You may not be able to order a beer in Iceland, but misunderstand someone as they’re describing the regional elf lore, and you’re in luck. The expression “huh?” is practically universal, according to a recent study published in the journal PLoS One by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
While "honcho" is often mistakenly believed to have Spanish origins, it actually traces its roots to American soldiers who fought in the Pacific during World War II.
---from the book "Schroder" by Amity Gaige
If you’re feeling washed out, fed up or downright lousy, World War One is to blame. New research has shown how the conflict meant that hundreds of words and phrases came into common parlance thanks to the trenches.
Trench Talk: a new study reveals the impact the First World War had on the English language.
Adieu to Mademoiselle
The use of "mademoiselle" made reference without justification nor necessity to a woman's matrimonial situation where as "Monsieur" has long signified simply "sir".
This posting is for Sarah and Ben who are studying French.
Novelist Stephen King once said, "French is the language that turns dirt into romance." Is that why it is called a Romance language?
But it's true that we equate all things French with sophistication, whether it's food, clothing, art, or dirt.
As many as 30% of the words in the English language are of French origin (depending on whom you ask).
I 'm not sure I like this comparison...
Modern English is the Wal-Mart of languages: convenient, huge, hard to avoid, superficially friendly, and devouring all rivals in its eagerness to expand.
- -Mark Abley, journalist (b. 1955)
A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal – Panama!
Remember: starting tomorrow it's Twenty-Ten
I've never liked the Zaner Bloser "F" - I could never understand why it was shaped like the "T". But the Palmer Method "F", that's a letter form I can get behind. Now that handwriting is dying off, I've started to work more on my cursive, so as not to forget. I think I'll practice some "F"s...
p.s. "fish lips"
Italians vote for the ugliest English words.
I love learning new words!
What is the opposite of "ambidextrous"?
MEANING: Clumsy with both hands. (Literally, with two left hands.)
Me, Myself, and I
Sign of the times
What is "jingle mail"?
I love to learn new words, their derivation and changing uses. Here is an unusual one I'd never heard before, quoted from Wordsmith Anu Garg--
dog's letter (dogz LET-uhr) noun
The letter R.
[From Latin littera canina, literally dog's letter. In Latin the sound of the letter R was trilled. Think Grrr! of a snarling dog. A good example of a trilling R is none other that the Spanish word for a dog: perro.]
Against Business Jargon
Lucy Kellaway, a cranky Brit who writes for The Financial Times and is a commentator for the BBC, objects to phrases like "going forward" and "at the end of the day".
I am constantly reading and getting angry about the following common writing mistakes I find all over the place - which are easy to correct - so let's all take a minute at the beginning of 2008 to make an effort to avoid them...See the list at Maniacal Rage - January 2, 2008
Finding the exact right word...
Each year the Oxford Dictionary chooses a newly-coined word that has recently come into common useage, and proclaims it The Word of the Year. This year the word is locavore. The word means one who uses only locally grown foodstuffs. To demonstrate how well-chosen these words can be, two years ago the word was "podcast", which is in everyday useage now.
You can see the runner-up words at this same link.
I've experienced this since Grade 5
Decursivication (new word)
[di-kur-siv-fi-key-shuhn] noun. The process of losing one's penmanship, thanks to automatic billing and an increasingly e
The chocolate ration is to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week
Hatriotism. Use it in a sentence today!
Hip teens are speaking The Ling. Dig?
English is Hard
Spelling Poems from the Simplified Spelling Society. An example:
When the English tongue we speak.
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
Will you tell me why it'
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
Accentuate the Positive!