|Filed Under:||Academics / Linguistics|
|Posts on Regator:||192|
|Posts / Week:||1|
|Archived Since:||May 25, 2010|
James McElvenny writes… The title of this post is probably a bit misleading. This is not an anti-science rant as such. My title is simply intended to evoke Beware of frauds bearing science, a recent post from Aidan Wilson here on this blog that could considered an example of the ‘Respect mah authoritah!’ genre of [...]
Dean Frenkel has been spruiking a new book in which he claims to have all the answers about the evolution of language. Does he? Aidan Wilson investigates.
Ingrid Piller writes: Recently, I watched a TV documentary about the proliferation of Nomura jellyfish in Japanese coastal waters. It was a shocking tale of the devastating environmental, economic, social and human impact of overfishing, global warming and marine pollution. The reason I’m blogging about the show as a sociolinguist, though, has nothing to do with [...]
Yesterday a reader wrote: I was just too intrigued by the claim in Rundle’s recent column that “Zhongguo renmin zhan qilai le” could mean “anything from “the Chinese people are infected by skin disease” to “the Chinese people moisten a female horse” — could you get your resident Chinese speaker to type those alternate versions [...]
Canberra this morning was a little smoky, with a chemical fire in the northern suburb of Mitchell. Emergency Services sent out emergency messages to a number of suburbs, urging people to stay indoors to avoid toxic smoke. A couple of...Show More Summary
Lauren Gawne unpacks the criticism of Julia Gillard's use of language and finds that it's all just hot air.
There’s been some recent discussion on a linguist mailing list about how to fill out an eTax form. Specifically, which profession to choose from the drop-down menu. One individual has written: Year after year I am annoyed by the fact that I don’t know what a linguist is to make of the drop-down menu in [...]
Ingrid Piller writes: Corporate double-speak is plummeting to ever lower depths and is insinuating itself into every aspect of our lives. Many see through this sustained assault on our collective intelligence, no doubt. Mike Carlton,...Show More Summary
Tom Honeyman and Piers Kelly write: Yesterday’s post concerned changes over time in the meanings of ‘terrorist’. The gist was that ‘terrorist’ has come to be synonymous with Islamism, particularly in the media — up until the 1980s, it appears, ‘terrorist’ activities were mostly domestic, territorial and non-Islamist. The shift in perception is well illustrated [...]
There has been much recent criticism of the analysis of the Norway massacre, particularly of the premature reporting of the atrocity as an Islamist terrorist attack. Many of these same analysts switched to psychological explanations after the right-wing political motives of the killer — anti-Islamism amongst them — were well established. Discussion of the commentary [...]
Australia’s banana famine – which has pushed prices to over $17 per kg in some parts – is the consequence of a year’s harvest lost to extreme weather. While we live out our bleak bananaless days, we can take little comfort from the fact that environmental pressures will continue to threaten banana crops, and not [...]
Last week on a plane between Sydney and Melbourne, I met a bloke who was heading home from a conference about refugee policy, hosted by the Refugee Council of Australia and the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees regional office Canberra. He works for Hotham Mission’s Asylum Seeker Project, which is doing some excellent work in [...]
On Monday, Andrew Crook had an article in Crikey which included this sentence: Both the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia are listed as “session supporters” of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ annual gabfest, kicking off at the end of the month at Perth’s salubrious Burswood Casino. The following day, the Comments, Corrections etc section carried [...]
I love this letter sent to Crikey yesterday (for those who came in late, see here): The letter is signed by one Brad Stactun, an anagram of ‘Bastard Cunt’. Can anyone decipher the Latin in the crest? It maybe nonsense but we welcome all your most creative translations.
Channel Nine’s Today program recently reported on the Queen’s landmark visit to Ireland during which the Queen had given a speech at a state dinner. (Yes, those morning shows still have news content!). She opened her speech in Irish, saying “A Uachtarain agus a chairde” (President and friends), a gesture that surprised the Irish president [...]
Ted Baillieu wasted no time in dragging Victoria back to the 1950s; increasing public funding for non-government schools at the direct expense of government schools, vetoing a Yarra City Council’s decision to set up a safe injecting room in Richmond, preferring instead to harass drug addicts with a higher police presence, and telling his caucus [...]
This post will obviously contain language that may offend. So stop now if you’re a prude. Aidan Wilson writes: In Melbourne on Saturday, more than 2000 women and men gathered for a protest called slutwalk. The immediate catalyst for the march was the indiscretion of a Toronto police officer who was giving a routine safety [...]
Thanks all for testing the smut filter and sending in your dirty foreign number plates — see the comments on the previous post. Mel Mistica has discovered that kiki is not the only Tagalog word that sets off alarms at the RTA. You can’t have bobo (‘dumb head’, ‘retard’) or butu (‘dick’) but it does [...]
An extraordinary story appeared yesterday morning concerning a minor dispute between the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, and the owner of the personalised numberplate ‘Kiki’. Kirsten Perry, whose nickname is ‘Kiki’, was required to show ‘just cause’ for keeping her beloved plates on account of the fact that the word is apparently used to describe “part [...]