John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

John Gordon Ross header image 3

Language Stuff

Almost everyone uses language, so inevitably almost everyone thinks they are an expert in it. I don’t consider myself an expert, though most of my work requires at least language competence and sometimes actual skill, but I do follow the blogs featured on this feeds page.

(If you are wondering where the translation-related feeds have all gone, I have put them on their own page.)

Most of the blogs represented here are in English, most of the time, but don’t be surprised to find other languages used. Go with the flow – I occasionally find myself pleasantly surprised at how much I can grasp in languages I have never seen before.

Language On the Net

languagehat.com

Condo.

Posted 16 hours ago

No, not the English word, short for condominium, but the Latin verb: condō, condere, condidī, conditum. Many people are familiar with it from the phrase ab urbe condita ‘from the founding of the city’ (the founding of Rome is traditionally dated to 753 BCE), and I (a diligent but long-lapsed Latin student) thought of it as meaning ‘to found.’ Then, … [Link]

The Word ronce.

Posted 41 hours ago

Back in 2009 I posted about a good translation (by Emily Grosholz) of Yves Bonnefoy’s poem “Tu me dis que tu aimes le mot ronce,” from his book Ce qui fut sans lumière (translated by John Naughton, with original en face, as In the Shadow’s Light ); just now, perusing wood s lot, I came across Naughton’s translation of a poem … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day

Dusty balls

Posted 24 hours ago

A hood term used to describe when a man has not had sexual intercourse for a prolonged period of time. Guy: Dude I just fucked the hottest bitch last night!Other guy: Aw man that sounds amazing. I haven't banged anybody in months.Guy: Daaaaamn you got dusty balls boy! [Link]

deadbeat kids

Posted 2 days ago

Having children that just aren't worth supporting "Let the state take care of them, they're deadbeat kids" [Link]

Language Log

They love him

Posted 6 hours ago

Amazing: [Link]

The mind is its own place

Posted 7 hours ago

The Republican presidential campaign is getting apocalyptic. The Bloomberg News headline on a story by Ben Brody — "Boehner Uncorks on ‘Lucifer’ Cruz, Says He Wouldn’t Back Him in Fall" — led reader A.R. to wonder whether that "fall" is merely the November election, or rather the fall of Him the Almighty Power Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie With … [Link]

Wordorigins.org

anaconda

Posted 6 days ago

The name of the giant constrictor snake of South America is most likely from the Sinhalese henakaňdayā, a Sri Lankan name for a whip snake (from hena = lightning + kaňda = stem). How the name shifted from a snake in South Asia to one in South America is the story of a series of errors and misappellations. [Link]

poutine, pudding

Posted 16 days ago

Poutine is a contender for the Canadian national dish, although whether or not it can unseat Kraft Dinner (i.e., Kraft macaroni and cheese) in overall popularity is questionable. But the origins of both the dish and its name are shrouded in mystery, and its pedigree is not that long. [Link]

Omniglot blog

Will you be pernoctating?

Posted 15 hours ago

If someone asked you if you were planning to pernoctate, would you know what they meant? This is a word I came across today in the blog A Linguist Abroad in a post about ‘Interesting’ Cambridge rules. It appears in the sentence: A Tutor (the pernoctating Tutor) is on duty every night and may stop a gathering forthwith if it … [Link]

Caledonian Antisyzygy

Posted 43 hours ago

In the Alexander McCall-Smith novel I just finished reading, The Revolving Door of Life, the concept of antisyzygy, and particularly Caledonian antisyzygy, comes up. I had to look it up as I didn’t know what it meant or how to pronounce it. The term Caledonian Antisyzygy refers to the “idea of dueling polarities within one entity”, which apparently typical for … [Link]

You Don't Say

Moving on

Posted 4 years ago

Today You Don’t Say relocates to a new Web address and new software. You will be able to find it at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/la~ where … [Link]

A spell of rough weather

Posted 4 years ago

There was a mild dustup today on the Internet over, of all things, spelling.The rhubarb started when Anne Trubek flung down the gauntlet with a suggestion in Wi … [Link]

World Wide Words: Updates

New online: Lie Doggo

Posted 4 weeks ago

Why should hiding quietly be called 'lying doggo'? [Link]

New online: Fewmet

Posted 4 weeks ago

'Fewmet' is an ancient British hunting term, now often associated with dragons. [Link]

Talk Wordy to Me

That time I got accused of making a bomb in school but did not get fucking arrested

Posted 7 months ago

OK so by now you have probably heard about the 14-year-old in Irving, Texas, who was arrested cause he is a fucking genius who built a goddamn clock out of circuit boards and wanted his teachers to be proud of him but instead they were racist at him and he got hauled off by the fucking cops WHO ALSO THINK … [Link]

Asking for a bit more help for Goofus

Posted 14 months ago

2015-03-08 13.09.31 UPDATE: We’ve raised $1,560 this week. From Goofus, Lauren, and I, thank you so much for all of your help, you’ve gotten us out of the woods on this. I’ve taken down the Paypal donate button. Hey everyone. So earlier this year, we raised some money to help pay for some of the medical costs of getting two kitty sisters … [Link]

the world in words

A bilingual seal of approval for high school graduates

Posted 17 months ago

Peter Kuskie and Maria Regalado are students at Hillsboro High in Oregon and are on track to receive a new bilingual seal on their diplomas. (Photo: Monica Campbell) Read this post from Monica Campbell. Or listen to the podcast above. Let’s take a trip back to September 1995, when Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole was talking about education on the campaign … [Link]

A Soviet-era storytelling game trains you to bluff, lie and sometimes tell the truth

Posted 17 months ago

A tense moment during a game of “Mafia” in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of the English Mafia Club of Kiev) Read this post from Alina Simone. Or listen to the podcast above. The storytelling parlor game “Mafia” crosses borders, transcends culture and bridges the language divide in ways you’d never expect. There are no game boards or joysticks involved in Mafia … [Link]

Archive

30 Apr 2016  29 Apr 2016  28 Apr 2016  27 Apr 2016  26 Apr 2016  25 Apr 2016  24 Apr 2016  23 Apr 2016  22 Apr 2016  21 Apr 2016  20 Apr 2016  19 Apr 2016  18 Apr 2016  17 Apr 2016  16 Apr 2016  15 Apr 2016  14 Apr 2016  13 Apr 2016  12 Apr 2016  11 Apr 2016  10 Apr 2016  09 Apr 2016  08 Apr 2016  07 Apr 2016  06 Apr 2016  05 Apr 2016  04 Apr 2016  03 Apr 2016  02 Apr 2016  01 Apr 2016  31 Mar 2016  30 Mar 2016  

No Comments

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.