298 posts tagged with English.
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Mapping Decline in Regional Diversity of English Dialects

Professor David Britain from the University of Bern added: “People in Bristol speak much more similarly to those in Colchester now than they did fifty years ago. Regional differences are disappearing, some quite quickly. However, while many pockets of resistance to this levelling are shrinking, there is still a stark north-south divide in the pronunciation of certain key words.”
posted by veedubya on May 28, 2016 - 24 comments

English Profanity in Hong Kong Movies Vol. 02 - 香港電影 英文粗口

English Profanity in Hong Kong Movies Vol. 02 - 香港電影 英文粗口 . (Someone made a .gif of the best scene.) Also: Vol. 01. [NSFW]
posted by milquetoast on May 23, 2016 - 5 comments

Let's not talk about color vs. colour

Lynne Murphy's blog is 'Separated By A Common Language'. It turns out being polite is different in the UK and the US and there are specific differences in the way each culture (and subcultures thereto) use please. [more inside]
posted by bq on May 23, 2016 - 131 comments

Today, we're going to get WEIRD.

The etymology of the word "Weird". By The Endless Knot.
posted by numaner on May 2, 2016 - 12 comments

The Suicide Note as Literary Genre

“Everything has gone for me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”
posted by standardasparagus on Apr 30, 2016 - 24 comments

No pokey

A short history of the thimbles one might find in the English countryside. Also crotal bells and Gunter's chain markings. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Apr 15, 2016 - 11 comments

Ask and it will be given to yinz; seek and yinz will find

Y'All Version: Now you can read the Bible using the English second person plural of your choice! Options include Southern (y'all), Western (you guys), NYC/Chicago (youse guys), and Pittsburgh (yinz).
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 4, 2016 - 21 comments

Positive Lexicography

Dr. Tim Lomas is creating a positive cross-cultural lexicography: an evolving index of expressions from many languages for positive emotional states and concepts pertaining to well-being. Most do not have immediate English equivalents. View by Alphabet, Language or Theme. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 29, 2016 - 21 comments

Early Modern English

Shakespeare: Original pronunciation. What Shakespeare Sounded Like to Shakespeare.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 18, 2016 - 40 comments

A matter of tone

The Tone Analyzer uses linguistic analysis to detect emotional tones, social propensities, and writing styles in written communication. Then it offers suggestions to help the writer improve their intended language tones.
posted by Gyan on Jan 16, 2016 - 22 comments

Marriage is like money – seem to want it, and you’ll never get it

'Silver Fork' or Fashionable Novels are the largely forgotten English popular novels of the 1820s and 30s which depicted aristocratic life and scandals as a how-to guide for rising middle-class readers while also exploring growing political and class anxieties in the post-Regency. Advice on how to romance, eat, party and raise children like a member of the upper class from Silver Fork novels via Bizarre Victoria (previously).
posted by The Whelk on Jan 15, 2016 - 7 comments

The Luttrell Psalter Film

The Luttrell Psalter is a mid-14th century English illuminated manuscript containing a large number of illustrations of everyday life in medieval England. In 2008 the Psalter was adapted into a 20 minute short film for The Collection Museum in Lincoln, drawing on 35 scenes from the manuscript. There is also a blog describing the making of the film. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Dec 21, 2015 - 4 comments

What poet should I fight?

the short answer is: every poet. but here’s a brief (ok, that’s a lie. this is really long) list i typed up during accounting instead of learning about accounting for inter-corporate investments
posted by sciatrix on Dec 13, 2015 - 41 comments

What began as theory persists as style

When Nothing Is Cool is an insider critique of English academia's culture of critique. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Dec 8, 2015 - 38 comments

The pronunciation is a little strange, so you can practice: SCHLONG

Ronnie helps the non-native speaker get the hang of swearing, talking about sex (NSFW) and related body parts (NSFW), prostitution (NSFW), drugs, getting high or just chilling. Also, piss. Jade will teach you some Multicultural London English and childish insults. Emma talks shit and more shit, and teaches you ways to describe the women and men you're attracted to. James delves into Christian Bale's notorious rant for useful expressions in a two part lesson (both NSFW). [more inside]
posted by sively on Dec 8, 2015 - 14 comments

