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September 14, 2007

Go forth and multiply

Circular_reasoning “Christ on a cracker!” Scott Adams asks his blog readers to Invent Their Own Cuss Phrases and gets hundreds of delightful suggestions

If we took all the common graphic symbols floating around nowadays, would we have enough to make a viable hieroglyphic language? Would it be possible to translate Finnegan's Wake or Moby Dick entirely into dingbats, whim-whams and clip art? White-o-glyphics

Re-post: Inherently funny words

“Why do they hate the stork so much?” Yes, Language is a virus

Like totally presidential

(Graphic above from Komplexify)

A Huge Depository of Unusual Language Links Here

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September 14, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 15, 2007

Have X, will Y

Trucker_hat Snowclones are a type of formula-based cliché which uses an old idiom in a new context. These are roughly ordered by known year of original usage. X and Y indicate where new words are inserted in order to create variations on the original phrase. Example: “X called. They want their Y back.” Wikipedia’s List of snowclones

The Eskimos' Hundred Words for Snow. Language Log about The The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax 

Ruin Sorbees in Asia. (From Key’s Corner. Also, this old joke / Re-post: Italian tourist who went to Malta)

Trucker's Lingo

A Huge Depository of Unusual Language Links Here

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August 15, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2007

Selling Peacock Fans

Democracy A gallery of West African Adinkra symbols and their meanings

A shrewdness of apes, an obstinacy of buffalo, a quiver of cobras, a murder of crows, a pietousness of doves, a busyness of ferrets, a charm of finches, a smack of jellyfish, an exultation of larks… Why are there no collective nouns for people?

Avoir le cul bordé de nouilles and other French expressions you won't learn at school

A Closet Champion is a wrestling title holder who defends his title less often than average, usually a Heel who is considered a coward for protecting his title rather than honorably defending it often. Wrestling slang

Lingo Kid

Thai Tongue Twisters

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July 14, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 22, 2007

Sneakers Vs. tennis shoes

Reebok_yellow “Canadian French is essentially bad English as spoken by a Belgian with an inferiority complex”. A list of 875 additional "Essentialist explanations" of the form "Language X is essentially language Y under conditions Z".

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES alternates vowels and consonants

Old fashioned words like Tennis shoes, Cell phones, Multimedia, Hi-definition, etc. By Scott Adams.

The Vulgate is the Latin Bible. Translated from the Hebrew and Aramaic by Jerome between 382 and 405 CE, this text became known as the 'versio vulgata', which means 'common translation'. 'Vulgate' should not to be confused with the term 'vulgar', which has taken on a divergent meaning in modern English

From Pretzel to Kindergarten, a List of German expressions in English

Esau Wood sawed wood. Esau Wood would saw wood. All the wood Esau Wood saw, Esau Wood would saw. In other words, all the wood Esau saw to saw, Esau sought to saw

Eager to preserve the English language against a rising tide of nonsense, we asked readers to compose a piece of prose crammed with as many infuriating phrases as possible

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June 22, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2007


Fubar How To Insult Someone Using British Sign Language

Scott E. Fahlman, the original creator of the smiley face. Water towers with painted smiley faces can be found from Atlantic coast towns clear out to the Great Plains

Steve Job's favorite expressions. (YouTubesky. Compiled by Romain Moisescot)

Bohica (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again) and other slang army acronyms that are related to FUBAR. List of U.S. Army acronyms and expressions

Just one word, a new blog

The Visual Dictionary is a collection of words in the real world

A music video with random words - Word Dissociation. (More YT)

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April 30, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 09, 2007

Allium sativum L

Garlic_presser The etymology of garlic at “Polyglot Vegetarian”

From now on, instead of saying “Reinvent the wheel”, say “Start a whole new batch of sourdough”. Winners of Defective Yeti’s Cliche Rotation Project

I consider myself a pretty eloquent guy. My grasp of communication is as tight as a three-dollar slipknot. I've been told my diction's clear as strychnine. Heck, I'd even go so far as to say I'm akin to the red wine of conversationalists. But when it comes to relating two seemingly dissimilar things, often with the conjoining words "like" or "as," I'm as hopeless as a springtime frog-fryer. In short, my use of simile Sucks As Bad As The River Tide

How large is your vocabulary? Estimate the Size of your Vocabulary

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April 9, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2007

Welcome to The Nacirema Dream

Nacirema Welcome to Da Ali G Translator! Just type in wot ya want to say, an' da whoohoo.co.uk translator will convert hit into Ali G speek! Enjoy dis wicked site! Maximum respect!

