Tag Archives: language

DotW: A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, 2nd ed.

When I started writing about dictionaries of the week, I said usage guides didn’t count. But I also said I was going to write about Fowler’s anyway, because I love it. This is at least halfway legitimate, because it has … Continue reading

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Different Language, Different Person?

I’m fascinated by bilingualism, probably partly because I speak a lot of languages badly. I realize that even speaking a foreign language badly makes me unusual in the U.S., but compared to the rest of the world, I am pretty … Continue reading

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1917? OMG!

The Oxford English Dictionary puts out regular memos when they update; in March 2011, they announce that OMG and LOL are among the new “initialisms.” Of course, being the OED, they’ve done thorough research on when these abbreviations first appear; … Continue reading

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bilingual babies

This weekend the AAAS meeting is in town. Hordes of scientists and science writers have descended on D.C. for a weekend of general science. It’s good times – lots of interesting ideas flying around and tons of colleagues to hang … Continue reading

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world science podcast

Happy 100th episode, Rhitu! My friend Rhitu Chatterjee hosts the science podcast for The World, an international news show produced by the BBC and PRI, and she’s celebrating the 100th episode of the podcast. Listen to it here. In particular, … Continue reading

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DotW: Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC

When I lived in Japan, in the late 90′s, the internet was still a relatively new thing. I actually had a kind of proto-blog, on Geocities, and I did something Skype-like to call home for free…but my dictionaries were on … Continue reading

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invented languages

I just finished a thoroughly entertaining book about made-up languages: In the Land of Invented Languages. It’s by Arika Okrent, a linguist who’s interested in people’s attempts to create languages, mostly perfect languages that will eliminate ambiguity, be easier to … Continue reading

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music, language, and the brain

Yesterday I went to a session at the AAAS meeting about the links between music, language, and the brain. I was particularly impressed by a study on Musical Intonation Therapy. Sometimes people who have had their speech knocked out by … Continue reading

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crash blossoms

This is fun – an article from the New York Times about “crash blossoms.” Those are headlines that don’t make sense because they’ve dropped too many of the little words that help make English understandable. Most of them hinge on … Continue reading

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DotW: Engelsk-norsk norsk-engelsk

The new Dictionary of the Week is one I’ve had longer than most of my other dictionaries: Lingua Engelsk-norsk norsk-engelsk Ordbok for videreg√•ende skole. If you don’t read Norwegian, and hardly anyone does, let me help you: Lingua English-Norwegian Norwegian-English … Continue reading

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