language

Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Tag archives for language

Dream Life

Railroad Sunset (1929, oil on canvas). Edward Hopper. I’ve noticed that I’ve recently started to dream in German. Well, the people who pop up in my dreams are speaking German, and I seem to understand them and act accordingly, but I never speak in German in my dreams. Actually, I rarely say anything aloud in…

How to Swear Like a Brit

tags: How to Swear Like a Brit, humor, funny, comedy, culture, British culture, cursing, swearing, language, streaming video My spouse, who I was told was a “shy and nerdly British scientist” is anything but that! He is teaching me, a shy and nerdly American scientist, how to swear like a Brit, something that inspired me…

tags: Metaphorically Speaking, language, pattern recognition,conceptual synesthesia, cognitive dissonance, James Geary, TEDTalks, streaming video Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make, Geary says. This talk is interesting for many reasons, not…

tags: Speak Better English, German, comedy, humor, funny, satire, television, streaming video The man in this television commercial reminds me of myself as I attempt to learn to speak German.

Language as Bullshit

tags: language as bullshit, George Carlin, humor, comedy, streaming video When I woke up this morning, I heard George Carlin talk about language on NPR. What’s wrong with using simple, direct and honest language? He wonders. “It’s getting so bad that any day now I expect to hear a rape victim described as an ‘unwilling…

Wow! Even WORDS Evolve!

tags: researchblogging.org, linguistics, evolution, irregular verbs, languages When I was an undergrad, I almost took a degree in linguistics because I was so fascinated by languages, especially by the rate and patterns of change that languages undergo. So of course, I was excited to read two fascinating papers that were published in this week’s issue…

Alex’s Obituary in the NYTimes

tags: Alex, African grey parrot, Psittacus erithacus, cognition, learning, speech disabilities, Irene Pepperberg Alex, the African grey parrot, Psittacus erithacus, who worked with Irene Pepperberg for more than 30 years. Image: Mike Lovett/Brandeis University [larger size] Alex, the African grey parrot who worked with Irene Pepperberg, has managed something that most of us never will:…