bankbryan + language   272

Midwestern Nice: A Tribute to a Sincere and Suffocating Way of Life
"As an adult I discovered the fun of old-fashioned Midwestern innuendo: the way my aunts, say, could achieve the perfect degree of half-smile when extending their barely dead-toned goodbyes to my sister’s boyfriend, which told her how very much they disliked him. In fact, people from outside the Plains think they can mimic us by elongating some O's, but in truth we communicate far more in what we half-say, or fail to say entirely. To live in the Midwest is to experience two realities: the first, all sunshine and bland pleasantries among other potluck-suppering churchgoers; the other, a red-lit underworld where people relay vulgarities through the learned second language of euphemism, eye rolls and loaded silence."
a:Paul-Kix  p:Thrillist  d:2015.10.22  w:2000  language  culture  social-interaction  from instapaper
10 weeks ago by bankbryan
Why Did I Teach My Son to Speak Russian?
"Six is an in-between age in terms of assimilation. If you’re much younger—two or three—the chances of keeping your Russian are slim, and you basically just become an American. If you’re older by a few years—for Russians, nine or ten seems to be the cutoff—you probably won’t ever lose your accent, and you will be marked as Russian for the rest of your life. At six, you can still remember the language, but you won’t have an accent. It’s up to you what to do."
a:Keith-Gessen★  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.06.16  w:4500  language  children  Russia  from twitter
september 2018 by bankbryan
Should you write “the Moon” or “the moon”? Writers weigh in
"Imagine, as an exercise, that we adopt the capitalized Moon. What next? Having turned our backs on common sense case choices, do we return to the Noun capitalization and other grammatical flourishes of the 18th Century? In what other ways shall we reject Progress? Are we careening toward a Future in which we disburse Upper-Case Letters freely, yet with-hold the Rights, Vaccines, and other societal Advance-ments our collective efforts have made possible?"
a:Sarah-Todd  a:Corinne-Purtill  p:Quartz★  d:2018.08.14  w:1000  language  space  from twitter
august 2018 by bankbryan
Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children
"'Rephrase any element that suggests certainty.' That’d be 'will': 'Your parents can tell you where it is safe to play.'
'Rephrase your idea to eliminate any element that may not apply to all children.' Not all children know their parents, so: 'Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play.'
'Rephrase your new statement, repeating the first step.' 'Good' represents a value judgment, so: 'Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them.'"
a:Maxwell-King  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2018.06.08  w:1000  list  children  language  communication  from instapaper
june 2018 by bankbryan
The Pressures Of Being An Interpreter At A High-Stakes Summit
"It was a seemingly minute detail. But in the context of these talks, the word 'verifying' meant that the Russians had unexpectedly sided with the U.S. on one point in the long-sought agreement. The discussion was on an Open Skies proposal, in which both sides could fly over each other's territory to verify compliance in arms control agreements. The Soviets and the Americans didn't agree on whose aircraft should be used for the inspections — the verifying party (the U.S.) or the verified party (the Soviet Union). Korchilov interpreted Gorbachev as saying: 'The aircraft to overfly territory for inspection purposes should be made available by the verifying party at the disposal of its crew.' 'At that moment I wished the earth could swallow me up,' Korchilov wrote in his 1997 memoir."
a:Danny-Hajek  p:NPR  d:2018.06.11  w:1000  language  diplomacy  North-Korea  Donald-Trump  Russia  from instapaper
june 2018 by bankbryan
Roseanne Barr’s Right to Offend and Our Right to Say No
"Right-wing Twitter (including Barr’s own feed) is now thick with similar sentiments: Here is Joy Behar saying something cutting about Trump. Here is Jimmy Kimmel. Here is Michelle Wolf. Why didn’t the outrage mob come for them? One important difference is that it is possible, or at least up for debate, for Trump’s decorum, health care plan, tax bill or hair to deserve mockery. It is not possible, and well beyond the realm of debate, for black people to deserve five centuries of racialized brutality and dehumanization."
a:Lindy-West★★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.05.30  w:1000  race  language  from twitter
june 2018 by bankbryan
Dese, Dem, Dose: America's Vanishing City Accents
"The classic accent was most widespread during the city’s industrial heyday. Blue-collar work and strong regional speech are closely connected: If you were white and graduated high school in the 1960s, you didn’t need to go to college, or even leave your neighborhood, to get a good job, and once you got that job, you didn’t have to talk to anyone outside your house, your factory, or your tavern."
