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833 posts tagged with Language.
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City Poems

On walls and pavements in cities around the world you may encounter poetry.
posted by Wolfdog on Feb 6, 2007 - 7 comments

You, Sir (Or Madam), Are A Pontifical Nincompoop

Pompous Ass Words is a site dedicated to identifying words that shouldn't be used, on the grounds that doing so makes you sound like a pompous ass. With humorous citations and links to examples of pompous word usage by the media.
posted by amyms on Jan 27, 2007 - 202 comments

Yet Another Text To Speech program

Oddcast's Text To Speech Demos let you type in words in 14 different languages. Hear thick accents if you enter English or learn how to pronounce that word you always say wrong in Spanish.
posted by daninnj on Jan 25, 2007 - 23 comments

In My Language

An autistic woman "speaks" her language, then ours. (YouTube) "My language is not about designing words or even visual symbols for people to interpret. It is about being in a constant conversation with every aspect of my environment, reacting physically to all parts of my surroundings." [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Jan 25, 2007 - 170 comments

Hidden, accidental and otherwise entertaining acrostics.

Most elusive, these acrostics: fictional, insurrectionary, literary, tragic, even religious.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 15, 2007 - 26 comments

Magic Keyboard!

Multilingual Keyboard Emulator.
posted by anticlock on Jan 8, 2007 - 15 comments

Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

"No spreck-a de Irish, no." When the EU added Irish to its list of 'working languages', most press reports cited the 2002 census in which a third of the population claimed 'an ability' to speak the first official language. Manchán Magan, a broadcaster for Irish-language TG4, decided to put those claims to the test, by travelling across the island speaking nothing but its ancestral tongue -- to shop assistants, tourist information staff, and even phone sex operators.
posted by holgate on Jan 5, 2007 - 72 comments

"This sister of mine, a dark shadow robbing me of sunlight, is my one and only torment."

The strange story of June and Jennifer Gibbons.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 29, 2006 - 9 comments

Tags only!

Wordie: social networking... for words. Catalog your favourite (or least favourite) words — make any variety of word lists, and connect to other users using the same words. Silly, but fun!
posted by Robot Johnny on Nov 29, 2006 - 12 comments

British dialectical prescriptivism from the voice of Today

John Humphrys is a militant grammarian: "We all care about language. Your concern may be different from the young hoodie's." On the other hand, he may have a point: "The simple fact is we cannot afford to be careless with our language, because if we are careless with our language then we are careless with our world and sooner or later we will be lost for words to describe what we have allowed to happen to it." (via)
posted by anotherpanacea on Nov 8, 2006 - 39 comments

Dona eis requiem. Latin mass to return?

Pope Benedict XVI wants to bring back the latin mass. This could be the start of a return to the old Catholic traditionalism and the undoing of Vatican II.
posted by SansPoint on Oct 23, 2006 - 71 comments

Comrade Borodin is a very cultured person

In 1974 Alexander Lipson wrote an excellent Russian language textbook: scanned highlights, complete book. However, its value goes beyond the merely pedagogical. via our very own metafilter udarnik languagehat.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Oct 11, 2006 - 24 comments

The end of cursive?

The end of cursive? When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters. "Cursive -- that is so low on the priority list, we really could care less. We are much more concerned that these kids pass their SOLs [standardized tests]."
posted by stbalbach on Oct 11, 2006 - 243 comments

a language in the mind is worth two in the book

More languages are in danger than ever, but some argue that this is no big deal. Is language extinction only worrisome because it means a loss of diversity?
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson on Oct 1, 2006 - 32 comments

Tao Te Ching in many languages

The Tao Te Ching in dozens of languages and translations, with a lovely side-by-side comparison tool.
posted by Wolfdog on Sep 10, 2006 - 19 comments

Esta thread est en Europanto.

Que would happen if, wenn Du open your Metafilter, finde eine message in esta lingua? No est Englando, no est Germano, no est Espano, no est keine known lingua - aber Du understande! Wat happen zo! Habe your computero eine virus catched? Habe Du sudden BSE gedeveloped? No, Du esse lezendo la neue europese lingua: de Europanto!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 5, 2006 - 130 comments

How to Speak 19th Century

Forgotten vocabulary. Words and phrases from an earlier era, the early Nineteenth century. Some slang too. (via the Presurfer)
posted by caddis on Aug 30, 2006 - 41 comments

Write your name in Tengwar (Tolkien's Elvish)

Write your name in Tengwar, the Elvish language/alphabet created by JRR Tolkien. You can work with Tengwar fonts based on Middle Earth languages and runes and see many examples of the script via a Google Image search. According to Tolkien, "there is quite a bit of linguistic wisdom in it." There are certainly websites devoted to his languages and thier history. And It took some thought and work to make the speech sound right in the movies.
posted by persona non grata on Aug 29, 2006 - 27 comments

The Ecology of Magic

The Ecology of Magic is the abbreviated first chapter of David Abram's Spell of the Sensuous. Abram explores the intersection of phenomenology, synesthesia and linguistics to discover the magic of the alphabet, the sacred winds, and ultimately, the root of animism. Abram finds the locus of these superstitions not in an imagined metaphysical sphere, but rooted in our sensuous experience of the world around us. He attributes much of our cavalier attitude towards our environment to our separation from our own experience, and ultimately, our loss of magic. "The fate of the earth depends on a return to our senses."
posted by jefgodesky on Aug 29, 2006 - 21 comments

T-Shirt Censorship: Beginnings of a Deadly Sentiment?