גם זו לטובה

Judaism's core texts grew out of millennia-long conversations and arguments across generations, with interconnected dialogues, source citing and (re)interpretation. Now, it's all going digital: Sefaria is creating a massive public domain, interactive "living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and translations." Their goal is to build a reference resource and community that "gives a better learning experience than anything that comes before it," from ancient to modern texts and "all the volumes of commentary in between." Read texts, browse submitted public source sheets on dozens of topics or visualize associations between texts.
posted by zarq on Dec 7, 2015 - 22 comments

English is not normal

English is not normal. "No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language." (Aeon via Longform).
posted by pravit on Nov 15, 2015 - 103 comments

“This was a brilliant innovation,”

Unfinished story… [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 23, 2015 - 4 comments

Apparition, by Stealing Sheep

The new song and video by the psychedelic pop band from Liverpool is on Vimeo and YouTube. A discussion of the video, with screenshots and storyboards. The Stealing Sheep website and twitter; also, wikipedia. More on the video: Nowscopitone, Guardian, folkradiouk, Frontview. The video credits.
posted by Wordshore on Oct 17, 2015 - 19 comments

correctness rests upon usage; all usage is relative

"What of those grammar rules that were entirely dreamt up in an age of moral prescriptivism, reflecting nothing of historical or literary usage, to encourage the poor English language to be more like an entirely different (and entirely dead) language, namely Latin? Wait, which rules are those? It seems pretty crazy but the popular grammar rules familiar to most of us may in fact be completely fake and have no basis in linguistic reality. The English language didn't change to make those rules obsolete, they were simply fictional from the start." || Dear Pedants: Your Fave Grammar Rule is Probably Fake, by Chi Luu.
posted by divined by radio on Aug 25, 2015 - 170 comments

Sexe & ye Syngle Gyrle

Thus Man’s most noble Parts describ’d we see;
(For such the Parts of Generation be;)
And they that carefully survey’t, will find,
Each Part is fitted for the Use design’d:
The Purest Blood we find, if well we heed,
Is in the Testicles turn’d into Seed;

Aristotle's Complete Masterpiece isn't by Aristotle, is no masterpiece, and is far from complete, but from its publication in 1684 well into the 1930s, it served as by far the most popular sex manual in the English language.
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Aug 21, 2015 - 4 comments

The good advice Lockheed Martin just didn't take

"Ideally suited to mobilization on the shifting terrain of asymmetrical conflict, inherently covert, insidiously plastic, politically potent, irony offers rogue elements a volatile if often overlooked means by which to demoralize opponents and destabilize regimes. And yet, while major research resources have for forty years poured into the human sciences from the defense and intelligence community in an effort to gain control over the human capacity to lie (investments that led to the polygraph, sodium pentothal and its successor compounds, “brain fingerprinting” and associated neuro-physiological imaging techniques, etc.), we have no comparable tradition of sustained, empirical, applied investigation into irony."
posted by escabeche on Aug 14, 2015 - 24 comments

The Many Origins of the English Language

An Interactive Visualization.
posted by lemuring on Aug 8, 2015 - 11 comments

You get disqualified if you don't have your hands behind your back.

American schoolkids had spelling bees, British schoolkids had Shakespeare competitions, Malaysian schoolkids had choral speaking: a Greek-theatre-inspired cross between spoken word and choir, commonly used to teach English. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 1, 2015 - 10 comments

MEEF-EYE

The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) is a free, online archive of primary-source dialect and accent recordings of the English language. Founded in 1997 at the University of Kansas, it includes hundreds of recordings of English speakers by natives of nearly 100 different countries. To find an example of an accent or dialect, use the Global Map, or select a continent or region at the Dialects and Accents page. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 27, 2015 - 15 comments

/vərˈbōs/

From plitter to drabbletail: a few writers choose the words they love. [The Guardian] [Books]
Dialect terms such as yokeymajig or whiffle-whaffle; all-time favourites like cochineal, clot or eschew; antiquated phrases such as ‘playing the giddy ox’ … leading writers on the words they cherish.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on May 29, 2015 - 32 comments

If Hollywood says so, it can't be true!

