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A usage to diary for?

Q: Is “diaried” the past tense of the verb “diary”? Example: “I diaried a notation this morning that Ms. Heard did not show up for her Aug. 12th appointment.” A: If “diary” is used as a verb, then “diaried” would be the expected past-tense form. But there’s not a trace of the usage in standard... ? Read More: A usage to diary for?

Whence the Sabra Accent?

A reader writes: This is a question I’ve been wondering about for a long time – where did the modern Hebrew pronunciation come from? From what I know, when Hebrew was revived by the Haskalah and the Zionists, they chose a “Sephardic” pronunciation – but it still doesn’t explain in my mind the accent. What […]

French for Kids: 10 Helpful Online Resources

You can learn a new language at any age. You don’t need to be a toddler, or a kindergartener, or some other “magic age”, to become fluent in more than one language. But there are still plenty of reasons to start your children on theShow More Summary

BAHfest: Linguistics under-represented?

Upcoming editions of the Festival of Bad ad Hoc Hypotheses will take place in San Francisco, Seattle, and London. If you're not sure what these are like, here's a winning entry from BahFest West 2014: I haven't been able to find complete programs for the 2013 and 2014 events. But based on the featured presentations, it […]

Yogi Berra Turned Linguistic Vice Into Virtue With His Cockeyed Tautologies

With the passing of the great Yogi Berra come the inevitable tributes to his famously cockeyed gift for language. Everyone has been sharing their favorite Yogi-ism: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” “It’s déjà vu all over...Show More Summary

Why We Be Loving the “Habitual Be”

Who be eating cookies? That’s the question that the University of Maryland at Baltimore’s Janice Jackson asked children in a now-famous study on “the habitual be.” Have you heard of this creature? Though it sounds like the yellow jacket perpetually hard at work on your hydrangea, it is not. Show More Summary

Listen to Russian: 50+ Incredible Russian Listening Resources

Due to popular demand, we’ll continue to expand on languages we share resources for, here on fluentin3months. Today, I’ve invited native speaker Anna Breslavskaya to help us dive in. Let’s see what she came up with: ?????? ????! Hello everyone! It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of listening when learning a foreign language. Show More Summary

English transcription quiz

Can you understand this variety of English? Your browser does not support the audio element. How about this clip? Your browser does not support the audio element. Or this? Your browser does not support the audio element. For the answers, look beyond… The first clip says Deyntely dyeted with dyvers dylycate spyce, Tyl Euphrates, that […]

When CARLY is not Carly

Rebecca Ballhaus, "CARLY, not Carly, Made This Popular Carly Fiorina Video", WSJ 9/14/2015: A new video in which Carly Fiorina embraces her age and her gender has drawn wide attention, and was praised by a prominent blogger as one of the best spots of the 2016 race so far. But in a wrinkle fitting this modern campaign age, […]

"Let the big dog eat"

Steve Benen, "Jeb Bush’s economic plan: ‘Let the big dog eat’", MSNBC 9/11/2015: Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush unveiled his tax-cut plan this week, and when making the pitch to voters, the former governor has said it’s time “to let the big dog eat.” It’s a phrase Bush is apparently quite fond of.   He […]

The growing expletive deficit at the White House

Obama, gleefully tossing remaining fucks out of window. — Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) September 7, 2015 @TimFullerton I will give money especially for that wing. Much prefer it to the "changing the tone" alcove. — Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) September 7, 2015 If the expression is obscure to you, see: "The number of fucks […]

Exhausted and Fired from my Dream Job, I Uncovered the Secret to Language Learning

In-country immersion isn’t always the answer to learning another language. I learned this lesson the hard way six months into my stay in Spain, with barely any Spanish to show for it before I changed my approach. Nowadays, I generally recommend people get virtual immersion and learn a language online. Show More Summary

25 Free Online Spanish Language Lessons

Learning how to speak Spanish? It can be tricky to find high quality online lessons that don’t cost a fortune. You want to learn Spanish, and you’re willing to put in the time, but where can you go to learn? With this question in mind,...Show More Summary

Spotlighting Australia’s languages: Anindilyakwa

We Australians don't know much about the languages spoken in our own country - so Fully Sic is here to help! Over the coming months, we'll be featuring a series of posts about languages spoken around the country. Today, James Bednall tells us about Anindilyakwa.

Mind the gap

Our previous post in the Chinglish Annals was "Mind your head " (8/28/15).  As promised, in this post we turn to the other extremity of the body. The following sign is displayed on vessels of the Shanghai Ferry service: Zhùyì g?od? kòngdàng ?????? ("note the level / height of the gap") More often, however, we […]

Discrimination against Arabic in Algeria?

Attention conservation notice: The story below is probably being promoted as a distraction, to keep Algerians talking about language instead of about what happens when a succession crisis combines with a fall in oil prices, in a state almost entirely dependent on oil revenue. Show More Summary

French Songs to Help You Learn French Faster

French is a beautiful language, no doubt about it. But wrapping your head around the liaisons or getting stuck in grammar can make learning French seem like an impossible challenge. Truth is, French is actually not that hard to learn, with the right approach. Show More Summary

Learn Spanish: 30+ Resources for Spanish Reading Practice (Beginner to Intermediate)

With Spanish as your target language, you know how important it is to learn lots of Spanish words and pick up basic grammar. One of the best ways (besides speaking) to learn Spanish words and grammar is to read Spanish. The problem? Textbooks are too basic (or too boring!), while novels are difficult for beginners. Show More Summary

Devilishly difficult "dialect"

Are some languages innately more difficult than others?  In "Difficult languages" (1/2/10), Bill Poser addressed this question from various angles.  I've heard it said that Georgian is incredibly difficult because it possesses an "impossible"...Show More Summary

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