All Blogs / Academics / Linguistics / New

Get More Specific:

20 Resources for Beginners’ German Reading Practice

One of the surest ways to become disillusioned with learning a language is to focus on one resource alone. That’s why I advise language learners not rely too heavily on textbooks and look elsewhere for ways to improve their knowledge. Anyone...Show More Summary

Plantation mentality

Q: After reading your post about the “master” controversy at Yale, I was shocked to be driving by an Ivy League campus in upstate NY and seeing a sign that pointed the way to “Cornell Plantations.” A: It’s interesting that you should write to us about this, since Cornell University is even now reconsidering the... ? Read More: Plantation mentality

George Will discovers the idea of "facts"

The news recently has been full of the debate between George F. Will and Bill O'Reilly. This started because of O'Reilly's book Killing Reagan, whose central premise is an unsuccessful 1981 assassination attempt was in a deeper sense...Show More Summary

Guard rail or guide rail?

Guard rail or guide rail? Guard rail or guide rail? — Grant Barrett (@GrantBarrett) November 13, 2015

Does big data equal big problems?

Researchers are making use of 'big data' more and more these days. Technology makes it so easy! But can it go wrong? Fear not! Andreea Calude is here to give us a heads up on its potential pitfalls.

The Tary-Bary of the Birds.

According to this piece, during restoration work in the Assumption Cathedral of Zvenigorod, archaeologists found centuries’ worth of birds’ nests under the decayed roof: Researchers were surprised when during the decomposition...Show More Summary

7 Illustrated Slang Terms for Money

An Illustrated Tour of Slang Terms for Money The English language is rich in slang expressions for money, and often these terms tell us something interesting about the nation using them. With this in mind, the team at Art Money and Go Compare has created a series of artworks...

Tibetan –> Chinese –> Chinglish

One of my graduate students sent me the following picture (click to embiggen): The English translation of the title is a mess.  Before trying to figure out what the original Tibetan references were, we need first to translate the Chinese more accurately: Règòng Zàng xi?ng ???? ("Regong Tibetan Township") Liùyuè huì ??? ("June [or Sixth […]

Brooklyn Beard.

I’m trying to catch up with last week’s New Yorker before the new one arrives, and in the middle of Nick Paumgarten’s “Life Is Rescues” (a fascinating piece that I recommend, especially if you’re into tales of icy peril) I hit this sentence: “The youngest was twenty-three: Halli, a gentle bear of a man with […]

Linguistics Club

Today's xkcd: Mouseover title: "If that's too easy, you could try joining Tautology Club, which meets on the date of the Tautology Club meeting."


Dan Nosowitz — "How capicola became gabagool: The Italian New Jersey accent, explained", Atlas Obscura 11/5/2015 — explains the backstory of this video clip: Of course, as Nosowitz explains, it's not specifically "New Jersey" — you can hear the same thing in New York City or in South Philly, where pizza might sometimes be [?'bits]. […]

The thing about thing

Q: I’m accustomed to the use of “thing” with a modifier to mean a fad (“X is the next big thing” or “I’m sick of this X thing”), but now I’m seeing it used by itself in that sense (“X is now a thing”). Your thoughts? A: We discussed the history of the word “thing”... ? Read More: The thing about thing


??????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????? […] ???????????25???????????????? is a post from: ???????????????????????

The Argot of Albanian Bazaars.

More synchronicity: in a nice follow-up to my Lake Talk post, here’s Marjola Rukaj’s “The secret languages of the Bazaars“: When the ?aršijas [To make reading easier the 'bchs' version of the word (?aršija) is used in the texts on Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia; in those on Albania, the Albanian spelling (çarshija); whereas for the […]

Spotting Hidden F-Words in Films

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. We’ve looked at swearing in films before, in the obvious sense where it occurs on the audio track. But sometimes films offer visual swears, a few examples of which are presented below. Show More Summary

Nahuatl: How I Learned a Language With Few Native Speakers

Have you ever had the crazy idea of studying a minor language or an endangered language? In 2014 I decided to study Nahuatl, an endangered language from Mexico. When I decided to do this, it seemed like a great idea. But only for a moment… until I realised how much work it was going to be. Show More Summary

Devin, a newly discovered language

Jenny Chu sent me this photo of a simultaneous interpretation device she came across at an event in Shanghai today: Look closely at language #7.  In Chinese it is Déwén ?? (i.e., "Deutsch language", where they lop off the latter part of the native name and replace it with wén ? ("language") — Déwén ?? […]

Ma-Xi –> MaXi

What is the message conveyed by this strange photograph and the unusual writing on it? Source This is actually a very clever, satirical commentary on the recently concluded meeting between Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China (ROC, on Taiwan), and Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China (PRC, on the Mainland), […]

Chinese "No Smoking" sign in Central Park

Zach Hershey sent in this photograph of a sign in Central Park NYC: Zach remarks: While I was in New York this weekend to see the Chinese Art Exhibition at the Met, I took a walk through Central Park and made a curious observation. Of the many regulatory signs that I saw in the park, […]

Lake Talk.

The New England Historical Society features “Nonantum, the New England Town With Its Own Special Language” (based on Erica Noonan’s 2001 Boston Globe story “In Newton, they still speak the language of the lake“): No matter where Nonantum natives go, they can tell someone is from their village when they hear them speak Lake Talk. […]

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC