35 posts tagged with Language and vocabulary.
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15,000 Useful Phrases

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, 1917)
posted by Iridic on Aug 13, 2014 - 19 comments

Navicular! Strobilaceous! Pandurate! Botryoidal!

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 - 17 comments

Ah yes, the old rumpscuttle and clapperdepouch (aka "fadoodling")

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 - 30 comments

The Made Up Words Project

The Made Up Words Project is an on-going undertaking by illustrator Rinee Shah (who you may remember from her Seinfood poster series.) The goal is to collect and catalog the made up words that we share with family and friends.
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Feb 10, 2014 - 56 comments

Old words never die; they just wend their way to their just deserts.

12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms. We generally know what the idioms we use every day mean, but do we give much thought to the individual words that make them up, or why we rarely, if ever, see some of them out of that context? Maybe they're just plain outdated. [more inside]
posted by The Underpants Monster on Dec 29, 2013 - 52 comments

Words of the Day

Please enjoy this smattering of Word of the Day sites and pages: OED (RSS), Wordsmith (RSS), Wordnik, The Free Dictionary (RSS), Merriam-Webster (RSS), WordThink (RSS), Urban Dictionary (RSS), Macmillan (RSS), NY Times Learning Network Blog (RSS), Scrabble, Wordsmyth (RSS), Easy Speak (Toastmasters), Wiktionary, Wiktionary "Foreign", OLDO (RSS: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, all in OLDO), Arabic (RSS), Japanese (RSS), Nahuatl, ASL, History, Geology, Theology (RSS), and Sesame Street (not daily, unfortunately).
posted by cog_nate on Dec 13, 2013 - 11 comments

EmPHAsis on the right sylLABle

How to pronounce Chicago street names. How to pronounce London street names. How to pronounce Austin street names. How to pronounce New Orleans street names (and a whole lot else). How to pronounce "Spuyten Duyvil," "Kosciuszko" and "Goethals." How to pronounce "Van Nuys," "Sepulveda," "San Pedro," and "Los Angeles." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jun 28, 2013 - 120 comments

International Art English

"The internationalized art world relies on a unique language. Its purest articulation is found in the digital press release. This language has everything to do with English, but it is emphatically not English. It is largely an export of the Anglophone world and can thank the global dominance of English for its current reach. But what really matters for this language—what ultimately makes it a language—is the pointed distance from English that it has always cultivated. " - Triple Canopy magazine on why do artists' statments and press releases sound so utterly odd and confusing.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 26, 2013 - 45 comments

Meta: word-forming element meaning 1. "after, behind," 2. "changed, altered," 3. "higher, beyond;" from Gk.

Are you enthusiastic ("pertaining to possession by a deity," from Gk. enthousiastikos "inspired," from enthousiazein ) about Etymology? ( ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from O.Fr. et(h)imologie (14c., Mod.Fr. étymologie), from L. etymologia, from Gk. etymologia, properly "study of the true sense (of a word)," Then why not explore ( 1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back formation from exploration, or else from M.Fr. explorer (16c.), from L. explorare ) the vast resources (1610s, "means of supplying a want or deficiency," from Fr. resourse) of the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Nov 12, 2012 - 30 comments

Vocabulary fail

Ten insulting words you should know. And a good deal of words you may wish you didn't. (SFW unless mild swear words count).
posted by londonmark on Sep 9, 2011 - 57 comments

Challenging Chompsky

In the late Sixties and early Seventies several experiments were begun to test whether or not a non-human primate could construct a sentence. Several species were involved in these various experiments including the chimpanzees Washoe and Nim, a gorilla named Koko, and later in the Eighties work began with a bonobo named Kanzi. While great progress was made in teaching these primates a vocabulary, it would be difficult to see any of these experiments as a success. And all of these projects raised important questions about the ethics of such experiments. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 20, 2011 - 39 comments

"It is of such stiff stuff that the upper lip of the British phonetician should be fashioned, giving short shrift to chauvinism."