a:Edward-McClelland  p:The-Atlantic/CityLab★★  d:2018.04.11  w:1500  language  class  manufacturing  Chicago  sports  race  from instapaper
may 2018 by bankbryan
The World's Most Efficient Languages
"One cannot help suspecting that not too many adults have been tackling the likes of sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś. Kabardian has been left to its own devices, and my, has it hoarded a lot of them. This is, as languages go, normal, even if Kabardian is rather extreme. By contrast, only a few languages have been taken up as vehicles of empire and imposed on millions of unsuspecting and underqualified adults. Long-dominant Mandarin, then, is less “busy” than Cantonese and Taiwanese, which have been imposed on fewer people. English came out the way it did because Vikings, who in the first millennium forged something of an empire of their own in northern and western Europe, imposed themselves on the Old English of the people they invaded and, as it were, mowed it. German, meanwhile, stayed 'normal'."
a:John-McWhorter★★  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2016.06.29  w:2000  language  history  from instapaper
march 2018 by bankbryan
How Immigration Changes Language
"Just as Black English is not a hybrid of English grammar with that of some African language, Kiezdeutsch is not a mixture of Arabic and Turkish and German in terms of how you put a sentence together. 'I go movies' has nothing to do with how Arabic or Turkish work. Rather, people who are perfectly capable of speaking Standard German use a different kind among themselves that shaves off some unnecessary complexities in the way that their parents’ version of German does. Languages are, as a rule, much more elaborate than they need to be, so the streamlining doesn’t deprive the speaker of expressive power. German’s genderization of silverware serves no purpose; at the same time, speakers of many languages worldwide, including Russian, get along just fine without regularly using a word expressing the concept of being. The equivalent of 'she my sister' would be good Russian."
a:John-McWhorter★★  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2015.12.14  w:1500  language  immigration  from twitter
march 2018 by bankbryan
The great media "shithole" controversy showed how our ideas about profanity are shifting
"The episode can be seen as a teaching moment, in which we come to understand that some people’s conception of what profanity is has become disconnected from the reality of our times. Profanity we have indeed, but it is not the grand old 'four letter words', which, regardless of their actual letter count, refer to religion, sex, and excrement. Words are treated as profane on the basis of what a society is truly hung up about. And let’s face it — American society as a whole is vastly less worried about taking the Lord’s name in vain or mentioning copulation and evacuation in public than it once was. Rather, what truly concerns us, horrifies us, inspires a desire to shield people from the full force of the language, are words like the n-word, the f-word referring to homosexual men, and the c-word referring to, well, you know."
a:John-McWhorter★★  p:Vox★★  d:2018.01.16  w:1000  language  Donald-Trump  media  from instapaper
january 2018 by bankbryan
Splice
"I... the length of that pause you just made... DID YOU COMMA SPLICE THAT LAST SENTENCE?!"
"THEY're's no way for you to know!"
a:Zach-Weinersmith★★★  p:Saturday-Morning-Breakfast-Cereal★★★  d:2017.12.18  comic  language  from iphone
december 2017 by bankbryan
The Ever-Evolving Headlines of Black Celebrity-Gossip Sites
"For me, and many people I know, Bossip headlines have become a joy of their own. They’re fat with drama and posture and ruthless humor. Each headline is volcanic, erupting like a great mass of heat, or a crack of thunder, full of fire and cultural insight, all of it done with great ceremony. In one recent interview, a Bossip editor spoke to the emergence of certain phrases—such as 'smash those cakes to smithereens'—in crafting headlines, saying: 'It’s all about making it more visual and being more specific.'"
