When other languages do borrow, in this modern age it tends to be English they lift what they need from.
Sir! I’ve just come from the frontlines—the enemy is upon us! The dreaded Essays are advancing, the Assignments are attacking from the east, and...
We’re just going to look at what I call “linguistic candy”: checking out some random and cool stuff from various languages.
Since we closed last semester’s run of the series with a piece on defining your own style of language, let’s start this one with something both unique and universal among us: Canadian English.
We do so with the concept of “idiolect”. There’s a lot to be said about this. It comes down to the principle that what you say is unique to you. Because of your genes, your culture, your history, your personality, and even your own choices, you have certain habits of speech (and both old and new habits die hard).
So what do words mean and how is it we all tacitly agree? You say, “Go look in a dictionary, stupid.” But I mean—ah,...
Hello again, everyone! We’re halfway through the series now, and I’m going to take this opportunity to apologize that each subject must be treated so broadly; each one could easily have an entire series of its own.
So, last week I promised you we’d try some do-it-yourself experiments with phonetics (the sounds of language). And I have good news: We will!
What’s a dialect? “Talking with an accent.” What’s an accent? “When people talk funny.” What’s talking funny? “When they don’t sound, you know, normal!” So what’s normal? Actually, not so easy to answer.