Raed Jarrar was coming home from Jordan wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "We will not be silent" in Arabic script and English. Other JetBlue passengers who could not read the Arabic were "offended" and she was apprehended by security and asked to replace it. She also had her seat changed to the back of the plane. Variations on T-shirt airline censorship have happened before, but, taken to extremes, the fear of foreign language has spawned some unpleasant nights. Where is the line drawn? And where is the path to multicultural reconciliation?
posted by ed on Aug 21, 2006 - 70 comments

Learning and Loving it

Next step: English Video helping kids learn roman script
posted by kozad on Aug 20, 2006 - 5 comments

Type, handwriting, and lettering

Type, handwriting, and lettering
posted by persona non grata on Aug 20, 2006 - 17 comments

Inflamed what?

In Wales, signs are bilingual. Sometimes, they get it very wrong
posted by handee on Aug 17, 2006 - 50 comments

ground becomes figure

Fascination with ground and figure carries on in various fields after The Rubin vase / face Illusion, M.C. Escher, and Marshall McLuhan. Besides being extremely important in the fields of photography and poetry, the figure/ground relationship is important to physicist Paul Davies, who says "the true miracle of nature is to be found in the ingenious and unswerving lawfulness of the cosmos, a lawfulness that permits complex order to emerge from chaos, life to emerge from inanimate matter, and consciousness to emerge from life." Also, Peter Grundy and Yiang Yan discuss how contextual ground relates to linguistic figure in Bill Clinton's famous apology, Andrew Graydon plays with the distinction between sound as environment and sound as music, and W.C. Richardson creates paintings in which "positive and negative spaces seem unstable; figure becomes ground, ground becomes figure."
posted by Aghast. on Aug 12, 2006 - 3 comments

The Origins and Evolution of Intelligence

The origins and evolution of human intelligence: parasitic insects? viruses? mushrooms? neural darwinism? foraging? machiavellian competition? emergence? or something else?
posted by MetaMonkey on Jul 24, 2006 - 26 comments

¡Soy loco por McDonald's!

NJ Mayor calls Spanish-language ad "offensive." Linguistics professor Geoffrey Pollum says "Wtf, mate?"
posted by Bizurke on Jul 23, 2006 - 63 comments

Coming soon to a cinema near you

The Human Speechome Project - "A baby is to be monitored by a network of microphones and video cameras for 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, in an effort to unravel the seemingly miraculous process by which children acquire language.". Selected video clips. Paper (PDF, 750KB). To test hypotheses of how children learn, Prof Deb Roy's team at MIT will develop machine learning systems that “step into the shoes” of his son by processing the sights and sounds of three years of life at home. Total storage required: 1.4 petabytes.
posted by Gyan on Jul 23, 2006 - 21 comments

Scots' speech for the glaikit

Losh! That's a stoater of a web site!
posted by persona non grata on Jul 21, 2006 - 20 comments

Griko, Ladino and ethnolinguistics

Griko is a language used by the descendents of ancient Greek colonists in southern Italy that still has thousands of speakers. Pennsylvania Dutch, the only German language native to North America, was used as a first language until well into the twentieth century. Ladino ia a variant of medieval Spanish written in the Hebrew alphabet that florished among refugees from the Spanish Inquisition in modern Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. Welcome to the world of ethnolinguistics.
posted by huskerdont on Jul 20, 2006 - 22 comments

A podcast for learning Italian.

learnitalianpod - a thoroughly archived podcast that can teach you to speak Italian. RSS
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2006 - 26 comments

Celebrities A La Mode

Max Factors: What do Tom Hanks, Patrick Swayze, and Sigourney Weaver have in common? Well, let's just say that da Vinci isn't the only code featuring Tom Hanks these days. (Previously, on MetaFilter) (Some text may be NSFW)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson on Jul 10, 2006 - 18 comments

'What words say does not last. The words last. Because words are always the same, and what they say is never the same.'

The Phrontistery presents A Compendium of Lost Words
posted by anastasiav on Jul 1, 2006 - 14 comments

"I was robbed by two men!"

"Spare me my life!" In the innocuous early '90's, Fuji TV came up with Zuiikin English, a television program which combined quirky language lessons with bradykinetic exercise. Was Zuiikin English ahead of its time? Or is it merely enjoyable bunk? (More here and here.)
posted by ed on Jun 22, 2006 - 16 comments

Backs to the future?

New analysis of the language and gesture of South America's indigenous Aymara people indicates they have a concept of time opposite to all the world's studied cultures -- the past is ahead of them and the future behind. The morphologically-rich language, of which you can hear samples here, may also prove useful to computer scientists due to its unique ternary logic system.
posted by youarenothere on Jun 12, 2006 - 42 comments

Meet the newspeak, same as the oldspeak

When taking lessons in English from the BBC, be sure to follow up with remedial "playground-speak"
posted by Mr. Six on Jun 12, 2006 - 198 comments

Terror and the language.

