Browsing Month August, 2007

Names for the @ symbol

According to The Forward, the @ symbol is referred to as “shtrudel” in Hebrew. Yes, just like the pastry roll we call a “strudel” in English. The article was written as a correction to William Safire’s column of August 19.

Miskol/missed call: English in the Philippines

Michael Tan writes in the Asian Journal Online about some of the ways in which English, both American and Singaporean, are influencing Filipino speech.

Mafia, Seven, and Bank: English nicknames in Thailand

In Thai Cultural Battle, Name-Calling Is Encouraged. “Korakoad Wongsinchai, an English teacher at a private primary school in Bangkok, is also not sure whether the Culture Ministry‚Äôs campaign will stem the tide of English names.…More than half of her students have English names, she said, offering this sampling: Tomcruise, Elizabeth, Army, Kiwi, Charlie and God. more…

The Preposition Project: 673 meanings for 334 English prepositions

This site? The Preposition Project, where “each of 673 preposition senses for 334 prepositions (mostly phrasal prepositions) has been described by giving it a semantic role or relation name and by characterizing the syntactic and semantic properties of its complement and attachment point”? That’s exactly the kind of hard work lexicographers and computational linguists do more…

How I Learned English

In New West, Jenny Shank has a thorough and compelling review of How I Learned English/

Access to a computer has undoubtedly eroded the wits of press release writers

From a rewritten press release (also picked up by the New York Times) is a passage spoken by a man who’s probably never studied Civil War letters, or any collection of letters written before the typewriter age: Computers are second nature for today’s college students. They grew up with technology and the Internet. However, they more…

Goofus and Gallant: Cluefulness

Gallant: Clueful. Goofus: Not clueful.

Family words in Texas

The Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram has asked its readers for “family words,” terms they believe to be coined and used only by them and their relatives. The idea was spawned, of course, by Paul Dickson’s Family Words: A Dictionary of the Secret Language of Families. It’s really a fascinating list, in a way that lists more…

Jamaican Lexicography Project appeals list

I am excited to find out about the Jamaican Lexicography Project (Jamlex), which hopes to produce a Jamaican National Dictionary to succeed and improve upon the Dictionary of Jamaican English compiled by Frederic G. Cassidy and Robert B. Le Page and the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage by Richard Allsopp. The project is run by more…

50-volt stoned squirrels

A lost wilderness. “Squirrels are highly intelligent, agile enough to tightrope-walk along telephone wires, and poor conductors of electricity. Somehow they have realised that by biting through to the bare wires and short-circuiting the 50 volts that run through them into their own bodies, they can heat themselves up. In this way, Roger said, each more…