Brain freeze

I suffered a moment of brain freeze the other night in class. While reading a dialogue, I hit a word that I couldn’t get past. Which would’ve been normal if it had been a new word, but no, it was a word that I know in masculine, feminine, singular, dual and plural forms. What stopped me? The diacritical marks were missing. Which is the thing (a thing) about Arabic that is giving me trouble. I’m used to Spanish, where accents and tildas are always included, otherwise the meanings can change. Si and sí are not the same thing.

The other thing I’m having a hard time with is the relaxed use of cases. In Russian, if genetive or accusative is appropriate grammatically, you always use it; there was no relaxation of that rule. But in Arabic, you scatter the use. Parts of speech may properly be in the accusative case, but once you’ve established that you understand the grammar rule, you don’t actually use it uniformly. Which is killing me. Once I learn the rule, I want to apply it uniformly.

Weather note: it’s raining. Flood warning. Drove around the harbor this morning — I’ve never seen it so high. The northeast corner of Fleet Street as it turns on the President Street is awash. Only the far left lane isn’t covered by standing water.

Other note: the Broadway Diner on Eastern Avenue, my habitual Sunday morning breakfast place, has recently installed a flat screen TV. Which is always tuned to Fox & Friends, blech. After watching once or twice while eating, I’ve learned to sit with my back to it. Otherwise it causes me to have indigestion.


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