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

languagehat.com » CONFORMATEUR II.

Wednesday 28 March 23:38:47 UTC 2012

Back in 2004 I posted about the bizarre-looking hatmaking device called a conformateur; most of the links are now dead, and they weren't that informative anyway, so I am now linking to Oh Joy! My Conformateur, by hatter Tricia Roush, explaining how she got hold of "something that's been on my 'fantasy hat making' list for a long time- a … [Link]

Language Log » Death by Balzac

Wednesday 28 March 19:00:54 UTC 2012

Last week, I came across what I thought was an artful headline in my local paper (Calgary Herald; 03/21/1012): Police looking into death by Balzac What reader wouldn't be lured into dipping further into this article, into wondering what human tragedy or comedy awaits in the finer print? Are we to be treated to the investigation of a lurid, long-unsolved … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Mysterious language and music

Wednesday 28 March 10:23:18 UTC 2012

Here’s a recording sent in by Dave Murrary of Haji Maji, a blog about old 78 records from Asia. Part of the recording with the spoken words: The whole recording: This comes from a record which has a picture of two Buddhist monks and the phrase “sixth Buddhist convention” on the label. According to a native Burmese speaker Dave asked, … [Link]

Language Log » Squabble

Wednesday 28 March 9:16:17 UTC 2012

Recently, a disagreement about the syntactic analysis of certain aspects of an obscure language has achieved an unusual degree of public interest: Tom Bartlett, "Angry words", The Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/20/2012; Jenny Schuessler, "How do you say 'disagreement' in Pirahã?", NYT, 3/21/2012; etc. Of course, as those articles explain, this is all part of a broader controversy about the … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » glamping

Wednesday 28 March 7:30:00 UTC 2012

Glamorous camping. Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed. No stinky sleeping bags on the hard ground and freeze dried food for me. If its not a Glamping trip, count me out. [Link]

Language Log » Boko Haram and Peggy burrito

Wednesday 28 March 4:38:26 UTC 2012

From California, Julie Wei sends me "tidbits: curious words": 1. "Boko Haram" — the name of a radical Islamist group in Nigeria that is burning schools, preventing children from getting an education. The name is indeed curious. According to the New York Times (March 26, page 1 and page 9, "Wielding Fire, Islamists Target Nigeria Schools"), in Hausa "Boko" means … [Link]

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