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 » A fowl of the rules

Wednesday 20 December 23:44:26 UTC 2017

Jordain Carney, "House will have to vote for tax-cut bill again", TheHill 12/19/2017, originally included this sentence: Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also seized on the ruling immediately, saying Republicans in a "mad dash to provide tax breaks for their billionaire campaign contributors" had ran a fowl of the chamber's rules. I didn't get a screenshot in … [Link] » The Untranslated.

Wednesday 20 December 17:28:02 UTC 2017

The Untranslated has been around since 2013; how am I just learning about it now? The About page says “The purpose of this blog is to bring to a wider attention significant literary works not yet translated into English,” and that’s so far up my alley it might as well be living in my house. Muireann Maguire linked, on Facebook, … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Average dainty sandwiches

Wednesday 20 December 12:08:58 UTC 2017

Recently I learnt the Swedish word genomsnitt [jèːnɔmˌsnɪt], which means average or approximately. I thought I’d write about it as I like the way it sounds. It comes genom (though, across) and snitt (a cut, an average). Genom comes from the Old Norse gegn (through), and snitt comes from the Proto-Germanic *snit (cutting, pruning, harversting). Genom also appears in other … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » mac daddy

Wednesday 20 December 9:00:00 UTC 2017

The pimp-meister, the king of the streetwalkers, possessor of the blingest of bling-bling. The mac daddy is the man who means everything (and the only man who really means anything) to his ladies of the night. "Oh baby – you ma mac daddy!" [Link] » Barn Burner.

Wednesday 20 December 1:18:32 UTC 2017

I’ve always liked the phrase barn burner, which I probably first heard from sports announcers as a kid: “Boy, that was a real barn burner!” Merriam-Webster has a good explanation of the history behind it: Today barn burner is often used to describe a sporting event or some other contest, such as a political race, which occasions a good deal … [Link]


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