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

Urban Word of the Day » cannonball

Thursday 11 January 9:00:00 UTC 2018

A "dive" in which you hold your knees to your chest and hit the water with your fat ass with as much force as possible with the purpose of creating a gigantic splash, thus soaking everyone in the near vicinity. That cannonball your mother just performed strangely reminded me of the movie "Deep Impact". [Link]

Language Log » Mixed script photo in the New York Times

Thursday 11 January 2:29:02 UTC 2018

From Elijah Granet: I am writing because of this picture I recently saw on the New York Times website: The picture comes from this article (dated 7th January) on the success of the film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” in China. I was immediately struck by the odd mixed script on the leftmost sign. I don’t speak or read any … [Link]

Language Log » Horse conquers dragon

Thursday 11 January 2:29:01 UTC 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron presented a horse to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Vesuvius, an 8-yr old gelding from the 'Garde Republicaine'. Now, Macron's name in Chinese is transcribed as "Mǎkèlóng 马克龙" (lit., "horse subdues / overcomes / conquers / surmounts dragon"). Make of it what you will. [Link]

Language Log » From reduction to inflection

Thursday 11 January 2:29:00 UTC 2018

Over the past dozen years, there's been a scattering of LLOG posts about various forms of a periphrastic future construction in English: "I'ma", 7/3/2005 "I'monna", 7/3/2005 "'On' time", 8/4/20015 "Finna and tryna", 8/5/2005 "I'm a?", 9/19/2009 "I'ma stay with the youngsters", 5/14/2010 "Gonna, gone, onna, a — on?", 8/10/2012 But there's a quasi-inflectional aspect to this development that I don't … [Link]


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