I was busy on a little side project on radio playlists when the news broke about the death of Dolores O’Riordan, front singer of The Cranberries. And sure enough, a few hours later I could see The Cranberries starting to pop up in the playlists. Their second album No Need to Argue was one of my favourite CD’s as a teenager, and so I wondered: how many times would they be played?

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At the end of the year, everyone is making lists. And radio stations are no exceptions. Many of our radio stations have a weekly “people’s choice” music chart. Throughout the week, people submit their top 3 recent songs, and every week those votes turn into a music chart. At the end of the year, they collapse all those weekly charts into a larger one covering the entire year.

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It seems that we Belgians just love confusing foreigners… Imagine wanting to take a train to Mons from Ghent but there only is one driving to Bergen. Or driving south with a GPS telling you to follow the direcion of Liège, but for a while you will only see signs to Luik. Mons/Bergen, Liège/Luik, Ypres/Ieper… those names refer to exactly the same city - one of them is the official French name, the other one the official Dutch one.

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What I was wondering: are there still Joke’s born in Belgium? Every time I pass by a colleague named Joke, I wonder. Let me explain: Joke is quite regular Dutch first name for a girl. You pronounce it [yo-ke], like blending ‘yoghurt’ and ‘kebab’ together and put the accent on the ‘yo’. ‘Joke’ is just a diminutive form of Jo, kind of like Jenny, Abby and Debby. No-one who grew up speaking Dutch would bat an eye to hear about someone named Joke, but everyone else on this planet probably would.

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Suzan Baert

Site very much under construction, please bear with me :)

Full-time consumer researcher.
Part-time enthusiastic R student, painter, musician and house renovator.

Principal Researcher

Belgium