I would have thought that these charges could fairly be represented as terrorism, yet in 108 links in Google News, there is no mention of "terror" or any of its derivations. Has the word been hijacked?
posted by Neiltupper on Jun 9, 2006 - 104 comments

Nehmen Sie meine Frau, bitte!

Lost in translation. British Comedian Stewart Lee explores comedy in Germany and finds it stymied by the peculiarities of language and sentence construction. Mark Liberman at Language Log disagrees. And an extended essay by Josh Schonwald explores in greater depth how the German comedy scene is transitioning (PDF) from the more traditional kabernett to a burgeoning stand-up comedy scene, which is characterized by one observer as being in "the Bob Hope phase of comedy."
posted by madamjujujive on May 26, 2006 - 72 comments

This is fiction

Writing has been around for a long time, but that doesn't mean we've mastered it yet. Want to make fiction? Perhaps it makes itself, perhaps it makes you... Self reference breeding infinite hyperrealities. Which world will you choose?
posted by 0bvious on May 10, 2006 - 9 comments

Live here and now.

Living without Numbers or Time...
The Pirahã people have no history, no descriptive words and no subordinate clauses. That makes their language one of the strangest in the world -- and also one of the most hotly debated by linguists. [via aldaily.com]
posted by moonbird on May 10, 2006 - 43 comments

Honey, get elua beers out of the fridge, would you?

It is an official language in this US State, and if somebody writes you a check in it while you're here, you better know your numbers. Although its usage fell after a sharp decrease in the native speakers' population and a later 'ban', (not really) in the late 19th century, it is now making a comeback. Wikipedia gets its name from the language. Sadly, though there are almost 4 million Wikipedia articles, a scant 27 of them are written in it. Of course, if you just need a dictionary, it's not hard to find.
posted by onalark on Apr 25, 2006 - 20 comments

Und, natürlich, ein Elfmetertor in der letzten Minute

And you thought football itself was the universal language. The London chapter of the Goethe Institute jumps on the opportunity and offers a £35 crash course in German for the World Cup. Start out with these handy play scenario charts (pdf). Or, take the easy route and turn to AskMen for guidance.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 12, 2006 - 16 comments

Actually Useful French

Phrases you'd really like to know before you go to France. Special bonus how to be an obnoxious lover in French.
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Apr 6, 2006 - 25 comments

The BBC profanity index

The BBC uses a survey, apparently, to rank words by their perceived offensiveness.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Mar 30, 2006 - 63 comments

The Routes of English

The Routes of English on BBC Radio 4 tells the story of spoken english. If that's not enough for you, you can test your knowledge, learn about the spread of the language, play games (Do you know where 'ketchup' originates?) Check out the Q&A. Learn about Churchill's roar. Then check out the related links. Most sound clips are in RealPlayer format. Real Alternative here.
posted by blue_beetle on Mar 28, 2006 - 9 comments

Princess Caraboo

In April of 1817, a distraught, exotic, bizarre young lady wearing a black turban appeared in the village of Almondsbury, England. She spoke an unintelligible language, and mystified villagers brought her to see the local magistrate. Linguistic experts of the day were baffled: until a Portuguese sailor appeared, who claimed to be able to translate. He explained that she was kidnapped royalty from the island of Javasu. She called herself Princess Caraboo.
posted by Count Ziggurat on Mar 18, 2006 - 11 comments

The Shavian adjective

So where here the b****y hell are you? has been banned from UK TV screens by the BACC (Thanks a b****y lot) for being offensive even though a study (Language and Sexual Imagery in Broadcasting: A Contextual Investigation) [PDF] released by Ofcom in September 2005 found that b****y was "Not really offensive to any group, seen as everyday sort of language". This from the nation that brought us Little Britain [NSFW]. Some banned advertising still lives on though.
posted by tellurian on Mar 9, 2006 - 41 comments

Words, People, Play.

Babies, Footsies, Holdies. Carry, Foul, Slam. Tea Parties, Fairbacks, Cherry Bombs. Double Taps, Underhand, Blackjack. Bitch Serving, Jedi, Extreme. Chicken Drops, Peppermint Sticks, Kamikazes. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus. Land Mines, Demons, Black Magic.
posted by bardic on Feb 20, 2006 - 18 comments

Dude!

Dude!...Dude. [via AIR]
posted by bigmike on Feb 4, 2006 - 22 comments

Lost in translation

What's the Korean for thanatophany or the Icelandic for snoek? J M Coetzee writes about the problems and delights of translation. [via languagehat]
posted by johnny novak on Feb 2, 2006 - 15 comments

It'll end in tears

Colloquial phrases endure, even after their meaning is no longer understood. Some are surprising and others are surprisingly malevolent. Some of my favorites are of exactly that theme. Do you have any favorites?
posted by uni verse on Jan 24, 2006 - 47 comments

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