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My Favorite Word

My favorite word. Add your own.
posted by OmieWise on Jul 18, 2005 - 110 comments

The Little Prince in a 100 Languages

If listening to sound of different languages is something you may be interested in, visit the multimedia language project website hosted by the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. It features the sound files of a small blurb from Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince read outloud in a 100 different languages. The blurbs are also textually transcribed. [See more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on May 17, 2005 - 22 comments

Michael Bolton is going to have trouble getting a jersey

The 1,120 words you can't say on the back of your custom NFL jersey NSFW sort of
posted by drezdn on Mar 2, 2005 - 36 comments

Favorite Words of 2004

Linguists Gone Wild Linguists from The American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America recently met to vote for the Words of the Year, in various categories—Most Useful, Creative, Unnecessary, Outrageous, and Euphemistic; Most and Least Likely To Succeed; and an overall Word of the Year... no one really cares unless we pretend that These Are Important Words That Define Us as Americans. Still, that's marginally better than the alternate interpretation: This Is How Scholars Waste Their Time When They Could Be Doing Real Work.
posted by weepingsore on Jan 12, 2005 - 23 comments

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

Looking for ohibitutic and purspermal words, but need something a little more rhymmeal? Cromulac might just be the tingulen you're spranning for.
posted by Robot Johnny on Jan 7, 2005 - 17 comments

More Than Seven Words You Can't Say...

New Year's Tradition: Banishing Words (yes, I've done this before) L.S.S.U has been making lists since 1976, but after all the censorship battles of the last year, they probably should be using less threatening terminology than "banished". Still, most of the terminology in this Hall of Shame list certainly deserves to be discouraged, derided and degraded.

Of course, Creative Deity Matt Groening does his own annual list of Forbidden Words, and some webhead has developed a cool webtool: The Forbidden Words Flagger.
posted by wendell on Dec 31, 2004 - 31 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

Dude, where's my safely heterosexual intimacy?

Deconstructing Dude A linguist from the University of Pittsburgh has published a scholarly paper deconstructing and deciphering the word "dude," contending it is much more than a catchall for lazy, inarticulate surfers, slackers and teenagers. An admitted dude-user during his college years, Scott Kiesling said the four-letter word has many uses, all of which express closeness between men in a safely heterosexual manner. How about you? Do you do the dude? If so, does that mean you're white [PDF]?
posted by owenville on Dec 8, 2004 - 32 comments

To the French, it is the flower that thinks; what do the English call it?

Etymology-wise, which hormone is an island? What word both denotes a prime and euphemizes Satan? What word denotes "the future" and abbreviates the unknown? Is urine pith? These are some of the questions from "Moot: The World's Toughest Language Game," a homemade and little-known board game for lovers of words. Some puzzles are available online; there are a few more available on a page detailing the interesting story behind the game's creation. You can sign up to have a new language puzzle e-mailed to you every week.
posted by painquale on Dec 4, 2004 - 8 comments

Awkwardfulness is. Long is not

Pentasyllabic is. Edible is not. Some words refer to themselves, some do not - an introduction to the paradox of language and a way to amaze your easily-amazed friends. In a similar vein, you may already test yourself by using e-prime, but do you know the thirty-two eskimo words for snow?
posted by blahblahblah on Nov 30, 2004 - 98 comments

A Mother for Your Mind

The British Council polls non-English speakers for the seventy most beautiful English words. Mother comes out on top (as ever), with lullaby, oi (my favourite), and — bizarrely — hen night also appearing. I much prefer the examples of Wilfred Funk (and others): dawn, chalice and gossamer, for instance [source origin]. Beautiful words can be combined to form beautiful phrases and sometimes more. German words are also beautiful; habseligkeiten (meaning property), and such. Words can also be curious, people have observed; but also be truly awful, as a quick search of the phrases "global experience" and "leading edge" will attest.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 25, 2004 - 58 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

101 words, and yet I cannot think of a clever title...

101 years in 101 words
posted by Orange Goblin on Oct 19, 2004 - 14 comments

I am not a word, I am a free man!

Becoming a word. Just over a year ago, Shelley Jackson launched the Skin project, which aimed to tattoo a story one word at a time onto other people. Shelley herself has the title, and here's an essay from a the. I hope the story isn't set on Anglesey.
posted by nylon on Sep 28, 2004 - 8 comments

It'll go over well in Nantucket...

