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 » What to call editing residues?

Tuesday 14 November 19:31:42 UTC 2017

Allegra Kirkland, "Sessions Denies Knowing Of Flynn Turkey Dealings, Alleged Kidnapping Plot", TPM 11/14/2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied knowing that former national security adviser Michael Flynn lobbied on behalf of Turkey and allegedly discussed with Turkish officials the possibility of kidnapping of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric while serving on the Trump campaign. The string of words in boldface strikes … [Link]

languagehat.com » Aufuhēben.

Tuesday 14 November 16:32:33 UTC 2017

Back in 2005 we discussed the verb “sublate” and its origin in German aufheben (as used by Hegel); I am now here to report, courtesy of Victor Mair at the Log, that the Japanese loanword aufuhēben アウフヘーベン is under consideration for buzzword of the year, as reported by Tomoko Otake in The Japan Times: Aufheben, a concept by German philosopher … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Self-habituation and practise

Tuesday 14 November 11:36:56 UTC 2017

Last night a friend excitedly pointed out that the Welsh word ymarfer (to exercise, practice; rehearsal; habit, custom; use) is made up of ym (self) and arfer (to use, employ; usage, practice, habit, custom, tradition, fashion, mode, manner). So it could be literally translated as “habituating oneself” or “self-habituation”. This may seem obvious when you think about it, but neither … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » conversation walling

Tuesday 14 November 8:00:00 UTC 2017

When you're trying to make a conversation with a girl/guy you met recently, either A) online B) via text message or C) in person, and she/he responds to any of your questions with blank stares, one letter text messages using the words: oh, cool, or nice, or nothing at all until you have to try to change the subject. Ron: … [Link]

Language Log » Applied Quadrophobia

Tuesday 14 November 5:13:49 UTC 2017

Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong entrepreneur, is one of the wealthiest persons in the world. Around the beginning of this month, he sold the famous Hong Kong skyscraper known as The Center to a Chinese Communist Party-backed firm for over $5 billion, making it the most expensive commercial building ever sold. Here's the WSJ report on the transaction: "China’s Communist … [Link]

Language Log » Aufheben: candidate for Japanese buzzword of the year

Tuesday 14 November 2:01:29 UTC 2017

"Japan’s buzzwords of 2017 cover everything from politics to poop", by Tomoko Otake, The Japan Times (11/9/17). To me, the most intriguing candidate out of the top thirty is Aufuhēben アウフヘーベン(from German Aufheben). There are many German words in Japanese, but the first one that always springs to my mind is arubaito アルバイト (< Arbeit), which means "work; job" in ... [Link]

languagehat.com » A Thousand Miles of Moonlight.

Tuesday 14 November 1:22:51 UTC 2017

Bathrobe sent me his CJVlang post “A thousand miles of moonlight” explicating the Tang poet Li He’s “On the Frontier”; here’s part of it: The term 塞 sài refers to the northern frontier beyond which the nomadic peoples lived. For the Chinese this was a military frontier. Tang-dynasty poets including Lu Lun, Li Yi, Wang Changling, and most famously Li … [Link]

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