can drinking substitutes win the game?

A report by TastyWebDesign.com

With coffee being so wildly popular these days, is a coffee substitute a winner or a loser? Anyone who has watched enough World Cup matches has seen a substitute come on the field and decide the match with fresh energy, or else disappoint when they can’t do what the missing star player did. A coffee bean isn’t a football so why even talk of substitutes, why not some other better word? And why do people drink coffee anyway?

Why coffee?

comic book zap text

The Stimulant Effect

People enjoy the rich roasted taste of coffee and many cherish the stimulating effect of the caffeine it contains, a drug which zaps away fatigue and sleepiness and speeds things up. Regular coffee drinking can lead to caffeine addiction, meaning without this stimulant at regular intervals the coffee lover feels tired, with poor concentration, irritability, and even headaches – which are quickly cured by a fresh cup.  Coffee breaks become not just a pleasurable social ritual but a required recharge, part of the grind of daily life.  So why would anyone want or need to drink something else instead?  To replace a drink or a drug, or both?  Or just to respond to the endless cycle of headlines about coffee being good or bad for you? Read more

The Madhouse Effect book jacket

The Madhouse Effect out now – the book Trump doesn’t want you to read

Madhouse Effect book jacketFollowing US President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in the midst of a heatwave and the ball-kicking fest of the World Cup, the laughter and tears are flowing with the timely release of the revised 2018 edition of The Madhouse Effect. This work, a lively synthesis of science and cartoons, rips the mask off the climate change deniers, having been updated with new content for the era of the Trump regime.

The Madhouse Effect: How climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics, and driving us crazy features an outstandingly authoritative text by award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and contains cartoons by prize-winning USA political cartoonist Tom Toles. It is ideally suited for both the layman and general reader struggling to see through the haze of misinformation on these vital issues. In an article titled Burning Down The House, the Washington Monthly named this “The book Donald Trump does not want you to read.”
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Kings of Kallstadt

Klimaknallkopf of Kallstadt

In einem 2016 von der Deutschen Welle veröffentlichten Artikel unter der Überschrift Donald Trump’s German roots hieß es: The ancestors of the “anti-immigrant” crusader Donald Trump come from a small village in western Germany. The documentary film “Kings of Kallstadt” explores the modest roots of the family’s real estate empire.

Kings of Kallstadt

Quelle: Welt, Foto: Projekt Gold / Barnsteiner Film

In einem Welt-Artikel vom August 2015 stand zu lesen, dass man dem “schrillen Milliardär” in Kallstadt, dem Heimatdorf von Trumps Großeltern, auch nach seinen umstrittenen Auftritten die Stange hält. Als eine Art ‘Entschuldigung’ für Trumps Auftreten galt: “Er macht halt Brulljes “, und es war durchaus auch von einer Art Bewunderung die Rede: “Der hot was druff “. Read more