Tagged: Language

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Nazism

So, if you're a grammar Nazi, then feats of form and usage that strike you as "wrong" (or inferior, or jarring) fairly leap off the page or screen at you in just the same way that my use of "so" at the start of this sentence irks all who...

Fifty Shades of Wéi (喂): Pronunciation

"Not that there's anything wǎng (往) with that…." There's no denying it: Chinese is a language full of homophones. And this profusion of words that sound alike but have different meanings can be confusing. But fear not! In the previous post in this series, I offered some reassurance:...

Fifty Shades of Wèi (喂): Grammar

"It was my understanding that there would be no Mandarin." If you find yourself thinking this, gentle Popehat reader, well… 不对! For I am a language nerd, and recently I've been nerding out on Modern Standard Chinese (as the PC crowd call it) because I wanted to climb the...

I don't know if it's right, but I know that I like it

The exceptional Language Log — which Patrick, not unreasonably, likes to call the best blog ever — has a post chock-full of both thought and humor about whether it's nice for native English speakers to make fun of hilarious mistranslations into English, and why such mistakes happen even...

The New York Times: Wankers, But Not ****ed Up

The usually-over-my-head Language Log — an indispensable resource if you find linguistics fascinating but would prefer not to run into Khmer Rouge apologias — has a very amusing post discussing how the New York Times grew curiously coy about spelling out the term "wanksta," a marvelous word combining...

Polyglottal stop

Seeing Patrick's "Book o' th'Week: War and Peace" in catchy Cyrillic reminded me of something trivial I noticed yesterday while driving. I buttoned my way to NPR, and Garrison Keillor was intoning, in customary slow motion, his syndicated Writer's Almanac. The topic at hand was l'Amant, by Marguerite...

That Figuratively Drives Me Crazy

I do not consider myself to be a spelling, grammar, or diction Nazi. Patrick would tell you that, at least insofar as spelling is concerned, I am more of a conscientious objector. I avoid correcting spelling and grammar in others, with the exception of (1) responses to letters...