McDonalds CEO Puts McJob in Mainstream.
By taking Merriam-Webster to task for including McJob
("low paying and dead-end work") in its latest Collegiate Dictionary, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo has ensured that yet another disparaging fast-food web-fed meme joins the venerable "You want fries with that?" If this had been Fox, I would have said it was intentional.
posted by mischief
on Nov 8, 2003 -
Qur’an in Aramaic? Virgins become raisins, veils become belts.
"Luxenberg’s chief hypothesis is that the original language of the Qur’an was not Arabic but something closer to Aramaic. He says the copy of the Qur’an used today is a mistranscription of the original text from Muhammad’s time, which according to Islamic tradition was destroyed by the third caliph, Osman, in the seventh century. But Arabic did not turn up as a written language until 150 years after Muhammad’s death, and most learned Arabs at that time spoke a version of Aramaic."
posted by four panels
on Jul 29, 2003 -
Why articulate people make bad colleagues
Nick Denton, proprietor of various websites, sometime columnist for Management Today, and supposed intelligent person has come up with this gem in his weblog:
"But I've been interviewing software engineers, and find myself prejudiced against those that talk fluently. . . . Either they were born persuasive, and so they've always been able to get away with it; or else they've always broken promises, so they've had to learn how to explain away their failures."
For the most part, I think he's wrong, but I can see where he's coming from. Should articulate people be banned from time-sensitive positions?
posted by gkostolny
on Feb 5, 2003 -
Quanto putas mihi stare hoc conclave ?
That's "How many prostitutes does it take to change a lightbulb?" in Latin. No, actually it's "How much do you think I paid for this apartment?". Here's hoping, in the wake of the BBC's superb The Roman Way
series, written and presented by David Aaranovich, that good old Latin is on its way back, albeit in an Internet, soundbitey way. Those intending to smuggle some into MetaFilter should definitely start here
. The owner, for instance, might find Ne ponatur in mea vicinitate
useful - "Not in my backyard". And Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
- "I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult" should prove popular in the God threads. Vale
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 3, 2003 -
Jorlon khaan bain ve?
The first stop in Oissubke's trip around the online world is the beautiful
land of Mongolia
. Take a moment to leave the America-centric (not that there's anything wrong with that!) Web and see what the internet looks like from someone else's eyes...
I've tried to pick sites that provide unique and interesting insights into the Mongolian internet, not just whatever Google coughed up for "Mongolia". Unless this post particularly annoys people, I'll plan to continue my journey with Liechtenstein in a few days.
posted by oissubke
on Oct 21, 2002 -
The Big Book of Sign Language (from rotten.com).
Have you ever wondered how to sign phrases such as "I shovel shit all day long", "I want to pull the shrieking voices from my head and smoosh them", and "Unlock my legs and get it over with"? The Big Book shows you how. Inappropriate? Yes. Hysterical? Yes. (Portions may not be safe for work. Link via Magnetbox
. Thanks, ben.)
posted by moz
on Jul 9, 2002 -
is a 'weblog on language' by a Brussels-based freelance interpreter. Are any of your favourite blogs on
posted by ceiriog
on Apr 22, 2002 -
an interesting look into an often overlooked and ignored lexicon - even if it is an ugly one. jtx from hatesville
is building a reference to the language of hate, but he needs your help.
posted by boogah
on Feb 24, 2002 -
A mindbending little site [sight, cite] designed for [fore, four] the wordsmith/word-splitter in you.
posted by webchick
on Nov 21, 2001 -
The religious language used by the terrorists
may suggest what they are really thinking, argues Robert Wisnovsky in Slate
. His conclusions might not be what you expected: one, they're not particularly Islamic, but rather use Islamic terms to "
attempt to lend religious weight to what is basically a political ideology
"; and two, their real target is not America or the West (except indirectly), but the monarchies of the Arabian peninsula. Interesting insights from a linguistic perspective.
posted by mcwetboy
on Oct 24, 2001 -
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 -
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 -
"Language Gene" found...
(link to arstechnica
"A group of Oxford University researchers presented findings in this week's Nature that they isolated a gene called FOXP2 that appears to be involved in both speech and language development." this is intriguing... that so much can start from so little.
posted by zerolucid
on Oct 5, 2001 -
Ever wanted to learn Japanese?
"The bottom line is that Politeness Levels are completely beyond your understanding, so don't even try. Just resign yourself to talking like a little girl for the rest of your life and hope to God that no one beats you up."
posted by skallas
on Sep 20, 2001 -
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 -
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 -
The Bush Dyslexicon Ever since the presidential campaign, George W. Bush's adventures in the English language have alternately amused and horrified the nation. But according to media scholar Mark Crispin Miller's scathing new book, The Bush Dyslexicon, to conclude merely that Bush is dimwitted would be a grave mistake. The President's linguistic fumbles, argues Miller, mask a deep and shrewd political vindictiveness; at the same time, the shallowness revealed in Bush's unscripted remarks has been largely ignored or coddled by a national media more interested in soundbites than in political substance.
I don't know what is more frightening: that this guy is right, and we have much more to fear about Bush, Jr. than we thought...or that he is wrong, and we do indeed live in a land whose president is an imbecile.
posted by mapalm
on Jul 31, 2001 -
Emoticons creep closer to being officially considered writing
You have to scroll down a ways ... I don't mean to sound elitist. I believe language is a living thing, and can grow and change and grow up to be a ballerina, if it wants to, even if that seems like an innocent child's dream right now, and is not to be taken seriously really. Seriously though, don't you have a kind of sick feeling that a version of the OED is giving recognition to the idea that punctuation and numerals are making entry into language?
posted by rschram
on Jul 13, 2001 -
Lost in Translation
TRANSLATION: This extension of the pagination the great energy of the translation
of the confusion of Alta Vista.
ORIGINAL TEXT: This page demonstrates the great translating power of altavista's babel.
posted by howa2396
on Mar 15, 2001 -
of the Legend Bagger Vance written in the Mad Ape Den
dialect. What is Mad Ape Den
, you ask? It is a dialect which spurns all words with more than three letters. After all, "If you can not say it in one or in two (or in one and two) why say it at all?"
posted by pixelpony
on Dec 8, 2000 -
The Meatball Ad
is mostly being run in California by the Buchanan Campaign
. Today was the first time I saw it running in New York. I have not seen any of the other presidential candidates are running any TV ads here. The ad shows a man passing out while waiting for the 911 voice choice menu after choking from eating a meatball as the TV news in the background declares that English is no longer America's official language. (The link is to a quicktime file.)
posted by tamim
on Oct 27, 2000 -
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 -
Are You 3000 Plus?
Find out just how good your web writing is with this revolutionary online tool developed by the super-secret TSD Labs. Complex natural language analysis is performed to determine the complexity, readability, and likability of your writing.
posted by daveadams
on Apr 2, 2000 -
First it was safety scissors. Now we can all sleep safer knowing we are safe from dangerous words
Weren't schools rewarding honor students at some point, or is my memory bad? (via obscurestore
posted by mrmorgan
on Mar 14, 2000 -
I have to say, the smurfalizer
is the smurfiest site I've smurfed all day. I wonder if I can find the Taxi Driver
script online, just to see "Did you smurf my wife? What? How can you ask me something like that? You heard me! Did you smurf my wife!?!"
posted by mathowie
on Mar 9, 2000 -
This cool tool
grabs Wired News
headlines and randomly assembles them into phrases of marketing-ese. Here's a good example: 'Savvy middleware is wiring the planetwide medium of the hyper village.'
posted by mathowie
on Sep 29, 1999 -