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

the world in words » The Chinese Yuan, the US Dollar and the Currency of Language

Tuesday 3 April 19:31:28 UTC 2012

Imagine a time in the not too distant future when global business deals are mainly conducted in Mandarin Chinese. Contracts outlining sales of, say, Brazilian planes to India are written in Mandarin, the payments made in yuan. The websites of the World Trade Organization and the G20 are in Chinese, with options to switch to Spanish, Portuguese and English. That may … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Squeegee

Tuesday 3 April 16:36:37 UTC 2012

The other day I discovered that the thing I clean my windows with is a squeegee – I was familiar with the name, and knew it had something to do with cleaning, but wasn’t sure exactly what a squeegee was. From the sound of the name I guessed that it was a soft, squeezy kind of thing, which doesn’t quite … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » phone-yawn

Tuesday 3 April 7:30:00 UTC 2012

The act of taking out a cell phone from one's pocket or purse, resulting in other people in the vicinity taking out and checking their phones as well. As Harriet pulled her cell from her pocket to check for new text messages, her circle of friends phone-yawned, pulling out and checking their phones too. Not Becky; she lost her phone … [Link]

languagehat.com » DIE OR DICE?

Tuesday 3 April 1:03:37 UTC 2012

Like many English-speakers, I hesitate when faced with the necessity of discussing a single one of those dotted things that usually come in pairs; I say "die," but I feel funny about it. Jonathon at Arrant Pedantry has a nice post on the topic, explaining how the plural -s went from voiceless to voiced but "remained voiceless in dice. Why?"Well, … [Link]

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