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 » Mnozil Brass speak Mandarin

Sunday 29 October 21:07:53 UTC 2017

Listen to these Austrian fellows introduce themselves in Mandarin (from around :50 to around 2:00): All they say is "Wǒ jiào X", but they mix up the tones in so many different ways, and their attempts to pronounce their Austrian names in a Mandarin fashion are so cute that the audience erupts in laughter again and again. Meanwhile, the host … [Link] » Ensimismada.

Sunday 29 October 15:55:04 UTC 2017

Carina del Valle Schorske, a writer and translator and a doctoral candidate in comparative literature, has an interesting piece in today’s NY Times Magazine about the struggles of translation: It’s telling that the Puerto Rican poet I’m drawn to most — Marigloria Palma — is known for her mystery. Here is my translation of Norma Valle Ferrer’s account of seeing … [Link]

Language Log » Headline puzzle of the week

Sunday 29 October 13:22:55 UTC 2017

Vic Marks, "No Stokes is not no Ashes hope if England stick together in Australia", The Guardian 10/29/2017. Taking into account the Guardian's headline register, and decoding the article to some extent, I conclude that the intended analysis ain't no negative concord. Rather, the structure is [[No Stokes] is not [no Ashes hope]] [if England stick together] and the interpretation … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Language quiz

Sunday 29 October 8:22:43 UTC 2017

Language quiz image Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it was spoken? [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » Yeah, but still

Sunday 29 October 7:56:42 UTC 2017

The worst way to win an arguement, used when one has been proven wrong but somehow is able to reject all arguements and win. 1: Women should be allowed to go topless, men are permitted and it is a double standard. 2: But women have boobs though 1: But I've seen many moobs in my day 2: Yeah, but still … [Link]


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