Posts Tagged ‘language’

This is one of those Facebook items, passed along by Grandiloquent Word of the Day, that I loved so much, thought I’d give it its own post. (AND I’m in a river in Egypt.)

How many errors to YOU see?

grammar

One of those words Americans apparently misuse is walla. “The correct word they are looking for is ‘voila’, which loosely translates as ‘here it is’, ‘there you go’, or similar meanings.”
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I had seen the word “pwned”, assumed it meant “owned,” but never bothered to look up the derivation until Arthur had been pwned. Here’s the Urban Dictionary, again.
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20 Jokes So Terrible They’re Actually Funny; well, some of them are…

Someone tell me why there is, again, a run of graphics suggesting that Bob Denver, who died in September 2005, died recently. there was a run of these reports in 2012, as I recall, and a couple times since then.

It’s like what SNL used to say about Franco: Bob Denver is STILL dead.

english_as_a_new_languagelMy wife is a teacher of English as a New Language (ENL). It has also been called English as a Second Language (ESL), but the NEW designation is more accurate because, for some of these students, English is their third or fourth language.

Here’s a 2008 article about English Language Learners (ELLs) that I think describes the process and problems of learning English for non-native speakers.

The rules for the order of adjectives are nearly instinctive for native-born speakers of English. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask a Muslim
I saw on my friend Lynne Jackson’s Facebook page on the Saturday morning of Albany’s annual tradition, the Tulip Festival, that there would be a booth where one could “Ask A Muslim” a question.

When the family finally got there, the family got to meet Nafisa and Fazana (pictured with that hatted Lynne). They were gracious and intelligent and wonderfully open. It was a wonderful idea, though I told them I thought it was quite brave.

Fazana wrote on her Facebook page “I talked to a non-Muslim gentleman who had just finished reading the English translation of the Quran and was pleased to report that nowhere in it did it say that Muslims should kill Christians. Needless to say, I wanted to recruit him to talk to others on behalf of Muslims because we are constantly trying to convince others to believe this fact!”

That reminded me of:

When my sister Leslie and I went to High school in Binghamton, NY, we were asked by the music teacher at suburban Vestal Junior High School Read the rest of this entry »

marcorubiobyeSomeone I know personally used the phrase “Bye, Felicia” in his blog. I’d seen the phrase before, and while I had no idea about its derivation – the cutting edge of recent pop culture phrases I’m not – I’d glommed on to the fact that it was a dismissive response.

One use might be to say it after US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) lost the Florida GOP Presidential primary and was forced to give up his Oval Office aspirations. Or about any of other more than a dozen candidates who’ve dropped out of the race.

“Bye, Felicia” bugged me to an irrational degree, and I was curious to find out why.

Part of it, I suppose, was that it had become Read the rest of this entry »

zieWhile many of the world’s languages do not, English has historically had gender specificity in certain of their pronouns, particularly in the third person singular (he, she). For many years, a gender-specific, almost always masculine, pronoun was used to express a gender-neutral meaning:

“A candidate should work to the best of his ability, and he must comport himself appropriately.”

A couple solutions that been used to improve on this, include “he/she” (clunky), the word “one” (did not seem to catch on), or the third person plural word “they” (which I hate). Some attempts have been made, by proponents of gender-neutral language, to introduce invented gender-neutral pronouns.
Read the rest of this entry »

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