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 » The degendering of the third person pronoun in Mandarin, pt. 2

Monday 16 October 15:23:43 UTC 2017

Bilibili (bīlībīlī 哔哩哔哩; B zhàn B站 ("B site / station") "is a video sharing website themed around anime, manga, and game fandom based in China, where users can submit, view, and add commentary subtitles on videos" (Wikpedia). When you register for this site, you're supposed to declare whether you're M(ale) or F(emale), in which case your posts will be referred … [Link] » Richard Wilbur, RIP.

Monday 16 October 13:02:04 UTC 2017

The man whom I called “perhaps my favorite living poet” is, alas, no longer living. Richard Wilbur is dead at 96. I refer you to that fine NY Times obituary by Daniel Lewis for details of his life and career (as well as some poetry); I’ll quote a couple of poems here (for more, see the first link as well … [Link]

Language Log » Paramilitary

Monday 16 October 12:51:11 UTC 2017

Does Spanish paramilitar have a different meaning than English paramilitary, or at least stronger negative connotations? This question has recently become the focus of reaction to a New Yorker article by Jon Lee Anderson, "The increasingly tense standoff over Catalonia's independence referendum", 10/4/2017. The first paragraph of Anderson's article (emphasis added): Voting rights have been under siege in the U.S. … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Ambling Along

Monday 16 October 10:54:36 UTC 2017

Walking stick figure An Icelandic word I learnt recently is (að) labba [ˈlapːa], which means ‘to walk slowly, to amble, to stroll’ [source]. Here are a few examples of usage: Mér finnst gaman að labba um bæinn = I like to stroll around town Ljúft finnst mér að labba á pöbbinn = I like to walk to the pub [source] Ég labba ein … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » tgiaf

Monday 16 October 10:48:07 UTC 2017

1. acronym for "Thank God Its Almost Friday", word is only usually used on thursday. hey Craig guess what? What? TGIAF!!! [Link]


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