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Accents In English

It's Not What You Say, It's The Way That You Say It: George Bernard Shaw famously remarked that every time an Englishman opens his mouth it's guaranteed that another Englishman will despise him. This website offers a motley and unintentionally hilarious collection of the many, ever-growing pronunciations of the English language. The variety is so wide you could almost be listening to different languages. But is a particular accent still an anti-democratic barrier, strictly revealing your position on the socio-geographic ladder, as it was in the days Nancy Mitford discussed U and non-U vocabulary? Or have upper-class accents in the U.K. and U.S. (note the Boston Brahmin samples), once coveted and preferred, now become the opposite: unforgivable impediments? Does posh speech exist in Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as it does in the U.K. and U.S.? In other words: Does it still matter? (Quicktime Audio for main and fourth link; Real Audio for third.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 20, 2003 - 50 comments

 

Lost Words

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

P.S. 666

Ms. Gonick is a dooshe bag. Unfortunate experiences with a gaggle of teenagers in an enclosed space.
posted by kozad on Sep 3, 2003 - 43 comments

Speech Accent Archive

The Speech Accent Archive, with 264 audio clips of native and non-native English speakers reading the same paragraph. Wonderful sounds if you love languages (and who doesn't?), including Bambara, Vietnamese, Uzbek, Quechua and the instantly recognizable Synthesized. [via Tara Calishan's invaluable ResearchBuzz]
posted by mediareport on Aug 14, 2003 - 22 comments

SpellingReform

The Simplified Spelling Society. Finally, a cause I can really get behind. More.
posted by srboisvert on Jun 9, 2003 - 63 comments

Words fail me.

"Bling Bling" has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. To be classified as a noun, pronounced "B to the Izz-L...."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on May 1, 2003 - 27 comments

Learn English.

Learn English.
posted by xmutex on Apr 17, 2003 - 15 comments

Where White-Collar Jobs Are Going

Elocution lessons are helping staff working at call centres in India neutralise their accents and make their sales pitch more effective
call-center workers, computer programmers, these and other positions are being transferred to countries like India. We all know why. Only one reason, they call it Tight labor markets.

This is great news for India, but what exactly will the current call-center workers, programmers and other white collar workers in US do if their jobs will be gone to India ?
Are you worried that your position will one day be replaced by someone on the other side of the world working for 1/3 of your salary ?
posted by bureaustyle on Apr 15, 2003 - 43 comments

Foreigners' common pronunciation mistakes in Eenglish

Ough!* I pronounce the English language unpronounceable: Arriba! Arriba! Arriba! Speedy Gonzales here. When will you make up your minds and stop making fun of pestering us poor foreigners? I mean, it's not as if you yourselves can agree on how to pronounce almost anything... [*As in "plough". Not as in through, , thought, thorough, thought, hiccough, lough or enough already!]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Apr 11, 2003 - 84 comments

Separated By A Common Language And All That Jazz

Do Most Of You Yanks Really Understand What The Brits Here Are On About? Although the cultural mistranslations are probably more a question of tone and habits of irony and understatement, Jeremy Smith's online American·British British·American Dictionary, to be published next September, might be of some assistance. Although I still prefer Terry Gliedt's older but pithier United Kingdom English For The American Novice and even Scotsman Chris Rae's English-to-American Dictionary. Here's a little BBC quiz to test your skills. It seems that Canadians, Australians and [another cute quiz coming up!] New Zealanders are the only Metafilterians to completely capture all the varieties of English usage here. Perhaps it all comes down to the fact that non-U.S. users know much, much less about England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand et caetera than vice-versa? Does anyone else get the occasional feeling we're not exactly speaking the same language here?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 5, 2003 - 66 comments

English Sans French. Quelle horreur!

English Sans without French. Imagine Think of a world of English without any French influence impact, including linguistic. Some beautiful folks at the Christian Science Studies Monitor have done just that.
posted by kokogiak on Mar 14, 2003 - 36 comments

I slap my balls against it!

The English have landed! In the spirit of international confederation, Nerve.com offers this all too brief list of common curses, epithets, and scandalous phrases, along with their French counterpart, and more interestingly, a transliteration of the French so one can better understand the Idiom.
posted by jonson on Jan 23, 2003 - 15 comments

A Menagerie of Animals

Oxford's guide to collective terms for animals is a useful and fascinating although all-too-brief resource. Collective terms for birds are some of my favourites: an unkindness of ravens; a murmuration of starlings; a richness of martens. Bees and sheep seem to have a lot of collective terms. I can't imagine why. Altogether, though, I found one of the terms for for ferrets to be the pick of the bunch.
posted by nthdegx on Jan 13, 2003 - 34 comments

Poetry International Web

Poetry International Web opens today. "Hundreds of poems by acclaimed modern poets from all around the world, both in the original language and in English translation."
posted by igor.boog on Nov 6, 2002 - 7 comments

Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers

Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers That's the actual headline from the NY Times. Can you guess what the teachers are concerned about? A point the story doesn't mention: as these kids grow up, will they change what we consider proper English?
posted by smackfu on Sep 20, 2002 - 33 comments

Why Are The English-Speaking Nations Crap At Foreign Languages?

