Browsing Month June, 2007

Dictionary of medieval Irish launched online

The Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) was launched by the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin this week. I’ve yet to see spend a lot of time with it, but it looks promising.

The decline of Acadian French in Maine

For Acadians, History Speaks in Accents Disconsolate. “Over time some parents stopped insisting their children speak French, and schoolteachers shushed the sons and daughters named Fournier and Cyr. Now many adults in their 30s and 40s cannot speak Valley French, the Acadian patois that is more drawn out than crisp Parisian French.”

Fanatic: 10 Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die

A friend’s email reminds me that her husband, Jim Gorant, has a new book out: Fanatic: 10 Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die. Jim’s a senior editor for Sports Illustrated and a funny guy who seems to me to be well poised to capture that sliver of the Venn diagram where readers more…

Language Columns at Oxford University Press

Today Ben Zimmer joins Anatoly Liberman in writing about language for the Oxford University Press blog. Ben’s a colleague in more way than one (we were, for a time, at OUP together and we are co-members of a couple of societies). Ben’s first column is online today. If you keep track of your online reading more…

The Bruiser: 17 pounds at Three Months, in the Weight Class of a Six-Month Old

The boy’s belly is a bit more proportional than it used to be, but he’s still a very big boy. Weigh-in at the new pediatrician’s office confirmed him at 17 pounds. He’s not gaining a pound a week anymore, but the doctor says he’s about as big as the average six-month-old. His mental development is more…

The Worst Phonetic Alphabet Ever

Jerry V. Haines has come up with what he calls the worst phonetic alphabet ever. There’s a thread at that did something similar in 1996.

Diary of a Crossword Fiend about New Word Open Mic

The very nice “Orange” at Diary of a Crossword fiend has posted a write-up about the New Words Open Mic at the Dictionary Society of North American conference in which I participated Saturday. It was tremendously goofy, as it was supposed to be. Be sure to check the comments—Charles Hodgson of Podictionary talks about how more…

Sign of the apocalypse: Are we losing our lexicon?

A long hand-wringing article from the Globe and Mail builds a strawman that seems to suppose that we, and our language, are growing lexically impoverished. The evidence is weak, the argument is wishy-washy, and the conclusion is lame. I’d fisk it line by line but it’s hardly worth the effort.

Cited for citing alpha kitty by the Los Angeles Times

Double-Tongued Dictionary got a mention in the Los Angeles Times today for citing the word alpha kitty.

Safire on hottie, hot up

William Safire quotes me again today: Few terms, however, are applicable to a sexually attractive person of either sex. Hottie is not spelled with a y because -ie, the lexicographer Grant Barrett informs me, “is a classic diminutive or hypocoristic ending used for terms of endearment” (and hypocoristic is the Greek-based word for “called by more…