A Mind @ Play

random thoughts to oil the mind

Tag: Linguistics Page 1 of 3

A linguistics professor was addressing his class one day, and made the following remark: “In some languages, like in English, a double negative will make a positive. In some other languages, such as Russian, the double negative will remain a negative. Yet there is no language on the planet in which a double positive becomes a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room popped up, “Yeah, right.”

Daily Links

The Innovation Station – A miscellany of videos on a wide variety of innovative topics, ranging from 3D printing to virtual reality.

Gender Shifts in American Baby Names – An interesting study of the gender flips some names undergo over the generations. Would be interesting to see if patterns can be found in the shifts, maybe tendencies for certain underlying phonetic elements to shift in gender?

Deep Sea Fish – The stuff of nightmares? Photos of some catches from the depths of the Arctic circle. [Deu/Rus]

Ultimate P2P Backup Software – If I knew my arse from my elbow, this’d be one of those projects I’d love to tackle in my spare time. I used CrashPlan until recently, and finding a replacement backup solution has been something of a nightmare. Anyone volunteering to please write this?

Gank, To Steal – Interesting chat about the verb ‘to gank’ on A Way with Words. Only ever previously heard it in a MOBA context, it seems it has a much earlier meaning (as seen in hip-hop).

[Photo by David Clode on Unsplash]

Language Weirdness

Dieser Eintrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

In the weird and wonderful world of words, which world of words is the weirdest? And if we replace ‘weird’ with ‘hard’, we find one of those eternal questions facing language learners: which language is more difficult?

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Seltsame Sprachen

This post is also available in English.

Wenn unsere Welt nur von seltsamen Sprachen wimmelt, welche ist die seltsamste? Ersetzen wir das Wort „seltsam“ durch „schwierig“, dann haben wir eine der Kernfragen, die sich jeder Sprachlernende irgendwann stellt: „Welche Sprache ist denn die schwierigste?“

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Photo by Pedro Gandra (https://unsplash.com/pedrogandra)

Daily Links

Das geteilte Land – Looking at Germany after 25 years of union. Statistics show how much remains of the former East.

Spearfishing Orang-utan – A beautiful image of an Orang-utan on Borneo using a stick to try to hunt passing fish, presumably learned from watching nearby villagers.

Linguistic Ignorantisms – Nice list of words grammar nazis would find difficult to use with a straight face.

Further and Farther: A Theory – Go far and wide, go farrer and wider! Go forth and multiply, go further and multiplier!

Alice in a World of Wonderlands – A look at one of the most widely translated (untranslatable) works of literature in the world.

Some Rules of Language are Wired in the Brain – A Scientific American article shows how looking at synaesthesia might give some clues into our understanding of words.

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