The OEDILF is an audacious project which is attempting to write a limerick for every word in the English language. 642 limericks have been completed so far. Here's an overview of the project. Is it possible? Here's what editor-in-chief Chris J. Stolin says:
Skeptics say it's inconceivable.
A new OED? Unbelievable!
But I feel secure
That if we only endure,
It's a goal that is wholly achievable!
(via languagehat.)
posted by Vidiot on Aug 18, 2004 - 16 comments

54422 4976: 9397 408

487 2398 (5617)
(2179 10278 4976)

8823 19 40470

posted by wendell on Jul 25, 2004 - 64 comments

Sex At Noon Taxes

Palindromes
::shamelessly stolen from plep::
posted by anastasiav on Jul 24, 2004 - 20 comments

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. -- Mark Twain

Oxymorons
posted by anastasiav on Jul 23, 2004 - 36 comments

eh?

Words: Woe & Wonder The CBC explains and debates usage from a Canadian-journalism standpoint - for example, why the Iraqi ex-leader is referred to by his first name and whether to capitalize this place.
posted by casarkos on Jul 15, 2004 - 8 comments

Blissymbolics ~ Handywrite ~ Teeline ~ Gregg ~ Pitman

A Guide to Alternative Handwriting and Shorthand Systems
posted by anastasiav on Jul 5, 2004 - 8 comments

tk

"Hey fagdaddy why u killl teammates?" A cobbeled session in word parsing.
posted by the fire you left me on Jun 23, 2004 - 6 comments

One person’s gaffe is another’s peccadillo

Common Errors In English :: an internet guide
posted by anastasiav on Jun 20, 2004 - 117 comments

The Limerick packs jokes anatomical ...

Wordcraft, an on-line community of linguaphiles, best known for its extensive collection of eponyms, has taken on a new and fairly ambitious project -- they're trying to rewrite the entire Oxford English Dictionary -- in limerick form. So far they're only on the a's, but they do seem optimistic.
Shamelessly stolen from languagehat's blog
posted by anastasiav on Jun 18, 2004 - 7 comments

The Web's #1 Axe In My Head Page

"Oh my god! There's an axe in my head"
posted by anastasiav on Jun 15, 2004 - 21 comments

Onomatopoeia, gee it's good to see ya!

If you don't like dictionary posts, look away, NOW!
But if you like to play with words, the dictionarians at Merriam-Webster have announced the winners in their poll for the Ten Favorite Words for 2004:
defenestration, serendipity, onomatopoeia, discombobulate, plethora, callipygian, juxtapose, persnickety, kerfuffle and flibbertigibbet
Also, a list of runners-up with more of my personal faves: oxymoron, copacetic, curmudgeon, conundrum, euphemism, superfluous, and of course, Smock! Smock! Smock!
[more inside] Via vidiot.
posted by wendell on Jun 12, 2004 - 41 comments

Naked Words

Naked body letters. Um... letters made out of naked bodies. Obviously not safe for work, but really more artsy and "nude" than even erotic. K, T and C are particularly nice, for example.
posted by Shane on Jun 10, 2004 - 7 comments

Head-butt

Give me a Glasgow kiss! The OED's newest English words. Glasgow kiss, n. [ Glasgow, the name of a city in west central Scotland + KISS n., in humorous allusion to the reputation for violence accorded to some parts of the city. Cf. earlier Liverpool kiss s.v. LIVERPOOL n.] A head-butt.
posted by mfoight on Jun 10, 2004 - 19 comments

Here's one for Languagehat

Double-Tongued Word Wrester :: Words from the fringes of English
posted by anastasiav on Jun 4, 2004 - 5 comments

"Autochthonous. A. U. T. O. C. H. ..."

Here are the words (and the kids) that won the 2004 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday. I'm glad to see appear three of my favorite words, "velleity", "lagniappe" (from the Quechua!), and for the win, "autochthonous."
posted by nicwolff on Jun 4, 2004 - 46 comments

Forthright's Phrontistery

Forthright's Phrontistery: English word lists and language resources.
posted by hama7 on May 3, 2004 - 4 comments

Jingle Bells! Batman smells!

