Archive for May, 2007

Chinese Eisteddfod

May 19th, 2007 6 comments

Went and volunteered at the National Chinese Eisteddfod today. It was an interesting experience. Only annoying thing was that about half the people who told me they would come, didn’t. Apparently the organisers didn’t send out emails to the whole list of people I supplied. Grrr……

It made it worse that the organisers put me in the “privileged” main hall, which mainly hosted group recitals. I feel

The performance of some of the non-native speaker competitors were amazingly good! And the main judge, Professor Daniel Kane, spoke perfect Mandarin. Much better than most Chinese people I know!

It was disappointing, though, that none of the Cantonese native speaker contestants chose to perform classical poetry. They all concentrated on “easy” pieces, where the emotion was more directly manifest, and thus easier to perform. This was a pity because Cantonese is much closer to Middle Chinese in terms of rhythm and tone than Mandarin, and so classical poetry sounds better performed in Cantonese.

Categories: Events Tags:

Esquires, anyone?

May 15th, 2007 No comments

Supreme Court procession, by Simon Fieldhouse 

 I’d thought that Esq. was the same as Mr., but it turns out it (technically) isn’t. According to, esquires are the lowest title of dignity above gentlemen.

So are you an esquire? You are, if…

  • You are the oldest son/grandson etc of a knight, or the son/grandson etc of a peer;
  • You are a judge;
  • You are a sheriff, JP, QC, or just a barrister;
  • You have a degree from Cambridge or Oxford;
  • You have a bachelor’s degree in Law, Divinity, or Medicine;
  • You are a high ranking military officer, or
  • The Queen calls you an esquire.

This is the (complicated) British usage. In American usage, if you are a lawyer, you are an esquire. So, who’s an esquire?

Categories: Law, Random facts Tags: