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 » Australian real estate wannabe polyglot

Saturday 30 December 22:07:59 UTC 2017

From Paul Sleigh: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ' fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Apparently Raptis Real Estate sells property in “any language”, including “Indigenous Australian”. Pretty funny… Posted by Black Feminist Ranter – Celeste Liddle on Thursday, December 28, 2017 Paul remarks: I believe the … [Link]

Omniglot blog » Snail houses and creeping things

Saturday 30 December 16:36:47 UTC 2017

An interesting Swedish I learnt recently is snigelhus, which means shell, or literally “snail house”. Snigel is a snail or slug, and hus is house, case or residence. The word snigel comes from the Old Norse snigill (snail), from the Proto-Germanic *snagila (snail), from the Proto-Indo-European *sneg- (to crawl, creep; creeping thing), which is also the root of the English … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » car crotch

Saturday 30 December 9:00:00 UTC 2017

The rashy, matted and uncomfortable state of ones crotch after a lengthy car ride. I don’t know about you but I’m getting real bad car crotch over here. [Link]

Language Log » Pinyin in 1961 propaganda poster art

Saturday 30 December 3:01:45 UTC 2017

From Geoff Dawson: On display in a current exhibition at the National Library of Australia. The wording at the bottom reads as follows, in characters and in Pinyin: Dàjiā dòngshǒu, dà bàn nóngyè, dà gǎo fù shípǐn shēngchǎn! 大家动手,大办农业,大搞副食品生产! Here's the English translation on the label accompanying the poster: While the translation is not entirely faithful to the Chinese original, … [Link] » A Magical Muddle.

Saturday 30 December 1:18:11 UTC 2017

From Diane Purkiss’s TLS review of Brian Copenhaver’s The Book of Magic : Schemas are confounded by efforts to find a legitimacy for magic. The English word comes ultimately from Greek magike (in which the original Persian word is spliced with tekhne, “art”), while the Persian magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class” ultimately derives from magush, … [Link]


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