Link love: language (55)

The number of subscribers to Sentence first has doubled in the last few months. If you’re new here, welcome, and if you’re a veteran reader, thanks for your endurance. The blog placed respectably in’s recent poll/competition of top language professionals’ blogs. Thank you to and all who took time to vote.

My Twitter page also placed well. Its focus is on language, mixed with books, chat, general and specialist links, and miscellany. If you tweet, feel free to follow or say hello. I pop in and out most days. Blog and Twitter both made’s overall list of top language lovers, which you might like to browse for a random assortment of linguaphiles.

And so to business, or rather fun: a roughly monthly set of language-related links I’ve enjoyed in recent weeks. There’s a lot here, but I try to be picky. Some I’d have blogged separately about were I not so busy editing, so hopefully they’ll make up for the relative scarcity of new posts here at the moment.


Does grammar matter? Stop asking silly questions.

English is no longer the language of the web.

What’s wrong with the passive voice?

How emo got political.


A homonyms quiz.

The Ogham stones of Scotland.

Not all distinctions are equally valuable.

Unsent emails from a lexicographer.

Think similar; or, the nouning of adjectives.

The coupling of speech and gesture appears to be ancient.

Are you incentivized to avoid incent?

A bleisurely look at our fondness for blends.

The secret history of cracker.

Is the Voynich Manuscript structured like written language?

Female doctor or woman doctor? How about neither?

A brief history of swearing (podcast, 25 min.).

Çapuling: the swift rise of a new word.

Medieval pet names.

In polite defence of ‘No problem’.

Where does the phrase nest egg come from?

What is an accent?

Cyber’s new life as a standalone noun.

Standard English is a continuum, not an absolute.

The new language of social media photos.

The etymology of goblin.

Shitstorm in a (German) dictionary.

Since vs. because: on clarity and made-up rules.

Light Warlpiri, a (relatively) new language in northern Australia.

Samuel Johnson’s notes on the letters of the alphabet.

Teenage hyperpolyglot: an interview with Timothy Doner (9½ min.).

Dissecting the meaning of Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.


[archive of language links]

6 Responses to Link love: language (55)

  1. Claire Stokes says:

    Endurance: ‘withstanding hardship or stress’ .. does not compute! Your posts are always a fascinating kaleidoscope of fun learning surprises, abounding with humor and warmth. Wishing you and your blog many many happy years ahead!

  2. Claude says:

    Çapuling! Bravo, I love it. I’ve been following my young Facebook friends from Istanbul Bilgi University bravely chapulling on Taksim Square, days after days. For hours, they either stood silently not moving. Or they sat quietly reading a book. Or they held a carnation in memory of companion Ethem who had been shot and killed. No violence, no screaming, no retaliation for being water hosed or attacked with tear gas. Only ” Çapuling”, again and again. A noble answer to the Turkish Prime Minister’s arrogant insults.

    Chapulité…Un mot d’honneur pour ajouter à Liberté…Égalité… Fraternité.

  3. Claude says:

    And the homonyms quiz was fun. As everything else! Thanks, Stan.

  4. Stan says:

    Claire: You’re too kind! I’m grateful that anyone reads the blog or joins in the discussion in the comments, and I happily return your good wishes for the years ahead.

    Claude: I love what the Turkish people and their supporters around the world have done with the word. It’s a superb appropriation. Their reaction more generally has been similarly commendable, as far as I can tell from afar – a noble response, as you say, and I love your reworked chapulité!

  5. Claude says:

    Chapulité had been reworked in the link, Stan. Je l’ai simplement adopté de tout coeur!

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