Language









  • Stephen Wolfram: Quick, How Might the Alien Spacecraft Work?A fascinating and long blog entry on Wolfram’s work consulting on physics and aliens for the movie Arrival. Physics, linguistics, xenoethnography, comparing developing software to making movies, oh my!

Law of triviality

Parkinson’s law of triviality comes into play when a team spends more time discussing easy problems rather than the more difficult — and more important — ones. Also called bikeshedding.

Ilya

British style guides

Style guides from BBC News, The Guardian and Observer and The Economist. Guardian also tweets about its style.

Ilya

The Conversation

I watched The Conversation on Saturday. Hat tip to @higgis for the recommendation: it’s a great movie. One thing that struck me is that it included a lot of dialog that was either abortive or just hard to work out the meaning of. I’m not sure if this was just to make it more realistic (our everyday spoken language is riddled with utterances that “change directions” mid-sentence) or if the phrases and comments would have made more sense to contemporary audiences.

Ilya


  • recherchéadj.
    1. exquisite, choice; exotic, rare
    2. excessively refined, affected; pretentious, overblown





  • Europanto. A made-up “language” consisting of a fluid vocabulary mixing words from European languages.



  • Thinking in a foreign language could sway your moral judgments. “Two years ago, researchers led by Keysar found that people thinking in a second language tended to be more even-headed about risk-taking. A certain lack of fluency seemed to encourage deliberation, dampening emotional reactions to the idea of loss.”

  • Feminism 101. Perspectives, debates, topics, words, language... It’s all there and thensome.




  • "Hemingway" on Hemingway. A funny takedown of the Hemingway app, which tries -- in a rather simplistic way -- to help you make your writing clear and understandable.


  • quotidian adj.
    1. of or occurring every day; daily
    2. ordinary or everyday; mundane

  • Daxtra Technologies. Makers of automated resume/CV parsing and extraction. Their "what is it" page offers a surprisingly comprehensive overview of the state of CV parsing.



English as spoken by Finns

As exemplified by former prime ministers Paasikivi (1952), Jäätteenmäki (2003), and Vanhanen (circa 2006). And of course Mika Häkkinen is a classic on this front, not only for his accent but also for his demeanor.

Ilya


  • Patricia Kuhl’s TED talk, the linguistic genius of babies. Interesting takeaway: infants have a sweet spot at six to eights months old in which they’re primed to the sounds of their mother tongue. This also works with foreign languages, but only when spoken by a person who’s present, not when exposed via audio or video.

  • threnody n.
    • A poem or song of mourning or lamentation


  • omphaloskepsis n.
    • The contemplation of of one’s navel

  • sibilant
    • adj. Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh): the sibilant consonants; a sibilant bird call.
    • n. A sibilant speech sound, such as English (s), (sh), (z), or (zh).

  • obstreperous adj.
    1. Noisily and stubbornly defiant.
    2. Aggressively boisterous.
    (As a side note: There must be a black metal band called Obstreperous.)


  • etiolate, v.tr.
    1. Botany. To cause (a plant) to develop without chlorophyll by preventing exposure to sunlight.
      1. To cause to appear pale and sickly: a face that was etiolated from years in prison.
      2. To make weak by stunting the growth or development of.

  • acrostic, n.
    1. A poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, motto, or message when read in sequence.
    2. See word square.


  • Kotus-blogi. Kotimaisten kielten tutkimuskeskuksen epäblogimainen blogi.
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Beared souls

caught together