DATE: 5:53:00 PM
This really is my kind of site! I spent a total of one and a half hour there, listening to people from different backgrounds reading three sentences in English. The project directors have drawn conclusions from the samples, figuring out how people pronounce English by altering its laws to agree with the prnunciation guidlines of their native tongues.
I have some criticism for the project though. It really makes a great difference where you have learnt your English. A Persian speaker who has learned to speak English in England, pronounces words quite differently than the one who has learnt English in the US (pronouncing aspirated initial "wh" as opposed to flat, nonaspirate American "w"). Also, speakers of languages such as Tatari tend to prnounce English with a Russian accent, since vast majority of them speak Russian as well as their native tongues (even Tajik's have a Russian accent when speaking English).
Despite all these, the whole study is fascinating, and a worth an applause! Further thanks to technology and the internet as well!:)
DATE: 9:05:00 AM
Somebody asked me about my friend tonight and wanted to know what he does. I told her that my friend is a "software engineer". She then asked me about what I do. I said I have not titles, none other than a "Historian" (grossly inaccurate, I don't write history, I study it and try to find answers to its unknown questions, a history researcher/inspector might be a more accurate, although misleading, title). She said, "So, why did you study this much to become a nobody with no title? An educated bum!".
Despite the fact that this might be true, this comment made me think about one feature of our "modern" society: education for the sake of education is a forgotten value. Today, we live in a truly realistic society, universally expecting us to become somebody and do something. Our education is not there to teach us about what we like to know, but to prepare us for our roles as pieces of a huge machine, collectively titled "the economy".
I seem to have missed this feature of modernity; my education scarcely has an economic "function" and certainly is not economical. I did not study to become a piece, but to be able to stay myself, regardless of my role (or lack thereof) in the economy. So, yes, educated bum seems to fit!