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 » Obscene license plate

Friday 29 September 15:16:30 UTC 2017

License plate of a car in Beijing: Source of photo: "Chinese driver arrested for doctoring number plate to spell out obscene phrase: Motorist added Latin characters to fake plate to make incredibly rude acronym" SCMP (9/28/17) As you can see in the photograph above, the letters on the phony license plate are "CNMLGB". That may not mean anything to most … [Link]

Language Log » Hebrew mystery

Friday 29 September 13:11:03 UTC 2017

[This is a guest post by Adam Levine] A friend noticed this plaque while attending a wedding in New England: The Hebrew on the plaque, בךקכהץ זםגקל, is pure gibberish. Most notably, two final forms of letters (ך and ם) written in the middle of words. This led to an epic late-night Facebook discussion as a team of highly Hebrew-literate … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » Stepdad Bod

Friday 29 September 7:30:00 UTC 2017

A guy who allowed the passing of time to ravage his once great physique but eventually decided to lay off the beers and do a little bit of lifting to attract Cougars like your mom. "Bro, you have to hit the gym, your starting to get a dad bod." "You see these guns? I got a stepdad bod, at least!" … [Link] » Zettel’s Bottom.

Friday 29 September 0:18:57 UTC 2017

Mark Herman has a short post yoking together two very different cultural artifacts involving translators, the movie Arrival (see this LH post from last year) and Arno Schmidt’s 1970 novel Zettels Traum (not “Zettel’s,” as Herman has it); I’m going to reproduce the entirety of his discussion of the latter, which I find fascinating, and ask if any of my … [Link]


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