Being a practical handbook of pertinent expressions, striking similes, literary, commercial, conversational, and oratorical terms, for the embellishment of speech and literature, and the improvement of the vocabulary of those persons who read, write, and speak English
. (Grenville Kleiser
posted by Iridic
on Aug 13, 2014 -
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.
Mary Robinette Kowal talks about
Let me explain why I’m doing this.
why she hired somebody else to help her with the Caribbean dialects for her next novel.
posted by MartinWisse
on Aug 6, 2014 -
[T]his is what we were dealing with: We were located in two places, and between us there were three laptops and one stenography machine. We were working in two languages (English and American Sign Language, or ASL) and across three communication channels (voice, sign, and text). They were sitting at a rectangular table, all on the same side: first Hilaria, then Kate, then Lynn, then Rabin´. That made five of us, four of whom brought constraints to the situation, ranging from the permanent to the temporary: Lynn is deaf, Hilaria is a non-native speaker of English, Rabin´ is supposed to be silent and invisible, and I couldn’t see, because I had no video on my Skype.
A factchecking session for "young sign languages"
turns into an exploration on communication across barriers and needs of accessibility, language, and technology.
posted by divabat
on Aug 6, 2014 -
"No wonder we react so viscerally to the 'ching-chong, ching-chong' schoolyard taunt. To attack our language, our ability to sound 'normal,' is to attack our ability to be normal. It's to attack everything we've worked for." An essay by Arthur Chu
on feigning a Chinese accent for work and ridding oneself of an accent for life. [more inside]
posted by Errant
on Aug 1, 2014 -
, buildings are constructed from the letters that make them up. Construct buildings by typing words like "HOUSE," "OFFICE," or "PARK."
posted by Iridic
on Jul 30, 2014 -
Whether your object's shaped like a ship, a pine cone, a violin, or a bunch of grapes, this handy cheat sheet
from Barbara Ann Kipfer's Flip Dictionary
will tell you the suitable Latinate adjective. [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Jul 29, 2014 -
Practice with Pronouns is a site that lets you practise subject, object, possessive, and reflexive forms of English third person pronouns. It comes with a few of the most common options, but you can also fill in whatever pronouns you like. Useful for both English learners and people wanting to practise using nonbinary pronouns. [more inside]
posted by Lexica
on Jul 28, 2014 -
The Editorial Team of Substance Abuse
make[s] an appeal for the use of language that (1) Respects the worth and dignity of all persons (“people-first language”), (2) Focuses on the medical nature of substance use disorders and treatment, (3) Promotes the recovery process, and (4) Avoids perpetuating negative stereotype biases through the use of slang and idioms.
We ask authors, reviewers, and readers to carefully and intentionally consider the language used to describe alcohol and other drug use and disorders, the individuals affected by these conditions, and their related behaviors, comorbidities, treatment, and recovery in our publication. [more inside]
posted by rtha
on Jul 19, 2014 -
31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sexual Intercourse from the Last 600 Years
Lexicographer Jonathon Green’s comprehensive historical dictionary of slang, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, covers hundreds of years of jargon, cant, and naughty talk. He has created a series of online timelines (here and here) where the words too impolite, indecent, or risqué for the usual history books are arranged in the order they came into fashion. (If you don’t see any words on the timelines, zoom out using the bar on the right.) We’ve already had fun with the classiest terms for naughty bits. Here are the most adorable terms for sexual intercourse from the last 600 or so years.
posted by mikeand1
on Jul 18, 2014 -
Writing tips from the CIA’s ruthless style manual
Strunk & White, it turns out, were CIA sources. The authors of The Elements of Style
, a classic American writing guide, are cited alongside Henry Fowler, Wilson Follett, and Jacques Barzun in the Directorate of Intelligence’s Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications
, whose eighth edition (from 2011) was quietly posted online
(pdf) by the legal nonprofit National Security Counselors a little over a year ago, following a Freedom of Information Act request. [more inside]
posted by moody cow
on Jul 10, 2014 -
“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!”
If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland
). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos
, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back
in 1989 (six episode playlist
). The shows were both translated in to French
(and the Spanish vocabulary builder
), and Italian
(Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 28, 2014 -
The Egyptian singer Nesma Mahgoub, in the song’s chorus, sings, “Discharge thy secret! I shall not bear the torment!” and “I dread not all that shall be said! Discharge the storm clouds! The snow instigateth not lugubriosity within me…” From one song to the next, there isn’t a declensional ending dropped or an antique expression avoided, whether it is sung by a dancing snowman or a choir of forest trolls. The Arabic of “Frozen” is frozen in time, as “localized” to contemporary Middle Eastern youth culture as Latin quatrains in French rap.
So Disney used to translate its movies into Egyptian Arabic but recently switched to Modern Standard Arabic, which is somewhat more formal
posted by MartinWisse
on Jun 4, 2014 -
The Ket from the Lake Munduiskoye
(2008, 30 min.) The Ket people
are an indigenous group in central Siberia whose population has numbered less than two thousand during the past century. Although mostly assimilated into the dominant Russian culture at this point, a couple hundred of them are still able to speak the Ket language
, the last remaining member of the Yeniseian language group. Recent scholarship
has proposed a link between Ket and some Native American language groups.
posted by XMLicious
on Apr 16, 2014 -
In the Spanish province of Burgos, Castile y León, about 200 kilometers north of Madrid, is a tiny little village named Castrillo Matajudíos (pop. 60). The village is considering changing its name
. [more inside]
posted by skoosh
on Apr 12, 2014 -
Dr. Pierre Capretz, who taught French at Yale University for several decades, passed away at the age of 89
on April 1st of this year, qu'il repose en paix
. Capretz is best known for his 1987 PBS series of half-hour French-language lessons, French in Action
, which combined language immersion using to a simple romantic-comedy narrative followed by a classroom-style review, featuring Professeur Capretz, of the narrative with emphasis on the concepts, vocabulary, and grammar. [more inside]
posted by Sunburnt
on Apr 10, 2014 -
We may not speak with the butter-toned exchanges of the characters on “Downton Abbey,” but in substance our speech is in many ways more civilized....
We are taught to celebrate the idea that Inuit languages reveal a unique relationship to snow, or that the Russian language’s separate words for dark and light blue mean that a Russian sees blueberries and robin’s eggs as more vibrantly different in color than the rest of us do. Isn’t it welcome, then, that good old-fashioned American is saying something cool about us for once?
- John McWhorter on colloquial American English
(SLNYTIMES) [more inside]
posted by beisny
on Apr 6, 2014 -
This book deals with the Dialect of the English Language that is spoken in Ireland. As the Life of a people—according to our motto—is pictured in their speech, our picture ought to be a good one, for two languages were concerned in it—Irish and English. ... Here for the first time—in this little volume of mine—our Anglo-Irish Dialect is subjected to detailed analysis and systematic classification.
P.W. Joyce's 1910 work, "English as We Speak it in Ireland,"
is a fascinating chronicle of a language's life, and no mistake. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes
on Mar 6, 2014 -