All Blogs / Academics / Linguistics / New

Get More Specific:

How a copper wire brought me to language, to radio, and into the world. Listen to the “Defining Moments” podcast:

How a copper wire brought me to language, to radio, and into the world. Listen to the “Defining Moments” podcast: How a copper wire brought me to language, to radio, and into the world. Listen to the "Defining...Show More Summary

The OED’s Surf Consultant.

A nice squib by Nick Paumgarten from the New Yorker about Matt Warshaw, “the world’s leading surfing scholar”: Warshaw is the world’s leading surfing scholar, the Linnaeus of the lineup. Over the years, he has assembled a research library, in his home, of hundreds of books, thousands of periodicals, and some three hundred and fifty […]

Why the dead are “late”

Q: Why do people refer to a deceased person as “late”? I googled the question, but found no satisfactory answers. A: To begin at the beginning, the adjective “late” meant “slow,” “sluggish,” “idle,” or “negligent” when it showed up in Old English and other Germanic languages, including Old Norse, Old Icelandic, and Old High German.... ? Read More: Why the dead are “late”

Rifle Receiver

Jim from Traverse City called in a question about firearm terminology. He pointed out that the body of a handgun is called a frame, but in a rifle, it’s called the receiver. Receiver in its general sense goes all the way back to the late 14 th century, when it was established as a receptacle, a repository, something that holds and receives an object. Show More Summary

10 Ways Low Confidence Holds Back Your Language Learning

“I’d love to learn a new language, but I feel really nervous about actually speaking it.” Does this sound like you? Learning a new language - especially when you’re taking the first steps - can be a big struggle. So it’s little wonder that language learners often struggle with feelings of low confidence. Show More Summary

In Honor of the GOP Nominee: What Exactly Is an Assclown?

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Have those creepy clowns been terrorizing your neighborhood this autumn? Kick ‘em in the seat of their oversized, particolored pants with this choice insult: assclown. Show More Summary

Multilingual beach ball warning

I spotted this very impressive warning at Siesta Key beach in Sarasota, Florida yesterday morning: The English at the top is concise and specific, a distinguishing feature that we have observed before, e.g., "French vs. English" (8/2/15). Aside from the sheer multiplicity of languages represented, what struck me most about the different versions is that […]

Why You Should Learn Two New Languages Instead of One

by Louise Taylor It’s not uncommon for school children to be taught two new languages at the same time, in much the same way that they would be taught different sciences at one time. So why, […] The post Why You Should Learn Two New Languages Instead of One appeared first on Languages Around the Globe.

dandelion clock

Grover and I like to play a bit of (BrE) cod-Pictionary, using the cards from a UK edition of Cranium. She's 8 now, and I've been pretty impressed by her ability to communicate in pictures. So recently we were playing and she drew these two things (here kindly re-drawn for your benefit, as I misplaced the original). Show More Summary

New spamference joke

Ethan Weston & Carter Woodiel, "Paper Fully Written By iOS Autocomplete Accepted By Physics Conference", Newsy 10/23/2016: A nonsensical academic paper on nuclear physics written only by iOS autocomplete has been accepted for a scientific conference. Show More Summary

Katexic Clippings.

From the About page: Founded during the high heat of the 2014 Alaskan summer, Katexic Clippings is a (now) weekly email newsletter for bookworms, word nerds and the incurably curious. In each issue: WORK: a concise, compelling work or excerpt WORD(S): a wonderful word or fascinating phrase WEB: a bijou suite of links WATCH/WITNESS: a […]

Erotic phonemes

An unusually large number of people have suggested that I should post about the latest SMBC comic. Since I'm on the other side of the world, with slow and erratic internet, I'll just post the link, and note that (implied pornography aside) it would be good phonetics assignment to replace Zach's letter strings with IPA […]

The history of Trumpian "big league" (now even bigger league!)

Donald Trump, as we have discussed a few times now, is fond of using big league as a post-verbal adjunct, though it's often misheard as bigly. (See: "Bigly," 2/26/16; "The world wants 'bigly'," 5/5/16; "Don't let 'bigly' catch on," 10/18/16.)...Show More Summary

Some visualizations of prosody

This post presents some stuff I did last March — I thought I had blogged about it but apparently I only put it into these lecture notes. It came up in some discussions today in Shanghai, because I thought that maybe similar visualizations might help explore prosodic differences between the speech of English native speakers and […]

Rewarded with Oppugnancy.

I finally reached the back page of the TLS from August 7 of last year (I just resubscribed to the NYRB so I’ll have something to read in 2018), and there was a brief mention of what sounds like a dreadful book about the Bard, prefaced with the following paragraph cobbled together from “words said […]

Bottom’s Dream.

Edwin Turner writes: Arno Schmidt’s 1970 novel Bottom’s Dream is finally available in English translation by John E. Woods. The book has been published by the Dalkey Archive. It is enormous. […] Look, I know that dwelling on a book’s size probably has nothing to do with literary criticism, but Bottom’s Dream poses something of […]

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC