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

Wordorigins.org » hurricane

Tuesday 29 August 15:02:00 UTC 2017

As of this writing, hurricane Harvey has devastated much of the Texas Gulf Coast. (Here in College Station, Texas, we’ve avoided the worst of it, although it would be an understatement to say there has been a lot of rain.) But where does the word hurricane come from? It turns out it’s a rather straightforward borrowing. [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » Murphy's Locker room Law

Tuesday 29 August 7:30:00 UTC 2017

When you select a locker in an empty locker room, the next person coming back to their locker will be right next to yours. If they happen to enter at the exact moment you're putting on your underwear, then their locker will be on the opposite side of you and they'll have to shuffle by uncomfortably close. Me: (putting on … [Link]

Language Log » Censored belly, Tibetan tattoo

Tuesday 29 August 2:09:01 UTC 2017

[This is a guest post by Jichang Lulu.] Imagine that a certain phrase could be potentially offensive to the authoritarian rulers of a country you would like to do business in. To promote that business, you intend to display images of certain professionals who work for you. One of these professionals has indelibly inscribed the potentially offensive phrase on their … [Link]

languagehat.com » Google Noto.

Tuesday 29 August 0:22:42 UTC 2017

This report by Patrick Burgoyne is a year old now, but has only recently come to my attention, and I thought I’d see what you people think (I’m sure those of you who know about typefaces have long been familiar with it): In what is being billed as one of the largest typeface projects in human history, Google and Monotype … [Link]

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