Archive for the 'Linguistics' Category
So reader Mark commented on my ‘Ghetto Foundry‘ post: Funny enough, the word ‘ghetto’ comes from the word for foundry. The first ghetto officially designated as such was in 16th-century Venice for Jews, and it was built on the site of an old foundry. Ghetto actually means “foundry” in Venetian-Italian dialect. Wild.
If you mention a name, and then someone asks who that person is, it is not appropriate to respond “oh he’s a famous [something-mer-other].” The fact that they had to ask means that the person is not famous. I’ll go back to my cave.
If you haven’t messed around with Cleverbot, it’s worth some of your time. If you want a basic explanation of how it works, here’s an episode of Radiolab where they talk about it. What you’re seeing in this video is Cleverbot talking to himself. It’s … weird.
So recently the BBC published a list of 50 ‘Americanisms’ that other people hate. None of them really get on my nerves. But there’s a larger point here. We speak the same language, but the Brits get pissed at things that are pretty common. 45. Having an “issue” instead of a “problem”. John, Leicester 36. Surely [...]
There were 2 ‘major’ pieces of linguistic news this week. The first was the realization that all modern languages are descended from one ‘proto’ language. The second that there is no universal, innate word order. The first article is not really news. How do I know this? My Junior year of college, I gave a [...]
I had a pretty great X-mas break gang. Here’s a little gift that’s been circulating the ‘tubes. It’s a geographical linguistic map of North America. Here’s the link, and then I’ll give my impressions: American English Dialects First thing’s first, my native land: the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Thankfully, we were represented. Unfortunately, they got [...]
Here’s a video of people speaking that crazy language from ‘Don’t Sleep There are Snakes“:
Language isolates are a really cool phenomenon in the field of linguistics. Briefly, if a language is not distinctly related to any current language, it is considered a language isolate. Basque is an example of a living language isolate, where Etruscan is an example of an extinct one. Well a new language has been discovered [...]
I have found a new hero. After looking exuberant wandering around the Auburn game, Stephen Fry comes out with this piece that sums up far better than I could ever delight about why grammar Nazis are missing out on a singular joy. For those of you who have problems with the verb ‘Google’ I would [...]