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

Urban Word of the Day » longversation

Saturday 14 April 20:42:04 UTC 2012

The quality of a conversation that is both long and rambling, without a fixed purpose and lacking in concision. Generally used in a negative sense. The other day, Julia and I had such a longversation. I thought I could never leave! [Link]

Language Log » Wallaby tool use?

Saturday 14 April 18:52:53 UTC 2012

"Escaped wallaby caught using huge fishing net", BBC News 4/13/2012: A wallaby that was on the loose from a fishery near the boundary between Midlothian and the Scottish Borders has been found. The 2ft Tasmanian wallaby was caught just after midnight using a fishing net after he was spotted feeding on a 40 acre estate. This item was sent in … [Link]

Language Log » Nominee for the Trent Reznor Prize

Saturday 14 April 16:11:52 UTC 2012

Featured in a post by Laura Conaway ("Impossible sentence diagrammed twice", 4/13/2012), this virtuosic effort from Mississippi State Senator Hob Bryan: What we have not done is to pass bill after bill after bill that was obviously unconstitutional just so we could all get on record one more time as casting another vote realizing that what was going to happen … [Link]

languagehat.com » IPSO FACTO.

Saturday 14 April 13:55:47 UTC 2012

I've never watched Doctor Who, though it seems like something I would have enjoyed had I grown up with it; this comment by Ray Girvan (on Mark Liberman's Log post about the show) makes me feel that even more strongly:I particularly liked the running joke in The Fires of Pompeii, where the English of the Doctor and Donna (Catherine Tate) … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Les giboulées de mars

Saturday 14 April 9:47:04 UTC 2012

The other day I discovered that the French equivalent of April Showers is Les giboulées de mars, or ‘March showers’. April showers sound soft and light to me, whereas Les giboulées de mars sound unpleasantly wet. April showers are showers, often heavy, that fall in Spring, especially in March and April, in the northern hemisphere, particularly in the UK and … [Link]

World Wide Words: Updates » New online: Zemblanity

Saturday 14 April 8:02:00 UTC 2012

A modern invention, zemblanity is the opposite of serendipity. [Link]

World Wide Words: Updates » New online: Rozzer

Saturday 14 April 8:01:00 UTC 2012

One of many slang terms for a British policeman, rozzer is weirder than most. [Link]

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