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 » Talk like a pirate

Tuesday 19 September 21:13:44 UTC 2017

It's Talk Like A Pirate Day again, but I've got nothing to add to our past coverage: "R!", 11/03/2003 "Type like a pirate day", 9/9/2004 "R!?", 9/19/2005 "Type like a pirate", 9/18/2006 "Pirate R as I-R-eland", 9/20/2006 "Powarrr law", 9/20/2006 "Post like a pirate", 9/19/2007 "R", 9/9/2008 "Said the Pirate King, Aaarrrf", 9/27/2010 "R R R", 9/19/2012 [Link] » Mashina.

Tuesday 19 September 18:07:54 UTC 2017

I’m reading Veltman’s Воспитанница Сара [The ward Sara], about which I will have much to say when I’ve read further, but I’ve hit a passage whose final word puzzles me, and I thought I’d canvass the assembled multitudes — those, at any rate, familiar with 19th-century Russian. He’s describing a scene outside a Moscow theater on a cold night in … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Universal Human Rights Initiative

Tuesday 19 September 16:47:36 UTC 2017

Universal Human Rights Initiative (UHRI) logo Yesterday I got an email from one of the founders of the Universal Human Rights Initiative (UHRI), a project to record native speakers reading all 500+ translations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). One aim of the project is to make the UDHR more accessible, especially to people who are illiterate or visually impaired. They already recordings of … [Link]

Language Log » Distributed confusion

Tuesday 19 September 11:34:17 UTC 2017

Tweeted yesterday by the magazine Bon Appétit (which is apparently not the same as the restaurant management company): The average millennial spends $96 billion on food. Here's how we break it down — Bon Appétit (@bonappetit) September 18, 2017 Extensive commentary ensued — I don't think that's how averages work. — Rachel Rogers (@Its__Rachel) September 18, 2017 … [Link]

Language Log » Samuel Johnson's birthday

Tuesday 19 September 10:01:26 UTC 2017

One of yesterday's Google Doodles commemorates Samuel Johnson's 308th birthday: A partially-transcribed digital edition can be found here. The lexicographer entry is here (transcribed) and here (page scan): [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » click itch

Tuesday 19 September 8:30:00 UTC 2017

An everlasting feeling of need to start clicking, usually on social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, etc. I can't stop searching Pinterest, I've got a click itch. [Link] » Talking Gibberish.

Tuesday 19 September 0:49:15 UTC 2017

Gaston Dorren asks a very good question in Aeon: Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots? He describes the various attempts to pin down mankind’s original language (“German was a popular candidate, but the 17th-century Swedish scholar Olof Rudbeck favoured his own mother tongue, for a reason that was nothing if not creative: Sweden, he argued, was … [Link]


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