Language

Category archives for Language

Certain things that come across one’s desktop, on the internet, are hard to turn away from. Train wrecks, for example. For me, this list includes commentary about grammatical errors and proper language use. I find this sort of discussion interesting because I’m an anthropologist, and probably also because I’ve spend a lot of time 100%…

This is nice. Karl Eccleston and Fiona Pepper are amazingly good actors. The writing is excellent as is the directing. The subtext. THE SUBTEXT IS BRILLIANT. When I was living with the Efe Pygmies in the Ituri Forest, they would imitate French and English speakers while ranting about specific people who had annoyed or amused…

What the heck is Vocal Fry?

Until a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know what the heck Vocal Fry is. Apparently some people have gotten really annoyed about it, as it is a speech mannerism that has emerged among young folks, who are always annoying, and especially females, who are always annoying. Apparently. (I also did not know that until…

soda. pop. snap.

The other day, and I kid you not, I saw someone say to someone else “would you like a soda” and the person stared back and said “why would I want a soda” and a third party repeated the question, only saying “would you like a pop” and the person said “yes, very much, thank…

At TEDxDubai, longtime English teacher Patricia Ryan asks a provocative question: Is the world’s focus on English preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages? (For instance: what if Einstein had to pass the TOEFL?) It’s a passionate defense of translating and sharing ideas.

Human infants require more care than they should, if we form our expectations based on closely related species (apes, and more generally, Old World simian primates). It has been said that humans are born three months early. This is not accurate. It was thought that our body size predicted a 12 month gestation, and some…

A study in dialects

… of English:

So, a while ago, Ben Zvanwas talking about doing something with the Bible, which would involve processing the text through some filters and recompiling it. This sort of thing has always interested me: Not recompiling the bible, but rather, textual analysis in general using the basic material stripped of intended meaning by classifying and ordering…

The Queen’s got a point: (Hat tip, Jennifer Ouellette)

Or … What I had for breakfast. I just got the Caribou Coffee trivia question wrong. I got it so wrong that the Barista stared at me in disbelief for a moment, then blurted out the correct answer with audible snark and disappointment. If I told you what the question was (and that is not…