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  • Annals of overgeneralization

    posted to Language Log on Tue 8th Oct 13

    Suppose you heard about a study "showing" that Ivy League students are more socially sensitive than students at public universities or students at private colleges not among the Ancient Eight. You'd be skeptical, I hope.So you take a look at the study, and ...

  • One-syllable differences

    posted to Language Log on Tue 8th Oct 13

    What the hell kind of language has a one-syllable difference between "Gracious welcome to our honored guests" and "Your king ingests every possible secretion from all the mammals of our world"? Seldom in the history of intergalactic travel have there been worse ...

  • Manchu loans in northeast Mandarin

    posted to Language Log on Mon 7th Oct 13

    Wei Shao, who hails from Liaoning Province in northeast China (formerly called Manchuria), rattled off the following sentence in her local language and asked me if I understood it:W d cli hu'r de shhou b blnggi'r k tlu p'r le.I could only sort of understand ...

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  • Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa

    posted to Language Log on Fri 26th Jun 09

    Ever since Michael Jackson's unexpected death yesterday, his music has been omnipresent. The iTunes sales charts are overwhelmed by Michael Jackson songs: as of this afternoon, New York Magazine's Vulture blog reports, Jackson appears on 41 songs in the iTunes ...

  • Rachel Jeantels language in the Zimmerman trial

    posted to Language Log on Wed 10th Jul 13

    [Below is a guest post by John Rickford.]The defense plans to rest in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman today, and arguments are raging about whether he will be found guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin or not.In the case of Rachel Jeantel, however, the ...

  • On the other hand, alone

    posted to Language Log on Wed 17th Apr 13

    My faith in the possibility of integrity and self-criticism in humankind got a real boost the other day when I read a post on Lingua Franca in which an editor (who is also a professor in an English department) stopped to think about whether she was in the right ...

Latest posts linking here

  • Random-ise: Thomas Nashe, mummianize, tympanize and other -ize verbs

    posted to Random Idea English on Sat 7th Sep 13

    This is part of an investigation I've been doing into the use and spelling of -ize suffix verbs and their spelling (-ize or -ise) in British English. For more details, related posts and the methods I've used, see the -ize / -ise page.BackgroundThe earliest ...

  • Nationwide protest

    posted to The Island Weekly on Mon 15th Jul 13

    The acquittal of George Zimmerman, self-appointed neighborhood watchman, who followed and killed Trayvon Martin inside his own gated community (!) is a blatant example of racism. As has been said repeatedly, if a white 29 year old man had come up to a gated ...

  • LOL slash grammar, knowmsayin?

    posted to Macmillan Dictionary Blog on Tue 7th May 13

    New vocabulary appears constantly: we invent words, or more usually modify existing ones, to meet the needs of expression or just for fun. Sometimes, too, existing words get repurposed, switching grammatical classes or incorporating new ones: verbs and adjectives ...