If there's a band more simultaneously inventive, unusual, lush, intricate, or lovely than Stars in Battledress, I've yet to find them! James and Richard Larcombe, known for their collaborations with British legends William Drake and Craig Fortnam, among others, combine guitar, keyboard, and harmonies in spectacularly unusual tandem. They can be majestic and enchanting; they can be jagged and noisy; they can be warm and witty. I'm quite taken with them!
posted by rorgy on May 7, 2015 - 2 comments

Bibbity-bee Bitey Bibbity-bee

How to pronounce hexadecimal numbers
posted by Stark on Apr 22, 2015 - 42 comments

Let's Speak English

Let's Speak English! Cartoonist Mary Cagle's adorable tales of teaching English in Japan.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Apr 8, 2015 - 49 comments

"No, yes", "No, totally", and the "no" prefix as conversational element

"At first blush, 'no' does not appear to be the kind of word whose meaning you can monkey with." Kathryn Schulz dissects the use of "no" at the beginning of conversational turns, and discusses how it may be a reaction to the loss of our previous "four-form system of negation and affirmation" that included "yea" and "nay".
posted by brainwane on Apr 7, 2015 - 61 comments

If you can read this sentence, you can talk with a scientist.

Science once communicated in a polyglot of tongues, but now English rules alone. How did this happen – and at what cost?
posted by standardasparagus on Mar 15, 2015 - 45 comments

There Is No ‘Proper English’

There Is No ‘Proper English’. From Oliver Kamm of The Times:
It’s a perpetual lament: The purity of the English language is under assault. These days we are told that our ever-texting teenagers can’t express themselves in grammatical sentences. The media delight in publicizing ostensibly incorrect usage. A few weeks ago, pundits and columnists lauded a Wikipedia editor in San Jose, Calif., who had rooted out and changed no fewer than 47,000 instances where contributors to the online encyclopedia had written “comprised of” rather than “composed of.” Does anyone doubt that our mother tongue is in deep decline?
Well, for one, I do. It is well past time to consign grammar pedantry to the history books.
[more inside] posted by Richard Holden on Mar 14, 2015 - 81 comments

Ye truth is yt ys might surprise you!

So where exactly did "ye olde" come from? (SLYT)
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 4, 2015 - 31 comments

Consider The Clinkerbell, The Daggler, and The Shuckle

Robert Macfarlane says we are losing the best descriptive words for our landscape. This matters, he says, "because language deficit leads to attention deficit. As we deplete our ability to denote and figure particular aspects of our places, so our competence for understanding and imagining possible relationships with non-human nature is correspondingly depleted. To quote the American farmer and essayist Wendell Berry – a man who in my experience speaks the crash-tested truth – “people exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love, and to defend what we love we need a particularising language, for we love what we particularly know.”"
posted by purplesludge on Feb 27, 2015 - 23 comments

Uh...

Um, here’s an, uh, map that shows where Americans use 'um' vs. 'uh.' "Every language has filler words that speakers use in nervous moments or to buy time while thinking. Two of the most common of these in English are 'uh' and 'um.' They might seem interchangeable, but data show that their usage break down across surprising geographic lines. Hmm." And these lines may give evidence of the so-called Midland dialect. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Feb 8, 2015 - 44 comments

The OED in two minutes

The OED in two minutes is a visualisation of the change and growth of the English language since 1150, showing the frequency and origin of new words year by year. Notes and explanations about the project. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jan 8, 2015 - 18 comments