Howjsay.com is a unique online speaking dictionary that offers clear pronunciations of English words, phrases, slang terms, technical terms, brand names, proper names, profanity, and many foreign words, including common variations and alternatives. Astoundingly, the sound files are not computer-generated -- every single one of the site's 138,152 entries are enunciated in the dignified tones of British academic and polyglot Tim Bowyer, who has steadily expanded its glossary over the years using logs of unsuccessful searches and direct user suggestions. The site is part of Bowyer's Fonetiks.org family of language sites, and is also available as a browser extension and as a mobile app for iPhone/iPod and Blackberry.
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 23, 2010 - 27 comments

Are you happy to see me or is that just a dictionary in your pocket?

In search of the world’s hardest language
posted by Gyan on Jan 3, 2010 - 148 comments

Flatpots, Fire Corals, and Four Blasters

A Common Nomenclature for Lego Families.
posted by Iridic on Nov 5, 2009 - 49 comments

a selcouth galimatias

International House of Logorrhea, at The Phrontistry, a free online dictionary of weird and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. Generous language resources, 2 and 3 letter Scrabble words l The Compass DeRose Guide to Emotion Words l all kinds of glossaries for color terms, wisdom, love and attraction, scientific instruments, manias and obsessions, feeding and eating, carriages and chariots, dance styles and all kinds of fun word stuff. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 11, 2009 - 12 comments

Dictionary

Merrian-Webster open dictionary "Have you spotted a new word or a new sense for an old word that hasn't made it into the dictionary yet? Well, here's your chance to add your discovery (and its definition) to Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary"
posted by robbyrobs on Dec 11, 2005 - 22 comments

Word play

Collins Word Exchange "At Collins we pride ourselves on reflecting current language, used by real English speakers across the world." Collins have launched a public forum designed for (amongst other things) discussing 'new' words and the legitamacy of their inclusion in official dictionaries. Chav is probably on its way, but I'm no intellectual snob, but bounce-backability? Even I'd balk at that one.
And, just remember kids, flip-flopper is not valid for use in scrabble
posted by qwerty155 on Dec 16, 2004 - 8 comments

More on arithmetic in the Amazon

More on arithmetic in the Amazon The 10/15 issue of Science has the official publication of Peter Gordon's work on numerical cognition among the Pirahã, and a companion article by Pierre Pica et al. on similar research among another Amazonian tribe, the Mundurukú. What with the U.S. election and the discovery of H. Floresiensis, this is not getting nearly as a much play as the pre-publication back in August of Peter Gordon's work. Brian Butterworth has an piece in the Guardian about both articles, and I've put some links, quotes and diagrams here. Compared to the reports on the Pirahã, the Mundurukú people, language, and experiments are all somewhat different, although the conclusions are broadly similar.
posted by myl on Oct 31, 2004 - 19 comments

English to English

The Internet's Most Accurate English-to-English Dictionary This internet service will translate any English word, phrase or passage into English, or vice versa. Your original grammar, style, and spelling are left intact!
posted by adampsyche on Sep 29, 2004 - 21 comments

You will learn something, I guarontee!

The Encyclopedia of Cajun Culture features everything from Acadiana to Zydeco. Two of the more interesting entries I've found are the Un-Cajun Committee and the unknown to me genre of Swamp Pop
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 4, 2003 - 15 comments

Lost Words

The Compendium of Lost Words
posted by ttrendel on Sep 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Compendium of lost words

Compendium of lost words You may have been wondering what "triclavianism" means. You may have been disappointed when dictionary.com couldn't help. Look no further.
posted by adamrice on Aug 16, 2003 - 19 comments

Pronouncing words

Qatar Home of Central Command and Al Jazzera television, it's a small oil-rich country we've all heard of, and that's the problem: I hear Qatar called Cutter, Gutter, Katar, and Kwatar. How do the Qataris' pronounce it; is it possible to accurately pronounce foreign words in English? Who decides? More inside...
posted by Mack Twain on Mar 29, 2003 - 32 comments

New OED Words

Dungeons and Dragons, bigorexia, arse-licker, bass-ackward... The online OED (Oxford English Dictionary) quarterly adds a host of new words to the canon of what has become the standard dictionary of the english language(s). Some of the new and spicey words are: arsehole, arseholed, arse-lick,arse-licker, ass-backward, ass-backwards, bass-ackward, bass-ackwards, dragon lady, Dungeons and Dragons, telenovela, and transgenderist!! Thank the gods of language for these new words! So what is you favorite new word and why?
posted by mfoight on Mar 17, 2003 - 26 comments

Worthless Word for the Day.