List of Newspeak words. In keeping with the principles of Newspeak, all of the words listed here serve as both nouns and verbs; thus, "crimethink" is both the noun "thought-crime" and the verb "to commit thoughtcrime". To form an adjective, one adds the suffix "-ful" (e.g. "crimethinkful"), and to form an adverb, "-wise" (e.g. "crimethinkwise"). Linguistically the Newspeak can be understood as an agglutinative language not unlike Finnish or Japanese.

"Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past." The full 1984 film (Radford / 1984 version)

Re-post: The complete text of 1984

Provo spelled backwards is Ovorp. "Adanac" is "Canada" spelled backwards, and it's an exceedingly common name for businesses, streets and so forth in Canada. Is this common in any other country?

Nacirema Garbage Disposal

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February 27, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 01, 2007

Betty Botter bought a bit of butter

Shirin_neshat Linguistic geography. The countries of the world in their local languages and scripts, with official names, capitals, flags, coats of arms, administrative divisions & subdivisions, national anthems, and translations of the country and capital names into many languages

Back breaker typeset

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English

Learn to Speak Body: Tape 5. (By the previously-blogged Mitchell Rose)

The title of Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage is actually a mistake according to McLuhans' son. The actual title was "The Medium is the Message" but it came back from the printer with the first "e" in message misprinted as an "a". McLuhan is said to have thought the mistake to be supportive of the point he was trying to make in the book and decided to leave it alone

Emoticon Glossary. (From Alpha Dictionary)

Wanna spell? in 9 languages

From “Gitmo” to Pwned” - 2007 List of Banished Words

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February 1, 2007 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 26, 2006

The quick brown fox

Quick_brown_fox "I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs." Tracking down the sexiest sentence alive

1. write two sentences.
2. create tension between them.
3. define "tension" any way you want.
Example: The tension of his first day of incarceration washed away in the waters from the prison shower. Then he dropped the soap.

Two sentences (By Grumblebee)

Sentences that contain all letters commonly used in a language. (Like The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog). The flickr pool

A virtual multilingual keyboard emulator

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December 26, 2006 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2006

Inflationary Language

O_rly Inherently Funny Words. The belief that certain words are inherently funny, for reasons ranging from onomatopoeia to sexual innuendo, is widespread among people who work in humor. Opinions vary widely regarding this idea; there is no generally agreed-upon list of funny words and some people consider it to be a meaningless or nonsensical concept. Examples in English

...Twice upon a time there lived in sunny Califivenia a young man named Bob. He was a third lieutelevenant in the U.S. Air Fiveces. Bob had been fond of Anna, his one and a half sister ever since she saw the light of day five the second time. And they were both proud of the fact that two of his fivefathers had been among the creninetors of the U.S. Constithreetion. They were dining on the terrace. "Anna," he said as he threek a bite of marinnined herring, "You look twoderful threenight. You've never looked that lovely befive."

Victor Borge’s invented Inflationary Language, where numbers hidden in the language (like wonderful) become inflated (twoderful). Here’s the obligatory YouThreeb clip. Don’t forget his “Phonetic Punctuation System”. (From White Man Stew‘s recent Language post)

"Let's just say I had a lot to learn about massaging the moist wookie" and other gems on the Euphemism Generator

For all your O RLY owl needs

An interrobang is a rarely used, nonstandard punctuation mark combining the functions of a question mark and an exclamation point

The Tower of Babel Story in Chromaphonoglyphics (CPG). (From Language Week at The Athanasius Kircher Society)

"Time longer than rope" and other Jamaican proverbs. Rasta Dictionary

Heteronyms are words that are spelled identically but have different meanings when pronounced differently. (From a thread on Ask Mefi about heteronyms)

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December 7, 2006 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2006

Crazier than a soup sandwich

Soup_kitchen_1930 Slang in the Great Depression. (From Information Nation)

“Eats like a fish”. Like Spoonerisms and Tom Swifties before them, Helenisms are their own aphorismic genre, with precise properties:

The phrase must be built of two well-known aphorisms or phrases, and these should usually be related in structure or meaning.

The phrase itself must be meaningful, and its meaning must be clear despite being an odd amalgam of its two constituent phrases

Learn English idioms

(From a thread What is your most colorful expression or phrase?)

What is a Tittle? A tittle is originally a small mark either on or in a letter, i.e. it may be part of the letter or it may be a diacritic (accent) near it

I am away on a short vacation to China at the moment. This post had been pre-blogged for your enjoyment

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November 18, 2006 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 25, 2006

¿Habla Kryptonese?

