A television program featuring the white-tailed deer referred to them as crepuscular. The word is applied to animals that are active at twilight. It comes from the Latin crepusculum, dusk or twilight. Related words include crepuscleShow More Summary
In Dexter Filkins’ otherwise probing article in the May 13 New Yorker on the problem-from-hell that is Syria, Sen. John McCain fumes over the recent disclosure that all of President Obama’s top advisers—Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Show More Summary
A couple of years ago I posted about Barrie England's blog Real Grammar; it's now gone, along with its host (though it's archived), but England has started a new one, Caxton (after this guy), and imported posts from his older blogs.Show More Summary
Something remarkable happened on Thursday. Sony posted a profit. Not a particularly large one for a company its size, but a profit nonetheless: 43 billion yen in its just-ended fiscal year. It was the first profit for one of Japan’s iconic firms since 2008. Show More Summary
Q: Which is correct, Mother’s Day or Mothers’ Day? I have a customer who wants to use the name as an imprint on promotional gifts for the holiday. I think of Mother’s Day as singular possessive, my mother, but in this case is it correct? A: We also think it’s Mother’s Day, and so do... ? Read More: The singularity of Mother’s Day
The results of the poll from the post, The Sound and the Shapey - The blue shape is a kiki and the green shape is a bouba. 91.8% The results of the poll from the post, The Sound and the Shapey 2 - The shape on the left is a takete, and the shape on the right is a maluma. Show More Summary
A topic which I have raised here and elsewhere a number of times is that of Sinitic topolects and languages (www.sino-platonic.org/complete/spp029_chinese_dialect.pdf), and I have also called attention to the increasing domination of Mandarin in education and the media. Even native speakers within China sometimes don't appreciate [...]
The Top 100 Language Lovers 2013 competition hosted by the bab.la language portal and the Lexiophiles language blog has just started and your blog “Wordmall” ( http://verbmall.blogspot.com/ ) has been nominated. The following votingShow More Summary
I couldn't resist throwing a bit of alliteration into the title for the added wordplay effect. Thank you, Steve, for bringing this comic to my attention. Comic by Jesse Tahirali.
I do enjoy a good heresy and an eloquent denunciation thereof (see, for instance, here or here), so you can imagine my pleasure when I came upon this passage from The Catholic Doctrine of the Church of England: An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles by Thomas Rogers (Cambridge, 1854; p. Show More Summary
This story about "15,000-year-old ?ultraconserved words?" has been making the rounds, and I was afraid I would have to mount my spavined old historical-linguistics horse and do battle. In the comment thread of this post, marie-lucieShow More Summary
Q: Several times recently I’ve come across the usage “offshore of ” in copy I’m editing. It sounds dead wrong to my ears, but I’m having difficulty explaining why to my client. Can you clarify? A: You’re right in thinking that the “of” is unnecessary in a phrase like “offshore of Cuba.” But we... ? Read More: Is “offshore of” off-putting?
This marvelous device is the pride of Hang Fung Industrial Co. Ltd of Shantou / Swatow, Guangdong Province, PRC. Here's a basic introduction to the tool: ===== Useful assistant tool Can helps some arthritis, the waist, the knee, the pregnant woman and also [...]
You've seen the news by now — anywhere from the Log to the local news —that the Dictionary of American Regional English has secured enough funding to keep going. The good news actually trickled in over a couple of weeks but it's all come together now. Show More Summary
A team of scientists claim they have demonstrated a super-family of languages the spans most of Europe, northern Asia and some of the Arctic. But are other linguists convinced by their evidence? Lauren Gawne and the Fully (sic) team look at their findings.
I was on the train today (yes, a train, here in America!) and caught sight of this billboard. It was for a car, maybe a Buick??? Well, I was so riveted by the bizarreness of the morphology that I didn't really register the product (one...Show More Summary
When we left our hero, Baron Brambeus (alter ego of Osip Senkovsky), he was deciding against getting married as a cure for spleen (in the old sense of "melancholy"); now that I've read further, I can tell you that he considers hanging himself, but it's too much trouble (and besides, hanged men look ridiculous), so he goes abroad instead. Show More Summary
A month ago, I posted an "SOS for DARE," detailing the impending financial threat faced by the Dictionary of American Regional English, a national treasure of lexicography. At the time it appeared that the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, where DARE is based, would be unable to provide support to [...]
On the web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in the "Early Edition" section, is an article by Mark Pagel, Quentin D. Atkinson, Andreea S. Calude, and Andrew Meade: "Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia". The authors claim that a set of 23 especially frequent words can [...]
INTERNET memes rarely hit and then provoke counter-reaction to this fast. First, watch this video, whether or not you know the context. Now, the context. Three women had been missing in Cleveland for a decade. The man here, Charles Ramsey, rescued them after hearing a cry for help from a front door in his neighborhood. Show More Summary