Why Are The English-Speaking Nations Crap At Foreign Languages? The standard explanation is that they're lazy and arrogant and expect everyone in the world to speak English. Well - surprise, surprise - that's not Philip Hensher's experience and it certainly isn't mine either. So why - or what - is it? [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Aug 12, 2002 - 87 comments

The Apostrophe Protection Society:

The Apostrophe Protection Society: ...reminding all writers of English text, whether on notices or in documents of any type, of the correct usage of the apostrophe should you wish to put right mistakes you may have inadvertently made.
posted by acridrabbit on Aug 12, 2002 - 57 comments

How To Say Yes (Or No) To British Food:

How To Say Yes (Or No) To British Food: Apart from the language barrier (ably demolished by Mike Etherington's magnificent online dictionary), British food has a dreadful reputation all over the world. Yet people who try it, whatever their nationality, often find they enjoy it. If it's properly made, that is. Enter Helen Watson's impeccable and ethnically correct recipes. And those who can't be bothered to cook can always plump for the many ready-made goodies (and some real stinkers) now offered by internet mail order firms. The most promising has got to be, with over 2,500 goodies, the FBC Brit Shop. Unfortunately it's based in Japan and will only start delivering in September. The best of the rest is probably yummy British Delights. My mother's English so I'm obviously biased, but aren't a lot of people missing out on the unique gastronomic charms of the good old United K? Oh yes![FBC link pilfered from the Boing Boing larder.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Aug 3, 2002 - 63 comments

blimey charlie the french are getting right hot

blimey charlie the french are getting right hot under the collar. There is growing indignation in france at the creeping use of the english language. Well now it seems that the EU, with an impeccable track record of supporting the french is suddenly ruffling a few feathers.
posted by johnnyboy on Aug 2, 2002 - 47 comments

God,

God, you our Fadda. You stay in da sky. We like all da peopo know fo shua how you stay, an dat you good an spesho inside, an we like dem give you plenny respeck. We like you come king ova hea now. We like everybody make jalike you like, ova hea inside da world, jalike da angel guys up inside da sky make jalike you like. Give us da food we need fo every day. Let us go, an throw out our shame fo all da kine bad stuff we do to you, jalike us guys let da odda guys go awready, an we no stay huhu wit dem fo all da kine bad stuff dey do to us. No let us get chance fo do bad kine stuff, But take us outa dea, so da Bad Guy no can hurt us. Cuz you our king, you get da real power, an you stay awesome fo eva. Dass it!

Hawaii Creole English, from the Language Museum, which lists examples of 2000 languges.
posted by swift on Jul 18, 2002 - 14 comments

It appears England is made up of an ethnic cleansing event from people coming across from the continent after the Romans left. Our findings completely overturn the modern view of the origins of the English.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 5, 2002 - 21 comments

Is the Internet Suffering from Acute 'Englishitis'?

Is the Internet Suffering from Acute 'Englishitis'? "...the advantage among Net surfers will soon no longer belong to English-speaking users but rather to those who master several languages. Multilingualism is without a doubt the future of the network...."
posted by papalotl on Jan 30, 2002 - 18 comments

Learning propper english gramar ain't gotta suck no longer. Someones made it fun and enjoyable for everybody! And when you meat someone who can't write good, you'll know why. This could even be the dearth of the MeFi grammar flames even! (nahhh)
posted by BentPenguin on Dec 29, 2001 - 6 comments

English

English It's the language of Metafilter, Internet, eveything. Everybody happy? I'm a native speaker but I don't live in an English speaking country. Apart from the it's inevitable/ I couldn't give a crap, it's my language stuff, is anybody out there ambiguous? (More inside)
posted by Zootoon on Dec 24, 2001 - 62 comments

Al Jazeera english language summary.

Al Jazeera english language summary. Since the original al Jazeera site is in arabic, this wbur website, gives a summary of the stories covered by the network in english. Of course, one can try to translate automatically (ajeeb, registration required), but the results are usually comical.
posted by talos on Nov 23, 2001 - 2 comments

A blistering dissection

A blistering dissection of David Foster Wallace and Simon Winchester's previously published essays on English usage, by Mark Halpern. Though I like some of Wallace's writing, I admit it's nice to see the scalpel taken to Wallace's "style for style's sake".
posted by Big Fat Tycoon on Oct 19, 2001 - 29 comments

A Little Light Relief - and Brush Up Your English While You're At It.