The Queen's English

One Woman, 17 British Accents: Have you ever wondered about the locations of accents used by British celebrities such as Maggie Thompson, Richard Burton, and Sean Bean? As part of the Anglophenia series, actress and comedian Siobhan Thompson takes us on a one-woman tour of regional accents of the British Islands.
posted by happyroach on Dec 3, 2014 - 68 comments

Living on the Hyphen

Spanglish is not random. It is not simply a piecemeal cobbling-together, a collecting of scraps of random vocabulary into a raggedy orphan of a sentence. It has logic and rules, and more interestingly and importantly, it embodies a constantly shifting and intimate morphology of miscegenation. It is the mix of my husband’s innate Mexicanness and my innate Americanness, of my adaptive Mexicanness and his adaptive Americanness, in Spanish and English morphemes that come neatly together and apart like so many Legos into new and ever-changing constructions.
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 2, 2014 - 23 comments

"The English," GK Chesterton wrote, "love a talented mediocrity."

I don't doubt characterising Orwell as a talented mediocrity will put noses out of joint. Not Orwell, surely! Orwell the tireless campaigner for social justice and economic equality; Orwell the prophetic voice, crying out in the wartime wilderness against the dangers of totalitarianism and the rise of the surveillance state; Orwell, who nobly took up arms in the cause of Spanish democracy, then, equally nobly, exposed the cause's subversion by Soviet realpolitik; Orwell, who lived in saintly penury and preached the solid virtues of homespun Englishness; Orwell, who died prematurely, his last gift to the people he so admired being a list of suspected Soviet agents he sent to MI5.
For the BBC's Point of View series, Will Self tackles the cult of Orwell.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 31, 2014 - 79 comments

Poetica: Jamaican poetry

The Australian Radio National program Poetica recently broadcast two episodes of Jamaican Poetry, and it's a real delight to listen to these contemporary and archival recordings of Jamaican poets (from all over the world) reading their poetry, some with musical accompaniment. Episode 1 ----- Episode 2. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 20, 2014 - 2 comments

Well I'll Go To The Foot Of Our Stairs

British subtitles
posted by The Whelk on Aug 20, 2014 - 32 comments

I go to the syege.

Speke latyn lyke a scoler!
“I am almoost beshytten”: A 16th Century English to Latin Textbook
Here is a direct link to the start of the phrasebook
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 18, 2014 - 25 comments

but without italics we don't know when spaghetti was still exotic

Daniel Older explains why you shouldn't italicise Spanish words in English.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 14, 2014 - 69 comments

Dialect isn’t just people talking funny

My project today is replacing all the dialogue spoken by Antiguan characters in Of Noble Family with dialogue rewritten by Antiguan and Barbudan author Joanne Hillhouse.

Let me explain why I’m doing this.
Mary Robinette Kowal talks about why she hired somebody else to help her with the Caribbean dialects for her next novel.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 6, 2014 - 38 comments

When Dutch and English Collide

Dunglish Kind of like Engrish. Only from the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Jul 30, 2014 - 43 comments

Broken English

Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 18, 2014 - 4 comments

Fear and Loathing of the English Passive

Geoffrey Pullum talks about the passive voice [pdf]. (via) [more inside]
posted by nangar on Jul 10, 2014 - 37 comments

Horrible Band Photos with helpful hints

Your terrible gig photographs – and how they could be improved
posted by josher71 on Jul 9, 2014 - 19 comments

The Discovery of Oneself: An Interview with Daniel Mendelsohn on Proust

“What is the lesson you draw from your own existence?” This is the philosophy that Proust teaches us. Last year, the French magazine La Revue des Deux Mondes published an interview with Daniel Mendelsohn about his experiences reading Proust as part of a special issue on “Proust vu d’Amérique.” Translated from the French by Anna Heyward. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 2, 2014 - 9 comments

English explodes in India

English words are becoming more popular in various Indian languages (Hindi is the language that's predominantly discussed in the article). Vise versa: words that English owes to India (again, predominately discussing Hindi).
posted by Shouraku on Jul 1, 2014 - 20 comments

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