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

Language Log » Red intestines

Wednesday 13 September 20:11:11 UTC 2017

Tweet from Igor Denisov: LOST IN TRANSLATION New park near the Kremlin. Red sausage ( or Red intestinal – 红肠 ) instead of Red Square 红场 Photo credit: Zhou Guangjun — Igor Denisov (@Igor_Denisov) September 13, 2017 красная площадь ("Red Square") Red Square hóng cháng 红肠 ("intestines") — should be Hóng chǎng 红场 ("Red Square") Red to the core! … [Link]

Language Log » Learn from President Learn

Wednesday 13 September 14:01:51 UTC 2017

By itself, the phrase "xuéxí lù shàng 学习路上" means "on the path / way / road" of learning. However, when you see it in large characters at the top of a lavish website devoted to the life and works of President Xi Jinping, you cannot help but think that it also punningly conveys another meaning. Another way to parse the … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » dinner reprise

Wednesday 13 September 10:34:55 UTC 2017

A heady way to say leftovers Mom, I'm sick of leftovers. Don't think of them as leftovers but as a "dinner reprise". [Link]

Language Log » It's in the was

Wednesday 13 September 8:04:06 UTC 2017

The marvellous New Zealand-born opera soprano Kiri Te Kanawa announced that she has now retired from performance. Talking to the BBC about it this morning, she said of her voice: "It's in the was." It's not a foreignism (she's a native speaker of English, not Maori). It was an on-the-fly playful way to say "It's something that should henceforth be … [Link]


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