What I learned in November

1. When it comes to writing numbers in Spanish, periods and commas switch jobs.

Let me explain. If I was to change forty-nine thousand three hundred twenty-one, I would write 49,321. HOWEVER, in Spanish class, I would swap the period for a comma and write 49.321. Which totally looks like forty-nine and three hundred twenty-one thousandths to my American mind. After the teacher taught this in class, my brain went into shock for a good couple of moments before it reoriented itself. It’s crazy to me that even though numbers are (almost always) the same all over the world, the systems humans build around them are still different. Actually, I really shouldn’t be surprised by that. Fun fact: When you’re writing sentences (not numbers) in Mandarin, the period is a little circle instead of a dot.

2. In the dictionary, the dots between letters show where the word can be divided.

For example, “boulevard” is bou(dot)le(dot)vard. That means when you’re typing on the justified setting and “boulevard” has to be chopped into two parts by a hyphen because it doesn’t fit perfectly, the word can only be split into bou-levard or boule-vard. I always thought that the dots told you what the syllables of the word were but nope, that’s wrong. Do you want to know what’s also completely, utterly wrong? That syllables end after every vowel. It’s a rule of thumb that does not stand the test of words. I have no idea how I got those two misconceptions, but I would really like to know.

3. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are AMAZING.

I already talked about this in my last post, but I finished the series today and it’s so good. SO GOOD, I tell you. And OH MY GOODNESS, Lizzie and Darcy is the best romance of all time. They’re so cute. SO CUTE, I tell you. If you’re not convinced by my gushing yet, here are some more reasons you should watch them. 1: They’re hilarious. HILARIOUS, I tell you. 2: The comment sections below the videos are the funniest and most supportive ones I’ve ever seen. 3: There’s so many gifs and memes. It’s GREAT. 4. It’s well written. Of course it all builds up to Lizzy and Darcy, but it’s SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

Obviously the only way I can talk about these videos is though all caps and superlatives. And a warning: don’t watch these when you have a long to-do-list unless you have self-control muscles of steel (or if you don’t like the videos, to which I ask- HOW??).

4. Urban Outfitter’s Black Friday deal has a serious loophole.

“Buy one get one 50% off” is not nearly as great of a deal as you think it would, especially when compared to American Eagle’s 40% off almost everything. Unless you figure out how to cheat the system like I think I learned how to do today. So an hour ago, my dad and I went to Urban Outfitter’s to return a shirt that was too expensive in retrospect. It was the one I paid full-price for yesterday, and she gave me back all my money. Which means that I got the other shirt for 50% off. Next year, I could possibly buy a bunch of stuff, return the full-price items the next day, and keep the rest of the clothing that I got for 50% off. That’s BETTER than American Eagle’s deal. Um, has Urban Outfitters thought about this? Because this loophole gives people the opportunity to swindle a lot of money from them.

5. Ulysses S. Grant is cool.

Recently I bought the book Grant by Ron Chernow (AKA the same man who wrote Hamilton, which was the inspiration for the musical Alexander Hamilton. Have you heard of it?), and it’s an absolute behemoth of a book. Minus the acknowledgements, notes, bibliography, and index, it’s still nine hundred fifty-nine pages. In total, there’s one thousand seventy-four. And the pages are super thin too. It’s huge. I already have the feeling that I’m actually going to finish this book unlike Ron Chernow’s other book, Washington because I just don’t love Washington that much. On the other hand, I’m only four pages in (not including the introduction), and I’m already a fan of Grant. A couple of specific phrases won me over.
“the soldier so famously reticent that some one quipped he ‘could be silent in several languages'”
“He was agog when Grant dictated at one sitting a nine-thousand-word portrait of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox ‘never pausing, never hesitating for a word, never repeating- and in the written-out copy he made hardly a correction.'”
“Whatever the case, the family agreed on Hiram Ulysses Grant, which translated into the unfortunate initials H.U.G.”

P.S.

Did anything blow your mind this month? And no I did NOT take the gorgeous picture of those trees.

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