Link love: language (6)

Phonemic chart, with sounds.


Language in the brains of bilingual people.

Forgotten bookmarks (thanks to K.M. for the link).

A moment of truth in the life of a word.

Watergate’s linguistic legacy.

What begins with “eight” and ends with “two hundred and two”?

A good short review of one of my favourite books about writing.

If language is instinctual, how should we write and teach?

Anthropologist Wade Davis on the destruction of cultures and the loss of languages (video, 22 min.).


9 Responses to Link love: language (6)

  1. Sean Jeating says:

    Followed all links, enjoyed each. Thanks, Stan.

  2. Stan says:

    My pleasure, Sean. Glad you got a good return for your time!

  3. Claudia says:

    Thank you! As always, Stan, fascinating links. In many of my books, I have tree leaves of all the places I have been. Also some revealing love notes, which I’m now hurrying to take out and shred….

    The video of Wade Davis is so inspiring. Having lived with the Crees and the Inuits, I could relate well to his own experiences with the different native people he has met.

    I’m sorry I don’t know how to link. On July 21st, 2008, Omnium had a superb post: Habermas on a ‘post-secular’ society. I was able to mention that, at the age of 24, what I had learned with Autochtones and Inuits, in exchange of nursing care, could not be measured in cold human terms.

    Do you understand why I cry when the European Union deny my Nunavit friends their ancestral right to hunt seals as a cultural and necessary livehood?

  4. Stan says:

    Claudia: You’re very welcome. I love seeing tree leaves in books. This is something I used to do, but no longer. There is a four-leaf clover in one of my dictionaries; I didn’t pick it or put it there, but I’m happy to leave it there. Most of my current bookmarks I made myself. I understand your urge to shred, but I hope you were joking about destroying the love notes!

    Yes, Wade Davis is an inspiring figure. I think again it was K.M., a musician friend I linked to above, who introduced me to Davis, and since then I have enjoyed several of his talks and interviews. His message is persuasive. Every day, people’s histories, heritages and livelihoods are ravaged. It is already too late to save many. Blind faith in the possibility of (and the need for) perpetual economic growth, among other things, has accelerated the drive towards cultural and legal homogenisation.

    Thank you for directing me to Omnium’s post. Some day I hope to have a proper binge on his archives! Your short report of your time with Autochtones and Inuits was fascinating. I have only read about these people. Mere decades ago such cultures (on any continent) were called “primitive” even by educated people. As if “civilisation” were the apotheosis of humanity. Now instead there is a tendency to romanticise them, which only disguises distrust of their differences. Sadly, many people fail to see that our differences serve rather to underline our deeper and unavoidable unity, and that to exploit or hurt any of them is to contribute to our own destruction.

    Don’t worry about hyperlinking, and feel free to just add a web address to a comment – i.e. without embedding it. If you want to investigate further, the code for hyperlinking is explained here, or at the top of this page. This code also works on blogspot blogs.

  5. […] I found a related article here at Many thanks go to Stan at Sentence First for finding the article in the first place.  As is the way with this blogging […]

  6. j says:

    just came by to let you know I’d ‘stolen’ one of your links, but the system’s already done it!

  7. Stan says:

    Steal away, J! It was not mine to begin with. Thank you for visiting, and for the kind remarks on your blog.

    An update to my previous comment, to Claudia: It has since occurred to me that I first came across Wade Davis’s name in the early 1990s. “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (1988), a passably good horror film about Voodoo in Haiti, was based loosely on Davis’s book of the same name. When I was re-introduced to his anthropological work, I didn’t make the connection at first.

  8. speedwell says:


    Goddammit, it isn’t “two hundred and two.” It’s “two hundred two.” You’ll see why.


  9. Sean Jeating says:

    Now, Speedwell, seriously: Is it really ‘two hundred two’? :)

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