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
Frequent commenter Paul sent me a link to this review by Elli Fischer and Shai Secunda of what sounds like a fascinating Israeli movie, Footnote. An excerpt:Sitting in the audience is Scholnik's father, Professor Eliezer Scholnik (perfectly played by Shlomo Bar-Aba), an excruciatingly pedantic and methodical scholar on the faculty of the same university Talmud department as his son, though … [Link]
Stephen Mouritsen, "Hard Cases and Hard Data: Assessing Corpus Linguistics as an Empirical Path to Plain Meaning", Columbia Science & Technology Law Review, 2/25/2012: The Plain Meaning Rule is often assailed on the grounds that it is unprincipled—that it substitutes for careful analysis an interpreter’s ad hoc and impressionistic intuition about the meaning of legal texts. But what if judges … [Link]
Christopher Shea, "No Safe Harbor From Judge Posner’s Linguistic Googling", Wall Street Journal 3/1/2012: From March 2006 to October 2006, an Illinois woman named Deanna Costello let her boyfriend live with her — a man she knew was in the country illegally. The boyfriend was eventually convicted on drug charges, and Costello was convicted of “harboring” an illegal immigrant. In … [Link]
The Oxford English Dictionary has 368 words with first citations from 1956. In that year, pencil-necked geeks working in computer science came up with both microcomputers and Fortran, while their counterparts in materials science invented Lexan and Scotchgard; comitology took paper-pushing to new heights; the glitterati of New York, sporting Tony Curtises, could accept their Obies; and Tylenol started to … [Link]
Sleep-walkers are better known than their talkative equivalents somniloquents. [Link]
Why is it that, when you intrude on a couple who want to be alone, you are said to be playing gooseberry. [Link]
A nice way to tell someone that their incessant display of affection for their dog or cat is causing you embarrassment as one who is forced to watch such display You and that dog have been slobbering on each other for 10 minutes. Get a kennel! [Link]
Yesterday I went to the Beijing Public Security Bureau (Gōng'ān jú 公安局) to renew my visa. While waiting in the main hall for my number to be called, I had ample time to walk around and familiarize myself with the operations there. One thing in particular piqued my curiosity. Namely, I saw four gray, metal cabinets full of hundreds of … [Link]
Asya Pereltsvaig of Languages Of The World has a post called "Au revoir, mademoiselle!" that starts with the French government's announcement that the word mademoiselle would no longer be used in official documents but quickly goes in a startling direction:Surnames in Lithuanian end differently depending on whether its a mans surname, a married womans or an unmarried womans. Mens surnames … [Link]
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