or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

O No

This is what happens when you trust your ears and not your eyes, assuming you've ever used your eyes in the first place.

A paragraph from Salon.com's gossip column The Fix:

Just as the royals have arrived here, we've exported our own variety of royalty, Scientologists (or as locals near the U.K. headquarters in Sussex call them, the "sinos"). All the church bigwigs were at a gala at the manor once purchased by L. Ron Hubbard as his world H.Q. to fete Tom Cruise. Cruise (with Katie in tow) was honored with the Diamond Meritorious Award for being the largest donor ever to the cause: He's so far given over $3.5 million to Scientology.

The problem here--you caught it, right?--is that "Sino-" is a prefix that means "Chinese"; it's from the Latin "sinae", probably derived from the Ch'in dynasty, which (obviously) is where we get the word "China".

British tabloid newspapers love to give people mildly demeaning little nicknames formed by taking part of the name and tacking "-o" onto it; Michael Jackson is more or less universally known in Britain as "Jacko" and thence logically "Wacko Jacko", journalists are slangily called "journos", and Scientologists are called "Scienos". Not "sinos". (Unless, I suppose, they're Chinese Scientologists, in which case they'd be Sino-Scienos.)


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