The excellent Wordnik weblog has introduced a new feature – Word Soup. Apparently the series “will bring you those strange, obscure, unbelievable (and sometimes NSFW) words”. The first in the series is pretty interesting, covering words like: Apparition American (from the show Castle) Apparition American plays on terms such as African American and Asian American.(…)
I recently posted a great infographic about the ampersand. If you’re interested in punctuation, you’ll appreciate another article I found on 14 punctuation marks “you never knew existed”! My favourite is probably the interrobang, as I’ve discussed previously. But I also really like the guillemets (<< >>), which are used in non-English languages as quotation(…)
A fascinating short piece in the New York Times profiles a New York City sanitation worker who has improved his Irish whilst working. Ed Shevlin began studying Irish a few years ago, and speaks it to people he sees whilst collecting garbage along his route in Rockaway, Queens. Mr Shevlin was awarded grant by the(…)
The ampersand is a thing of beauty, a very useable symbol found everywhere from signs to handwritten notes. It also has a long history, which is celebrated in this infographic created by Six Revisions. I had no idea it dates back to 63 BC!
Which state are you from? Do you love your accent? CNN recently asked people around the country to read out a standard text so that their accent could be evaluated. The common myth is that regional accents are becoming homogenised in our global media age, but linguists and the report seem to disprove this. CNN’s(…)
An interesting article on Slate.com looks at whether the new iPhone’s speech recognition software can handle different accents. The question is particularly important since the phone has the capability to be used in any country in the world. And the answer is yes, due to programmers ‘training’ the system. This is done by feeding in(…)
An interesting interview at the Huffington Post with Professor François Grosjean aims to bust some myths about what it means to be bilingual. Professor Grosjean is a world recognised expert on bilingualism and Emeritus Professor of psycholinguistics at Neuchâtel University in Switzerland. He lists a number of myths about bilingualism, including that bilinguals have equal(…)
According to Lifehacker, a new Facebook feature allows you to translate posts and comments on Facebook pages. The “translate” link is shown when a comment is made in a different language. It’s placed right next to the “share” and “like” links. Whilst the service is currently only available on Facebook pages, there are plans to(…)