Link love: language (50)

I suddenly notice I’ve done 50 of these. To mark the occasion, here’s a bumper set of 25 luscious language-related links. Happy browsing.

Firn, crud, sastruga: a flurry of words for snow.

Keep on the grass: a library lawn.

Punning: more than a mere linguistic fillip.

Fisher Price synaesthesia.

Why borking caught on as an eponym.

A report on the American Dialect Society’s words of the year.

(And on that subject, see Keanu Reeves.)

Words of the year in other languages.

The problems with Orwell’s Politics and the English Language.

The language of lullabies.

In praise of books.

Suppletion, or, How come the past of go is went?

What’s a Z really worth? Re-evaluating Scrabble scores.

Shooting dead people in ambiguous headlines.

Adjective, participle, or gerund?

Problems with parallelism.

Poo or poop?

Silenc: visualising text without its silent letters.

Language diversity and death in New York.

Copy editors killed in style war violence.

The rebirth of Australia’s indigenous Kaurna language.

Typographic myth-busting: What’s a ligature, anyway?

On linguistic chauvinism and integration.

Teach yourself morphology.

The evolution of British Sign Language (a short, personal documentary).

[previous language linkfests]

10 Responses to Link love: language (50)

  1. John Cowan says:

    From the BBC story on punning:

    The notion that “You are Peter, and on this rock” etc. constitutes a pun is one of those mythplaced stories that never dies. What Jesus said was “You are (the) Rock, and on this rock…”; until that time, “Rock” (Greek petros, Aramaic kaifa’) had not been in use as a name. The latter form appears assimilated to Greek as Cephas in the epistles to the Galatians and the Corinthians. In any case, “rock” is a bit misleading: a petros is a stone or a piece of a larger rock.

    Also, the correct translation is “strain out a gnat”, not “strain at”, which suggests poor eyesight rather than over-finicky filtration.

  2. Sean Jeating says:

    I remember the first ‘link love’. With hindsight it was the beginning of a wonderful series.
    Congratulations on your jubilee, Stan.

  3. Stan says:

    John: “Prodigious punster” indeed. That Peter/rock so-called pun is one I’d wondered about before but never looked into. I appreciate the mythbusting.

    Sean, your memory does you credit. Thank you sincerely. I guess I’ll keep the series going, then.

  4. Sean Jeating says:

    Re ‘words of the year’. Have you ever come across the Unwort des Jahres, Stan?

  5. Alan Bachers says:

    How about exploring the whack/wack conundrum? Several cultural intersections here create an interestingly dynamic Venn diagram of current usage.

  6. Stan says:

    Sean: Yes, but I hadn’t looked at it in a while. Thanks for the reminder.

    Alan: That’s a good suggestion. I’ll look into it sometime.

  7. John Cowan says:

    Something else to take up sometime is the usage of rock for a small stone. Is this a feature of Hiberno-English at all? It is certainly present in American English; I can pick up a rock and throw it, though not Plymouth Rock.

    • Stan says:

      That’s an interesting one, John; I’ve made a note of it. For me at least, a rock can’t be a small stone, nor is it likely to be as big as a boulder. If you can pick it up and throw it (as in fling it), it’s a pebble or a stone. I could pick up a rock and heft it or heave it, but not very far. But there could well be considerable variation over their boundaries in Hiberno-English.

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