Tag Archives: language

Signs of the times

I know exactly one ASL sign – Cat – which is delightful because it mimics a cat cleaning its whiskers.  Little did I know, there was a wealth of equally fun signs that I could’ve been making, now crushed under the boot of political correctness.  The twirled moustache for France is terrific, as well as […]

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Word of the Moment: Wellerism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellerism Wellerisms, named after Sam Weller in Charles Dickens‘s The Pickwick Papers, make fun of established proverbs by showing that they are wrong in certain situations, often when taken literally. In this sense, wellerisms that include proverbs are a type of anti-proverb. Typically a Wellerism consists of three parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, […]

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Official Google Blog: Veni, Vidi, Verba Verti

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/veni-vidi-verba-verti.html Google Translate now handles Latin, though with the caveat, “intellegamus grammatica nostra non sine culpa esse.”

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BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | Drivers taught Glasgow patter

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8010036.stm I spent a few months in Glasgow in 2007, and was surprised to note how many Eastern Europeans had moved there to work. Most didn’t speak much English, though I suppose it could be argued that the Glaswegians don’t, either. One bus driver has taken it upon himself to teach foreign colleagues the basics […]

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Memo to Petraeus and Crocker: More Laughs, Please – NYTimes.com

http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/11/memo-to-petraeus-crocker-more-laughs-please/ Dick Cavett makes a case for the pen being mightier than the sword (and the military’s propensity for dulling its instruments), proving his point with a hell of a last line – an inky coup de gr

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Clause and Effect – New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/opinion/16freedman.html?em&ex=1198040400&en=b932c5a2c478f0f4&ei=5070 Required reading for all those who think grammar isn’t important.

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French language: Internationally used French phrases

http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/French/Vocabulary/French-International.html Ohhhh, that’s it, Stumble – bring me the good stuff! A big list of french phrases and mots justes* that have wound their way into English conversation. It’s entertaining as etymology, but downright fun to read through the list in a haughty Parisien accent**. *snicker **redundant

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Collective Nouns

http://www.bikwil.com/Vintage41/Collective-Nouns.html A gimmick of collective nouns: column of accountants pound of carpenters wince of dentists hush of librarians consternation of mothers flush of plumbers goggle of tourists absence of waiters

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http://www.bartleby.com/61/images/indoeuro.jpg I’m finding myself in the middle of another themed StumbleDay. Here’s a well-mapped, fascinating look at the evolution of language in Western Eurasia; A genealogical chart for tongues.

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Resources for Learning French

http://www.fourmilab.ch/francais/lfrench.html Foi faith foie liver fois time, occasion It’s amazing what the mind can dredge up. I remember hearing a rhyme once (ONCE!) as a kid, that reasserts itself quite violently in my brain anytime a variant of Foi/Foie/Fois is mentioned: Il

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