Link love: language (34)

It was a busy week at the sentence clinic; there was time for just one blog post, which featured a funny publishing anecdote and a curious law of fashion. Until I get round to another, here is some language-related reading and listening material for your enjoyment:

Architectural alphabets.

The virtues of the passive voice.

Ghetto grammar‘ is not the problem.

Railroad terminology and slang (with a great discussion at Language Hat).

Twanging with Lynne Murphy aka Lynneguist (audio).

Shakespeare insult kit.

+1’tastic: When a number becomes a word.

The hidden meaning of pronouns.

The lie/lay problem, or why “English morphology is a disgrace.”

Inscription at Persepolis.

Fifty concise writing tips (PDF).

Goldwynisms – the genuine, the phony, and the professionally created.

Swearing, euphemisms, and linguistic relativity.

Humorous units of measurement.

Connecting through a common third language.

Commonly confused words.

Typographic etiquette.

Slubberdegullion.

[archived link love]

6 Responses to Link love: language (34)

  1. […] to Stan´s link I read this beautifully written article in National Geographicabout the beauty of finding a common […]

  2. the ridger says:

    That Persepolis inscription is a beautiful depiction of the formulaic nature of aphorisms.

  3. Another excellent selection. I will be finding an excuse to use slubberdegullion as often as possible!

  4. Stan says:

    Ridger: Yes, exactly. Less beautiful but more amusing was how the formula got deconstructed in Mystery Men.

    Jams: It’s a good one. A lot of old insults deserve better than obscurity, and Michael Quinion is right about slubberdegullion : “nobody hearing it could possibly consider [it] a compliment.”

  5. Claude says:

    Interesting post, as always! I truly enjoyed the Third Language article. I always thought that, with French, English and a bit of Latin, I always would be understood anywhere. This probably comes from a superiority feeling that Western people rule the world. Not anymore… How lost I would be in Asian and Arabian countries!

  6. Stan says:

    I’m happy to hear you enjoyed that article, Claude; I thought you might! There were times when my half-remembered German came in handy in (non-German) central and eastern Europe. Even a few words in common go a long way towards establishing camaraderie.

    More recently, I read a book (Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes) whose author had no language in common with the people of a village he moved into, and whose language, Pirahã, was then very poorly understood. He had to start from scratch.

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