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

Omniglot blog » Bittersweet

Friday 22 December 12:43:23 UTC 2017

When looking for the French word for chutney last night we discovered the word aigre (sour), and realised that vinegar, or vinaigre in French, must be wine (vin) that is sour (aigre). This is indeed the origin of vinegar and vinaigre. Vin (wine) comes from the Latin vīnum (wine, grapes, grapevine), from Proto-Italic *wīnom (wine), from Proto-Indo-European *wóyh₁nom (wine). Aigre … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » bananaficiary

Friday 22 December 9:00:00 UTC 2017

The person to whom you give your bananas once they are too ripe for you. I'm Jeanette's bananaficiary. Once her bananas lose all their green color, she gives them to me! [Link]

Language Log » Language registers in spoken Chinese

Friday 22 December 0:26:31 UTC 2017

Dave Cragin writes: Throughout my years of learning Chinese, I’ve been surprised at the number of times I’ve been told by various Chinese that a specific Chinese phrase is: only something foreigners say and/or Chinese NEVER say that phrase or only old Chinese women or only old Chinese say that phrase. The phrases include: 吃过了吗?Chi guo le ma? and its … [Link]

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