The Online Dictionary of Playground Slang. Includes not just slang words, but also all those obnoxious rhymes we sang. "My little Pony, skinny and bony..."
posted by Robot Johnny on Apr 29, 2004 - 4 comments

Stupid Word Tricks

A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia.
posted by Johnny Assay on Apr 28, 2004 - 9 comments

TPM on the importance of words

This is precisely the sort of inane mumbojumbo that will -- perhaps literally -- get us all killed....The importance of words is a conceit of wordsmiths, certainly. But they are important -- especially when they bleed through into thought and action, which happens more often than you'd think.,

TPM is becoming almost too widely-read to be postworthy, but Josh really puts things into perspective with this post. For an example of what all this jingoistic gibberish can result in, see the post below it.
posted by jpoulos on Apr 15, 2004 - 63 comments

Fetchi

A dictionary of Japanese pornography terms. After you've mastered the theory, you can read about it in greater detail, then test your knowledge. (First link SFW if no one's reading over your shoulder, others N.)
posted by kenko on Apr 11, 2004 - 9 comments

American Dialect Society's 2003 Words of the Year

ass-hat: noun, a thoughtless or stupid person.
cliterati: collective noun, feminist or woman-oriented writers or opinion-leaders.
flexitarian: noun, a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.
freegan: noun, person who eats only what they can get for free.

Some winners from the American Dialect Society's 2003 Words of the Year.
posted by y2karl on Jan 16, 2004 - 30 comments

Here's one for Languagehat!

Ask A Linguist is designed to be a place where anyone interested in language or linguistics can ask a question and get the response of a panel of professional linguists. Be sure to browse their archived questions (with answers, of course).
posted by anastasiav on Jan 12, 2004 - 10 comments

Bling Bling, You're Dead

The Word(s) Is Out. One of my favorite things about New Year's Eve/Day is the annual announcement of the Hall of Shame of Linguistic Incorrectness: The Lake Superior State University List of Banished Words. Metrosexual... bling-bling... embedded journalist... shock and awe... not much to argue with here. Uh, oh, they've banished Smoking Gun. And "LOL"? WTF? (The latest list hasn't hit the U's own website yet, but here's their complete listing of the previously banished, going back to 1976.)
posted by wendell on Dec 31, 2003 - 10 comments

So, do they go throught the dictionary one by one, or what?

Word Oddities - did you know Honorificabilitudinitatibus, 27 letters long, is the longest English word consisting strictly of alternating consonants and vowels? You do now. Click the link for more fun facts about words.
posted by Orange Goblin on Nov 25, 2003 - 17 comments

... Shenanigans ... Antidisestablishmentarianism ... Medulla Oblongata ... Zog ...

Dave's List of Words That Are Fun To Say
posted by anastasiav on Nov 25, 2003 - 141 comments

The Wingnut Debate Dictionary

The Wingnut Debate Dictionary - spice up your political screeds with some colorful new terms like Colmestrato (n.) - an emasculated, harmless "liberal" stand-in included for purposes of fairness and balance and Condiment - a statement that needs to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt. I am so adding Deus ex rectum and Stepford Democrat to my vocabulary. And how is it that fucksimilie hasn't found it's way here long before now?
This is a game that MeFi wags of all political persuasions can play...anyone have any terms to add to the lexicon? (compiled by Ethel the Blog)
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 7, 2003 - 25 comments

Pirates of the Common Media

It's OK to Talk Like a Pirate, Just Don't Pirate Words!
from Dan Gillmor and David Weinberger, found via The Boingers, who disabled comments.
posted by wendell on Sep 18, 2003 - 19 comments

Introducing the work of user 1747

Luciferous Logolepsy: Dragging obscure words into the light of day.
::with thanks to Madamjujujive
posted by anastasiav on Sep 10, 2003 - 3 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

And now what?

Last words of fictional characters. [cached]
posted by Ljubljana on Aug 28, 2003 - 23 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

Must eschew talk about fatness, Iraq, liquor, tobacco - else regret.

Apronyms: Apt Phrases, Redolent Of Novel Yet Meaningful Sense.
"An apronym is a special kind of acronym where the initials spell out a word or phrase relevant to the expanded version". This in contrast to you run-of the-mill acronyms. Yes, the link might come in handy for the perpetuation of this, already legendary, thread.
posted by talos on Jul 31, 2003 - 18 comments

filter (n.) - c.1400, from M.L. filtrum

The Online Etymology Dictionary. I'll be spending most of my day here.
posted by Ufez Jones on Jul 18, 2003 - 18 comments

Bitch Slap (noun) enters the mainstream...

Bitch Slap (noun), buggeration (noun), and trash-talking (noun) are now in the OED. The latest quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary is now available. (Scroll to the bottom of the list for the most shocking and transgressive new words).
posted by mfoight on Jun 17, 2003 - 22 comments

world languages

The World has at least 6,800 active languages and countless more dialects ranging from Alacatlatzala to Zoque Tabasco. These are the Top 10 languages.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 2, 2003 - 21 comments

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