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LOTEs in the Election: your guide to linguistically-talented candidates (2016 edition)

It's election time again! But where have all the LOTE-speaking candidates gone? And why are they hiding? Allie Severin takes a look at the linguistic talents of this year's candidates for the Federal Election. The post LOTEs in the Election: your guide to linguistically-talented candidates (2016 edition) appeared first on Fully (sic).

Private probably

The following two images come from Graham and Kathleen's video diary of a trip to the Daitoku-ji temple complex in Kyoto. The two images occur at 8:21 and 8:29 in the video. Kutsu no machigai ni go-chuui kudasai!! ?????????????? "Be careful not to take the wrong shoes" Kasa wa kasatate ni irete kudasai. Innai shiyoo kinshi ?????????????? ??????? "Please […]

Britannia waives the rules

"'Britannia waives the rules': The EU Brexit in quotes", BBC News 6/28/2016: Martina Anderson, MEP for Irish republican party Sinn Fein Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the EU. The vote could mean major changes to security on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. "If English votes drag us out of the EU […]

Meet some of the world’s most colorful idioms

"Cowness hasn't gone, buffaloness intervened"... and other idioms from around the world, chosen and explained by 47 different TED Translators and illustrated by Masahito Leo Takeuchi.

hokey-cokey, hokey-pokey

Thursday's British referendum on EU membership (let's not talk about the result) has given American readers cause to wonder about the hokey-cokey (thanks for pointing this out, Emma). Americans know the song-dance as the hokey-pokey....Show More Summary

Donald Trump is Really Maybe Dependent on This Verbal Cartwheel   

Donald Trump is not a master of oratory. Within speeches, he meanders. From speech to speech, he repeats himself. Nobody cares. The point of his performances is that you can see him thinking, acting, in real time. You can see the struggle...Show More Summary

It’s Time We Got a Handle on Circle Jerks

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. Today we’re going to answer the question “What the fuck is a circle jerk?” so you don’t end up like Melissa Rauch’s parents. To begin with, what’s the difference between a circle jerk and a clusterfuck? That’s a reasonable enough question. Show More Summary

Pronouncing Brexit

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight recently noted that "Brexit sounds like a shitty granola bar you buy at the airport": He also presented a suitably British version of the EU's "Ode to Joy" anthem: But what most interested me about the segment was a clip of various American broadcasters pronouncing Brexit uniformly as ['br?g.z?t]: […]

Gertrude Trump

For nearly a year, I've been describing aspects of Donald Trump's rhetorical style — see e.g. "Trump's eloquence" (8/5/2015), "More Flesch-Kincaid grade-level nonsense" (10/23/2015), "Donald Trump's repetitive rhetoric" (12/5/2015),Show More Summary

the c-word and gendering mansplaining

In 2011, Douglas Bigham asked me if I'd write a piece about "the c-word" for the Popular Linguistics website, which he was trying to get started at the time. He observed:It seems to me that " c--- " is less gendered in the UK, but can only be directed at a woman in the US. Show More Summary

German Games and Exercises: 8 Fun & Simple Ways to Practise Your German Skills

A big mistake new language learners make is sticking to one method of study. You may feel you need to go out and buy the most expensive textbook or online course and focus your attention only on that. Restrict yourself to one learning method, and you run the risk of getting bored. Show More Summary

Book week: Word Drops; But can I start...

A nice thing about having a popular blog is that people send you free stuff. In my case, stuff means 'books'. Some have been sent with no warning (and gratefully received), some come with a query "would you like to receive this and maybe write about it?" and I say "yes, I'd be happy to receive it". Show More Summary

“I Done Handcuffed Lightning”: The Exuberant Spoken-Word Poetry of Muhammad Ali    

Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at 74, inspired glorious prose from a murderer’s row of marquee writers: Norman Mailer, Robert Lipsyte, and David Remnick, not to mention a generation of hip-hop artists. “He had been a splendidly plumed bird who wrote on the wind a singular kind of poetry of the body,” rhapsodized sports journalist Mark Kram in 1975. Show More Summary

Surfer-inflected official Chinese Twitter talk

Emily Rauhala has an entertaining, enlightening article about a startlingly improbable new kind of PRC officialese: "‘Ever been to Tibet bro?’ A nationalistic Chinese Twitter account goes rogue" (WP, 6/1/16) The article is so well written that I wouldn't want to try to steal Rauhala's thunder, so I will just quote the first part, and […]

The Hollywood Studio Proudly Named for an Arabic Swear Word

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. This is the story of a bygone Hollywood recording studio whose name was an acronym for a sweary Arabic-Yiddish (and also maybe Turkish) epithet. I learned...Show More Summary

June 4, 198brew

A tweet from Cherie Chan: Man arrested for commemorating #June4th1989, accused of naming his alcohol BaJiuLiuSi (8964) — Cherie Chan ??? (@cheriechancy) May 29, 2016 The label says: B? ji? liù sì Zh?ngguó B?ij?ng y?ng bù wàngjì y?ng bù fàngqì 27 nián jiàocáng ???? ???? ???? ???? 27??? eight brew six four China, […]

Triple topolectal reprimand

One of the most annoying things about being in China is that people will cut in front of you in lines when you're waiting for a bus, to buy a train ticket, or whatever. If you wish to achieve your aim, sooner or later you learn that you have to take defensive / offensive measures […]

Singlish: alive and well

We've mentioned that special brand of Singaporean English on Language Log from time to time, most recently just a few days ago: "New Singaporean and Hong Kong terms in the OED" (5/12/16) So what is it, really? Singlish is the English-based creole or patois spoken colloquially in Singapore. Although English is the lexifier language, Singlish […]

How I Learned Spanish in 4 Months (Without Leaving India)

India doesn't have a foreign-language culture. This is at odds with the fact that most Indians are trilingual, if not polyglots. The reason for this paradox is simple: India has over 50 languages of its own and most Indians rarely feel...Show More Summary

Two dozen, two thousand, whatever

For Times Insider, David W. Dunlap has an article about some of the more entertaining errors and corrections that have graced the pages of The New York Times: "The Times Regrets the Error. Readers Don't." Among the goofs is this one from a Q&A with Ivana Trump that appeared in the Oct. 15, 2000 New […]

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