Klingon_scrabble Klingon Dictionary. Welcome to the Klingon Language Institute

Kryptonian Languages

The Nonverbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs, and Body Language Cues, From Adam's-Apple-Jump to Zygomatic Smile. By David B. Givens

“He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree”. The Worst Analogies Ever Written in a High School Essay

A monument to the L. L. Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto in Budapest

Like Sniglets, Neologasm is a blog about making up words

naDevvo' yIghoS. /// Add it to your del.icio.us /// A Huge Depository of Unusual Language Links Here

September 25, 2006 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 31, 2006

Always Coca-Cola

Esperanto_flag Which languages have more than 100 million native speakers? There are nine such languages

N'Italian Lessons 101. (From “Badabing's Badaboom”) In the New York - New Jersey area in particular, many people of Italian-American descent have developed their own version of Italian slang, that I'll call N'Italian

My cousin from Currajong said,
“You know me ol’ man, Uncle Fred?
Well, I’m sad to report
He’s you’re ex-uncle, sport,
’Cos he’s carked it. He’s cactus. He’s dead.”

Definitely limericking

Coke ad in Esperanto

Esperanto English Dictionary. Largest news portal in Esperanto

How to Speak 19th Century: Early 19th Century Vocabulary

Learn Arabic Wikibook

(No time to blog tonight. Sorry). A Huge Depository of Unusual Language Links Here /// Digg this post /// Add it to your del.icio.us

August 31, 2006 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 20, 2006

Pants on fire

Liar_liar_1 “Paradise Is exactly like Where you are right now Only much much Better. I saw this guy on the train And he seemed to gave gotten stuck In one of those abstract trances. And he was going: "Ugh...Ugh...Ugh..." And Fred said: "I think he's in some kind of pain. I think it's a pain cry." And I said: "Pain cry? Then language is a virus." Language! Is A Virus!” With Laurie Anderson (YouTube. From "Home of the Brave")

Durwood Fincher is Mr. doubletalk. Previous double-talker: Professor Stanley Unwin

From Polyglot Conspiracy

List of adages named after people. From Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics to Ockham's Razor. Also there: Karkfum – A list of fictional expletives

Languages of Europe

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June 20, 2006 in Languages | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2006

La kato estas en la sako *


ดีเยี่ยมและน่าประทับใจ = Tiger Woods is awesome, and other helpful phrases from the Yindii Guide to American Slang

"down with the 'hood’. Ebonics-Japanese phrasebook for sale

Parlari, American Circus Lingo

Pioneering West African composer Julien Jacob sings in his own mysterious, imaginary language, allowing his listeners to interpret his songs in their own way

What’s the new word for "cool"? Wicked? Slammin’? Shiny? Wack? Fetch?

More from AskMefi: I'm 6'8". People are always asking me how tall I am. Instead of telling the truth, what are some witty, non-confrontational responses I might use? "Depends on where you start measuring"

Vesona is a universal language proposed by Dr. Alesha Sivartha, in which the first two or three letters of any word give the general meaning and the added letters specialize these meanings. An elaborate circular diagram shows how Vesona encapsulates all of human knowledge

Verdurian is a language spoken by 55 million imaginary people. The fruitful creativity of Mark Rosenfelder offers background on the history, grammar, and literature of Verdurian, as well as a Language Kit for constructing your own artificial languages

How to say How many flowers are in Pia Zadora's vase? in Esperanto? From Prolific Lo-Fi recording artist Ken Clinger, who records songs in both English & Esperanto

Could a computer language be designed today that would last one hundred years?

The politically incorrect alphabet

Why English is a Silly Language

The Elements of Style

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. Jorge Luis Borges dreamed of a language called Ursprache with absolutely no nouns. For example, there's no word for "moon," but there's a verb meaning "to moon" or "to moonate." The sentence "The moon rose above the water" in Ursprache would translate as "Upward behind the onstreaming it mooned."

The hypothetical lost continent of Mu (also known as Lemuria) is said to have been destroyed in a global upheaval tens of thousands of years ago. Unorthodox researcher Col. James Churchward believed he rediscovered Mu's alphabet, comprised of beautiful and intricate glyphs

This is another post that I am “co-blogging”, this time with magician Craig Conley of Strange & Unusual Dictionaries, whose new blog is Abecedarian, and who provided most of today’s links. (Previous posts here.) Thank you, Alex! If other bloggers are interested to share the forum here on any other topic, please contact me for details. . The cat above belongs to Daniel & Rachael Hutchings

Many More Unusual Language Links Here

* The cat is in the bag (In Esperanto)

May 12, 2006 in Co-blogged with, Languages | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack