Monthly Archives: August 2011

British accent butchered

Having praised British actors for their convincing American accents a couple of posts ago, now I’m going to highlight a slideshow that mostly criticises American actors for their terrible ‘British’ accents. First of all, I’d like to point out that there is no such thing as a ‘British’ accent. What people generally mean by ‘British’ […]

Rap names

Are you feeling inspired by the last post about rap around the world but finding you’re burdened with a defiantly uncool name? Well, the Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names is here to help. You can take a look at (and buy) the poster at Pop Chart Lab – $25 is nothing compared to the squillions […]

Rap in different languages

An interesting article over at How Stuff Works looks at rap music in different languages. The first video showcases 28 different languages, from French to Icelandic (I don’t count American/British as different languages!). Other videos include raps in Middle English and Klingon! It’s interesting to see how well different languages fit the rap genre, given […]

People who became nouns

Have you ever wondered why the skin-tight one piece mostly seen on gymnasts is called a leotard? Or why a bathtub with massage jets is called a Jacuzzi? Then this slideshow from Slate is for you! Jacuzzi is the name of the Italian immigrant brothers who first invented a particular type of hot tub. The […]

American accents done by non-Americans

Over at the Dialect Blog they’ve listed their top 10 American accents done by non-Americans. The post is based on an article at USA Today which looked at American accents by non-American TV actors. The two lists are united in choosing Hugh Laurie (House) and Idris Elba (The Wire) as having excellent American accents. Having […]

Scrabble street sign

Did you know that New York City is the birthplace of Scrabble? Alfred Mosher Butts invented the game in 1938 at a church in Jackson Heights, and a Scrabble-themed street sign has been erected to commemorate this. The sign has history though – it was originally put up in 1995, and disappeared in 2008. Local […]

Rare alphabets

An interesting article at The Atlantic explores the beauty of rare alphabets. A Vermont-based writer has been documenting our alphabet heritage through wood carvings as part of his Endangered Alphabets Project. Tim Brookes exhibits the wood carvings and has written a book with an introduction by the linguist David Crystal. Edward Tenner writes in The […]

Language lessons at the Laundromat

A multimedia artist in New York City is planning to teach English – at a Laundromat. Hector Canonge will teach two one-hour English classes a week, as part of his public art project, The Inwood Laundromat Language Institute. What was the inspiration behind the project? “There are a lot of newcomers [to the United States] […]