John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

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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 » FUN.

Saturday 25 February 21:55:21 UTC 2012

I just saw the movie The Artist, and a delightful experience it was. It even started with a movie-within-the-movie called A Russian Affair that shows some written Russian (labels on a piece of electrical equipment). But this is not a movie review; I'm here to quibble about a bit of language usage. In a montage of clippings raving about another … [Link]

Language Log » "No less X"

Saturday 25 February 18:06:00 UTC 2012

Joe Nocera, "A Revolutionary Idea", NYT 2/24/2012: Puritans fled to America in the 1600s because they were being persecuted in England for their hard-edged, Calvinist beliefs, and their rejection of the Anglican Church. Having one’s ears cut off for having deviationist religious beliefs was one of the lesser punishments Puritans suffered; being locked up in the Tower of London, where … [Link]

Language Log » Facts and fables

Saturday 25 February 16:41:59 UTC 2012

In this week's NYT book review section, Jennifer B. McDonald offer a fascinating and well-crafted review of what sounds like an interesting book ("In the Details: ‘The Lifespan of a Fact,’ by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal"): Under consideration in this essay is “The Lifespan of a Fact,” which is less a book than a knock-down, drag-out fight between two … [Link]

World Wide Words: Updates » New online: Odd-shoe boy

Saturday 25 February 10:10:15 UTC 2012

A curious occupational term, this job was once common in the boot and shoe factories of the US. [Link]

World Wide Words: Updates » New online: God willing and the creek don’t rise

Saturday 25 February 10:10:14 UTC 2012

Many people believe that the old expression God willing and the creek don’t rise refers to the Creek Indians. The evidence is against them. [Link]

World Wide Words: Updates » New online: Alamagoozlum

Saturday 25 February 10:10:13 UTC 2012

Originally, alamagoozlum meant maple syrup; now, it's the name of a cocktail. [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » Shmacked

Saturday 25 February 8:25:39 UTC 2012

To be so drunk or so high to the point of not being able to function. "Man I was so shmacked last night I couldn't even say George Washington.""I'm shmacked!" [Link]

Language Log » I think he means it

Saturday 25 February 5:03:40 UTC 2012

Last week, I discussed Senator Rick Santorum's plan to prevent government interference in education by imposing a federal requirement for accreditation of ideological balance in teaching ("A new opportunity for linguists", 2/20/2012). I saw this a major source of new jobs for linguists, though I also worried about the impact on the teaching loads of conservative faculty members, and also … [Link]

Language Log » DARE

Saturday 25 February 0:43:53 UTC 2012

Time to celebrate the appearance of the last volume (5) of the Dictionary of American Regional English! Brief account on my blog, here; more extensive account on DARE's site, here. [Link]


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