A Little Light Relief - and Brush Up Your English While You're At It. In the spirit of poking fun at one's own flesh and blood - and respecting all those who aren't - I offer the most appalling tribute to Shakespeare's and Emerson's language since time itself began. I give you, ladies and gentlemen, the great Portuguese scholar Pedro Carolino, whose "English As She Is Spoke" Mark Twain considered to be the funniest book ever written. Start with "Familiar Dialogues 1" and, if you've still been able to keep a straight face, try "Idiotisms and Proverbs" for the full effect... (Thanks to Ganz's Humor Page)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 20, 2001 - 19 comments

It's, like, the Like Virus

It's, like, the Like Virus An amusing and misanthropic inquiry into a mysterious linguistic phenomenon.It adds as much to our fair English language as barnacles do to a wharf or calculi to a healthy kidney. So, like, what is it about the word that makes people like us it all the time? (Question mark used to indicate raising vocal pitch at end of sentence)
posted by fellorwaspushed on Sep 4, 2001 - 30 comments

Survey on Learning Standard American English in Black American Communities.

Survey on Learning Standard American English in Black American Communities. This academic survey is designed to gather attitudes among Black Americans regarding Ebonics, better known to linguists at African American Vernacular English.
posted by Mo Nickels on Jul 5, 2001 - 42 comments

You Stupid #@$!

You Stupid #@$! In England, children are learning how to swear. What the #@%&? Aren't they learning enough of this #@&! on the street? I believe that the standards for streets smarts have really slipped over the years. Children should be learning their four letter words at the same place they learn about sex, on the street!
posted by aj100 on Jul 2, 2001 - 9 comments

Freespeling.com (with one el).

Freespeling.com (with one el). Because only 17% of native English speakers can spell "height", "necessary", "accommodation", "separate", "sincerely", and "business" correctly. Good idea or bad idea?
posted by Firda on Apr 5, 2001 - 30 comments

Verb for sarcasm:

Verb for sarcasm: It's a good idea. It's missing from the English language. Not anymore.
posted by borgle on Mar 9, 2001 - 32 comments

How to buy cutting-edge home electronics sold only in Asia — and still be able to read the manuals.

How to buy cutting-edge home electronics sold only in Asia — and still be able to read the manuals. have you ever bought electronics [or anything] through specialty websites that was not available locally? god bless the internet.
posted by palegirl on Mar 7, 2001 - 9 comments

It's easy to get complacent and not learn foreign languages when you speak native English. In the UK, knowledge of foreign languages verges on the comical.
posted by ecvgi on Feb 22, 2001 - 23 comments

Ooooh, those trendy young Brits and their funny new words.

Ooooh, those trendy young Brits and their funny new words. What I can't help wondering is how many people have been sending in made up slang. (via clog).
posted by davidgentle on Dec 14, 2000 - 22 comments

October Coffee Crisis.

October Coffee Crisis. Montreal Gazette: "In its communiques, the BAF warned that Second Cup franchises were to be 'in the line of fire' and warned of an escalation of violent acts if Second Cup and other chains insist on keeping their trademark English names." More Trudeau nostalgia?
posted by todd on Oct 12, 2000 - 7 comments

When colleagues in countries outside the U.S. attempt to get me to understand how the rest of the world could loathe us quite as much as they do, this is what they are talking about. "Well, shee-oot, they don' even speak English down there, howthehell they gonna know them tires is not safe? Just slap a little ol' label on 'em and say they're safe.... Oughta be good 'nough!"
posted by m.polo on Aug 29, 2000 - 16 comments

CatchPhrase BuzzWord of the NanoSecond

CatchPhrase BuzzWord of the NanoSecond - issue terrain i.e.: "The issue terrain favors us enormously." LOL! I can't stop laughing! issue terrain! What? They have men sitting in little smokefilled rooms coming up with these things? "The political climate is bad for Gore (brrr!), but how about his issue terrain?" "Oh that's good! No one knows what that is yet cuz we haven't defined it, so naturally his issue terrain is good!" ROTFLMAO!
posted by ZachsMind on Aug 14, 2000 - 4 comments

Well, I'm compleetly fed up with english speling for everything. Its so dammed inconsistant and ilogical, Ill never get the hang of it. Forchunately, now theres a way to express yourselfs using chinese-like english characters. It's called Yingzi and now you can write english as quickly as you can write for Fellini or for Peach
posted by lagado on Jul 23, 2000 - 13 comments

Recently updated Japanese Engrish!
posted by veruca on Mar 13, 2000 - 1 comment

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