Link love: language (49)

A new batch of language links, and (since they are roughly monthly) probably the last this year.

The origin of strop.

The anticlimactic linebreak.

How computers understand speech.

Is ranga (= red-haired person) offensive?

We listen with our hands too.

Edinburgh’s mystery book sculptor returns.

Preaching the incontrovertible (on that/which) to the unconvertible.

Youse had better get used to it.

The enormity of a usage problem.

Computers’ trouble with prepositions.

Are online dictionaries finding their ideal format?

Brain-eating zombie nouns.

Crowd-sourcing scientific terms in sign language.

The global language of procrastination.

Why do new words survive?

Hyperforeign stollen.

A brief history of taxi words.

A well-intentioned rant about hyphens.

English and Hinglish in India.

That’s so random: the evolution of an odd word.

Rare book dispenser at the Monkey’s Paw.

English is not a Scandinavian language.

The value of editing: a Twitter chat.

Replyallcalypse and other libfix tech disasters.

20 rules for writing detective stories.

The origin of language in gesture–speech unity.

The recursiveness of language linkfests.


If you yearn for more links and cannot wait till 2013, try the archives.

2 Responses to Link love: language (49)

  1. alexmccrae1546 says:

    For any avid bibliophiles out there w/ a visual bent (and you know who you are), I highly recommend Stan’s link to “Edinburgh’s mystery book sculptor returns” link.

    This is a heart-warming and fascinating true-life tale about an anonymous female artist who has left at least a dozen incredibly detailed, and well-thought-out paper sculptures, amazingly crafted from discarded books; secreting these smallish, intricate works in various major libraries, and visual and performing arts institutions throughout Scotland, over the past several months. (Hmm… could be just in Edinburgh and environs.)

    One Scottish author totally gobsmacked by these pieces drolly labelled this mystery lady sculptor “a serial creator”…. in contrast to the negatively tinged notion of a serial killer.

    Each intriguing sculptural work is accompanied by hand-written prose commentary ( in the artist’s own hand*) re/ the subject of the piece, as well as offering praise to the significance of each bequested institution in the greater scheme of things (their cultural import, primarily).

    To me, the spirit of this artist’s generosity is quite extraordinary.

    I’ll leave my commentary at that, and allow those whose curiosity I may have piqued just a smidgen to have a gander. You shant be disappointed.

    (I particularly loved hearing the various regional Scottish accents in the video attachments to the link. These book sculptures are part of a current across-Scotland national tour.)

    *I really appreciated the anonymous artist’s use of cursive-mixed- with-printed letter forms in her various notational messages. Her writing reminded me so much of the hybrid cursive/ print style of my favorite British sculptor— the late Henry Moore.

  2. Stan says:

    Alex: Yes, it’s amazing work, and a wonderful way to share it and generate some good old-fashioned mystery. In case you didn’t see the earlier instalments, the NPR blog Krulwich Wonders presented them here and here; they featured in my links roundup #37 about a year ago. Some commenters have pointed out the similarity to Su Blackwell’s work. Maybe it’s her and maybe it isn’t – the art, in any case, speaks for itself.

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