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

Omniglot blog » Orkar du?

Thursday 21 September 21:53:00 UTC 2017

A useful Swedish expression I learnt recently is Orkar du?, which can mean “Do you have the energy?”, “Can you be bothered?” or similar. It doesn’t mean “Are you a killer whale (orca)?”, as I thought it did when I first heard it. Orkar is the present tense of orka [ˈɔrˌka], which means to manage, to be able to, to … [Link]

Language Log » Utterly lost in translation

Thursday 21 September 19:37:47 UTC 2017

During a search for something else, I happened upon this page at the Bible Study Tools site. It provides a nice reminder (for the two or three people out there who might still need it) of the fact that it's dangerous to trust websites, in linguistic matters or in anything else. As the screenshot shows, it purports to show Psalm … [Link]

Language Log » Namibia, Nambia, whatever

Thursday 21 September 17:05:18 UTC 2017

It's hard to keep all those African countries straight, as President Trump demonstrated in a speech to African leaders at the U.N.: Your browser does not support the audio element. Your browser does not support the audio element. Mr. Trump continues to create jobs in broadcast comedy, even for workers normally employed in other industries: Of course this speech error … [Link]

languagehat.com » The Split.

Thursday 21 September 13:33:32 UTC 2017

Linguist Matthew Scarborough reports on a conference at the University of Copenhagen called The Split: Reconstructing Early Indo-European Language and Culture. He has a paragraph on most of the presentations, and they tempt me to wish I’d stayed in the field: “The Hittite verbal system and the Indo-Hittite Hypothesis,” “The Old Hittite ‘ninth case’ in areal and genetic perspective,” the … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » lap error

Thursday 21 September 7:08:20 UTC 2017

When your receiving a lap dance from one persons or two , and they release bodily fluid on your legs. Typically common in places like concerts, strip clubs, and house party's. Dude, last night with Jessica she made a lap error! [Link]

languagehat.com » Getting the Knife.

Thursday 21 September 0:02:24 UTC 2017

Wyatt Mason’s NYRB review of a number of translations of Pierre Michon (an author with whom I was unfamiliar) is an interesting read (as is pretty much everything Mason writes); Michon doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, but I love the anecdote that introduces the review. Mason begins: “When I was twenty and studying French literature in Paris, I … [Link]

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