Link love: language (25)

An alphabet of giants.

Mumble translator (comic).

On jargon, and why it matters in science writing.

Machiavelli on his love of reading.

Productive much?

“Get your geek on” at public libraries.

Cranberry morphemes.


Mark Twain on spelling.

Beware the language ‘experts’.

Analysing literature by words and numbers.

An emoticon for yogis.

The octothorpe (hash symbol, #) reborn.

Self-cancelling headlines.

How to mix a ‘Pullum’ and other linguistic cocktails.

This metaphor ain’t dead, it’s just restin’.

How the turkey got its names.

The myth of language universals (PDF).


7 Responses to Link love: language (25)

  1. Another excellent selection Stan. Thanks

  2. Claude says:

    I geek this Link Love:Language (as the others). The diversity is always fascinating. I hope it’s okay if I don’t dress up to read them. I would but I don’t wear fancy clothes very often! All the best, Stan.

  3. Stan says:

    You’re welcome, Jams. Glad to share them.

    Claudia: Nous sommes dans le même bateau. Before I begin reading, I often change my footwear and nothing else. The books never mind, and neither do I.

  4. I don’t get that cranberry thing. So, “legible” is excluded from the strict list because of “illegible” (but no mention of “legibility”), whereas “gormless” is not excluded despite “gormlessly”. Is there some rule that some affixes count and some don’t, or did the writer simply not think it through properly?

    On a newsgroup I used to contribute to, people once invented the universal emoticon, the one that can represent whichever emotional state the writer intends it to represent. This was written as “sef” enclosed in angled brackets, and began as a misspelling of “self” (c.f. “pwn” and so forth). I don’t remember the lotus tweet; I must have missed it.

    Will give the universals article a go later. It requires a little more concentration than the other items.

  5. Stan says:

    Dragon: I like the idea of the universal emoticon. Did (or do) you use it much? As for the cranberry morphemes, I should have looked harder for better discussions of it.

  6. I don’t use the universal emoticon now, because it’s only useful within a community that understands it, and for reasons we won’t go into here I left the group some time ago.

    I did use it sometimes back in the day. People were always divided over whether it was useful or not – some people thought an emoticon that means nothing in particular was pointless, but one alternative view is that sometimes you might simply want to invite the reader to pause and think about what emotional expression you’re trying to convey (maybe as a hint not to take all the words at face value).

    BTW, my most recent blog post is an update on the books I’m reading at the moment. Wonder if you’ve read any of the same ones.

  7. John Cowan says:

    Dragon: Gormlessly does not count because -ly, is inflectional morphology, not derivational, though I admit it’s close to the line. Cranberries does not make cran- any less a cranberry morph, after all.

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