Worthless Word for the Day. Ever feel as if an "obscure, abstruse and/or recondite word" was forced into a newspaper/magazine/quote? Now there's a site that finally finds and provides wwftd! Impress your friends.
posted by geoff. on Oct 21, 2002 - 13 comments

.i la lojban mo

.i la lojban mo
Lojban is in many ways like any other language. There's an English-Lojban dictionary. There's a Lojban grammar. You can even get your news at Nuzban, a Lojban-only news site.

Lojban, however, is a completely constructed language. Why Lojban? Well, Lojban came from Loglan, an invented language from the 1950's (Loglan was created as an experiment to study the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: succinctly, the idea that language and culture are hopelessly intertwined) Today, there are hundreds of invented languages and a thriving language construction community. Alongside well-known constructs such as Tolkien's elven languages and Klingon, there's also d'ni - the language of Myst, a language of flowers, opus-2 - a language that shuns word order and Teonat - a language of the imaginary inhabitants of Teon.
With the help of online language construction kits, you too can create your own language.
posted by vacapinta on Sep 12, 2002 - 34 comments

Roger's Profanisaurus

When I got tired of saying the word Fuck all the time, I switched over to the word Fuckity. When my friends pointed out that perhaps Fuckity was a bit twee, I was in a deep funk, until one day, when I discovered Roger's Profanisaurus - the definitive thesaurus of all things Scatalogical, Sexual and Rude. Zuffled lately? Gone whitewater wristing? Expand your vocabulary!

Link via Scott
posted by kristin on Oct 24, 2001 - 26 comments

The war of words over Israel

The war of words over Israel continued this week as CNN instructed its journalists to refer to "settlements" as "Jewish neighborhoods." Last month the BBC agreed to stop using the term "assassination" in favor of "targeted killings."
posted by KirkJobSluder on Sep 4, 2001 - 19 comments

At a loss for the right word?

At a loss for the right word? This is an artful way to find another way to say what you mean.
posted by hockeyman on Aug 31, 2001 - 18 comments

Gosh,

Gosh, it seems as though we have run out of words! Jesus Christ, when will it ever end? Sigh.
posted by tweebiscuit on Jul 25, 2001 - 37 comments

The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy: An Interactive Study

The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy: An Interactive Study Since the development of carbonated beverage in 1886, one of linguistic geography's most important and least investigated phenomena has been the sharp regional divisions in the use of the terms "pop" and "soda."
posted by lagado on Apr 18, 2001 - 68 comments

Have you ever wanted to know what hip-hopsters meant when they say things like "gettin' giggy with it," or "man, that's off the skillet"? Well now you can.
Behold: the definitive Hip-Hop dictionary!
posted by mrjoy on Apr 4, 2001 - 11 comments

What is with the word 'Survivor' lately?

What is with the word 'Survivor' lately? First there was the book by Chuck Palahniuk, then came along the "reality" television show (Don't forget the Survivor Soundtrack) and now there is Destiny's Child new album and single called, yep, "Survivor". Oh, and don't forget the "Survivor" movie based on the book coming out later this year. Last, but not least is the owner of Survivor.com, Survivor Software.
My question is, how come there are not hundreds of lawsuits being thrown around for rights to this name?
posted by Mark on Mar 20, 2001 - 15 comments

Not Dubbing the Simpsons

Not Dubbing the Simpsons The Office de la langue française and others are up in arms (ils capotent) about anglicisms in Internet discourse. Business 2.0 talked about it. Branchez-Vous writes a short, cutting article, giving those who pepper their French with English enough rope to hang themselves. («Dans la catégorie "Un mot français, un mot anglais et hop!," le prix revient à Rational Software France, the e-development company, qui a annoncé la nomination d'André Arich au poste de Partner Manager pour sa filiale française, ainsi que le lancement en France du programme de partenariat Rational Unified Partner Program (RUPP).») ¶ Strangely, French has a nicer word for E-mail than English does: courriel. (Grand Dictionnaire is the OLF's official bilingual tech dictionary.)
posted by joeclark on Jan 5, 2001 - 14 comments

How bizarre.

How bizarre. University of Texas at Dallas "Words and Phrases that Offend Students" (mostly blacks and women). So stunned, I don't know what to think of it.
posted by owillis on Sep 25, 2000 - 20 comments

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