What Do The Laundry Symbols Mean?

Sometimes my clothing tags don't have the laundry/care instructions written out -- they just have symbols -- and I am left guessing what they mean. Not anymore! Thankfully, Primer Magazine recently posted a handy chart explaining them all. And now I am sharing it with you. :)

For the entire article about how to care for your clothes correctly (and for a bigger chart!): click here!


Why Does The Pope Change His Name?

The world welcomed Pope Francis as the new leader of the Catholic Church last week. Wonder why he didn't just go by his given name and become Pope Jorge Mario?

Well, the Catholic church does not force the pope to take on a new name with the new role; it's a choice by the pope himself. Several hundred years ago, Pope Marcellus II actually kept his name. The pope chooses a new name as a way of symbolizing his mission as pope. Popes in the past have picked saints names or former popes' names whose priorities and desires are similar to theirs.

Before the 6th Century, popes were known by their given names. The first pope to change his name was Pope John II, originally named Mercurius, in 533 AD. He decided to have his name be associated with his predecessor Pope John I, as opposed to the pagan god Mercury. As leader of the Catholic Church, who could blame him? :)

It's thought that Pope Francis picked his name to be linked to Saint Francis of Assisi, a kind and beloved saint, who was known for renouncing the riches of this world to live in poverty. In Argentina, Pope Francis is said to have lived a humble and simple lifestyle full of compassion for the poor, and that is how he will likely live out his papacy. He wants to be a pope who is close to the people.

Some suggest that he also wanted to evoke the memory of Saint Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary, since Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.

The now-retired Pope Benedict XVI chose that name to link himself with Pope Benedict XV, who led the church with a steady hand through World War I. As it turned out, Pope Benedict XVI was also like his namesake in that they both reigned for about 8 years.

Once Father Jorge & Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis!

[sources: latimes, wikipedia, npr


What's Gonna Happen To English??

I heard the following segment on Michigan Radio this morning. It gives a couple of new examples of the elasticity of the American English language and how popular work usage, not grammatical rules or language origins, tend to shape the meanings of words.

To hear the original podcast: Click Here.
This time on "That's What They Say," host Rina Miller and University of Michigan Professor Anne Curzan discuss the colloquial "gonna" and "wanna," and how these words are not just mispronunciations of their original verbs, but are developing their own distinct meanings.
"If you think about the verb 'go' as a main verb, it has directionality to it. So I could say 'I'm going to swim,' which would imply some kind of direction," explains Curzan. "But if I say 'I'm gonna swim,' that means at some point in the future, I'm gonna swim."
Curzan says that this evolution of the meaning of the verbs is due to the lack of definitive future-tense construction in the English language.
"Interestingly in English, some people would say that we don't have future-tense because we only have one tense marker, which is 'ed' for the past-tense. To talk about the future, we use these little auxiliary verbs like 'will,' which also used to be a main verb. Now 'go' is becoming an auxiliary verb. So this is now one of the ways we talk about the future," Curzan says.
"Wanna," says Curzan, is also developing a new auxiliary verb meaning.
"If you say something like, 'You're gonna wanna take a left up there,' it doesn't probably mean that you actually want to take a left; it's a piece of advice. I'm advising you to take a left. It's developed into an auxiliary that has an advice meaning component to it," says Curzan.
This "grammaticalization" of content words into grammatical constructions is fairly common in today's English.
"We hear this happening with 'hafta,' which is replacing 'must.' Some people say 'suposta,' as in 'I'm suposta do that,' Curzan says.
Guess if you wanna change the language, all you hafta do is popularize new phrases or slang. Maybe one day there won't be any more rules left!