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 » Jawn

Thursday 5 October 22:38:15 UTC 2017

Philadelphia, this jawn's for you. https://t.co/e9Ux87wkA4 — Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 4, 2017 See Ben Zimmer's jawn etymology interview, and also "Vaina == Jawn?", 8/12/2016. [Link]

Language Log » "Twitzkrieg"

Thursday 5 October 15:19:15 UTC 2017

Jeffrey Lewis, "Donald Trump Threatened North Korea After Completely Imaginary Negotiations", Foreign Policy 10/3/2017: Over the weekend, a story emerged that the United States was in some sort of talks with North Korea, followed in quick succession by a series of tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump rejecting any sort of diplomatic engagement with North Korea. One small problem: There … [Link]

Language Log » Has the style book changed?

Thursday 5 October 13:25:49 UTC 2017

Reading Remy Tumin's article today discussing Stephen Colbert's guest appearance in Michael Moore's Broadway play ("Stephen Colbert Uses Profanity to Describe President Trump’s ‘Soul’", NYT 10/5/2017), I was struck by this passage: “Trump keeps summoning monsters of abstraction — things that aren’t real — they’re extensions of the ordinary, fears that you have that he plays on,” Mr. Colbert said. … [Link]

Language Log » The British Bad Dream

Thursday 5 October 11:07:30 UTC 2017

Yesterday (10/4/2017) Theresa May gave a speech at the Conservative Party conference in which a remarkable number of things went wrong: she suffered an extended coughing fit, the comedian Simon Brodkin handed her a fake dismissal form ("P45") signed by Boris Johnson, and two letters fell off her background slogan "BUILDING A COUNTRY THAT WORKS (F)OR EVERYON(E)". For details and … [Link]

Language Log » Glamping

Thursday 5 October 10:36:01 UTC 2017

That's a word that was completely unknown to me until I received this note from my sister, Heidi: Glamping is big and getting bigger all of the time. Especially as the boomers retire daily. There are even 3 sites in PA and four in Ohio… and 9 in Texas. And it is related to the off the grid and tiny … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » ask me out boots

Thursday 5 October 7:30:00 UTC 2017

Much tamer than "Fuck me boots" because the heel is shorter and less spikey. It is merely an invitation to ask me out and see how it goes. While less sexy than FMB they are much sexier than "Ignore me boots". Dude, did you see Amy today? She has her ask me out boots on, I think I will. … [Link]

Language Log » Of dotards and DOLtards

Thursday 5 October 0:05:56 UTC 2017

[A guest post by Jichang Lulu.] After all the brouhaha over Kim Jong Un's 'dotard' philippic, I was reminded of some other Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) invective: those sexist insults against Park Geun-hye, the racist insults against Obama, and specifically those aimed at Michael Kirby, the Australian judge who led a UN inquiry on North Korean human rights. The … [Link]

Archive

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