marcel barang

A beleaguered bilingual blog – 1

In English, Reading matters on 08/12/2012 at 2:01 pm

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Way back in ’68, I got my Master’s in English Lit with a thesis on the early works of the then trendy Irish American writer JP Donleavy, he of the Ginger and Singular men whose Saddest Summer of Samuel S and Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B must have given me an immoderate love of alliterations. Was it he or was it I who in his manner wrote, in a limerick about a woman smoking, ‘Oh to be that tip | Between her lips’?

This to account for the title of this posting.

Beleaguered I have been these past few weeks by the beastly beatitudes of WordPress, which kindly hosts เรื่องสั้นไทย | thai to english fiction as well as this blog. I chose the beautiful Kubrick theme with that posh pen in the top right corner to accommodate the three columns I needed and WordPress ‘happiness engineers’ patiently taught me how to make it look as good as poss. In the process I taught myself rudiments of html encoding and was happy enough with the result: laying out the Thai and English texts paragraph by paragraph in the cells of a table and fine-tuning them took only half a day every other week.

Some three months ago, however, WordPress unilaterally changed the coding language – from, I reckon, rightly or wrongly, HTML 4.1 to HTML 5, and many bits of code I’d been using became obsolete, resulting in ugliness: no more space between columns, the Thai column squeezed out of legibility, pictures refusing to stay put and other shenanigans.

Before complaining and asking for help from WP happiness engineers, I tried to fix things and wasted much time.

When I did complain last month, I was told the theme had been ‘retired’. I was asked to try another one which they had been trying to peddle to us Kubrick users for some time and which I knew was too narrow to host three columns and didn’t look good anyway. I was stupid enough to comply, only to find I could not go back to Kubrick.

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