a:Jason-Parham  p:Wired★★  d:2017.12.15  w:1000  race  media  celebrities  language  from instapaper
december 2017 by bankbryan
Everybody Lies: FBI Edition
"When an FBI agent is interviewing you, assume that that agent is exquisitely prepared. They probably already have proof about the answer of half the questions they're going to ask you. They have the receipts. They've listened to the tapes. They've read the emails. Recently. You, on the other hand, haven't thought about Oh Yeah That Thing for months or years, and you routinely forget birthdays and names and whether you had a doctor's appointment today and so forth. So, if you go in with 'I'll just tell the truth', you're going to start answering questions based on your cold-memory unrefreshed holistic general concept of the subject, like an impressionistic painting by a dim third-grader. Will you say 'I really don't remember' or 'I would have to look at the emails' or 'I'm not sure'? That would be smart. But we've established you're not smart, because you've set out to tell the truth to the FBI. You're dumb."
a:Ken-White★★★  p:Popehat★★★  d:2017.12.04  w:2000  instructional  law-enforcement  conversation  language  deception  from twitter
december 2017 by bankbryan
The Accent Whisperers of Hollywood
"With the rise of prestige TV in the United States, the demand for skilled performers from around the world — particularly well-trained British performers — has increased, as has the desire to quickly communicate quality with authentic-sounding accents. Actors have worked hard to deliver. For his role in the HBO series 'The Wire', Idris Elba (raised in London by a Sierra Leonean father and Ghanaian mother) spent long days with cops to improve his Baltimore sound, which is generally regarded as one of the most subtly accurate and astonishing dialect portrayals of all time."
a:Ryan-Bradley  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2017.07.20  w:3000  language  acting  The-Wire  from instapaper
november 2017 by bankbryan
Welcome to Corn Cob Season
"So far, the lingo has stayed on Twitter, which means it’s not really mainstream, as most people living on this planet do not use Twitter. The least popular of the major social networks is a verbal chamberpot for journalists, pundits, comedians, marketing professionals, Nazis, Aaron Sorkin–themed parody accounts, brands, ISIS, activists, leftist podcasters, spambots, people who are mad at airlines, and the president of the United States."
a:Kate-Knibbs  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2017.08.28  w:1000  Twitter  language  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
august 2017 by bankbryan
The strange geography of content delivery networks
"'One of the other ways that we attempt to locate PoPs is based on language,' says McMullen. The distance between Germany and England is relatively small, physically speaking. 'However if you look at the actual content that is cached there they’re almost completely separate.' Germans want to read and watch German things, the British want to read and watch English things. So they each get their own PoP. 'Australia is a continual problem,' says Borowsky. When dealing with high traffic, their first goal is to keep it within the network that they users are on already. When that fails, they have to peer with other nearby networks. 'If you map out of Australia, you take a really big hit.' And then things get weird. The links to Asia would normally be preferred but they have narrower bandwidth than the links to the West Coast of the US, so a user requesting a small bit of data might pull it from Singapore or Malaysia, while a user requesting a large file at the same time might end up pulling it from California."
a:Tim-Maly★  p:Increment  d:2017  w:1500  internet  geography  cloud-computing  language  Australia  from instapaper
august 2017 by bankbryan
The Elements of Bureaucratic Style
"In Munoz’s entire statement, this sentence stands out as the most chilling: 'Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.' The phrase, 'left with no choice' is calculated and deliberate, and every rhetorical move of the preceding paragraphs is leading up to this moment. The bureaucratic state never acts of its own volition; it is always reactionary, and it always acts because the victim leaves it no choice. The mind, of course, reels with all of the choices available to United’s management in this instance: offering a higher compensation figure until someone agreed, transporting the crew to Louisville on another plane, acceding to Dao’s request that, as a doctor, he had patients to see the following morning and deserved priority, or simply waiting. But once this became a display of power and authority, they were left with no choice but violence."
a:Colin-Dickey★  p:Longreads★★  d:2017.04.12  w:3000  language  bureaucracy  law-enforcement  journalism  from instapaper
july 2017 by bankbryan
Nitza Villapol: The Woman Who Taught Cubans To Cook With Just About Anything
"Gone were references to brand names and even some English food words. A note in one revised edition says, 'The vocabulary word 'pie' (pronounced pai) is an English word and it translates like pastel. It is used in Cuba to describe a class of pastry that was popular during the years of "pseudorepublic" influenced by North America. It is not accepted in our language and if it is used, it is only so our readers can identify the type of pastry to which we are referring.'"
a:Suzanne-Cope  p:NPR/The-Salt  d:2016.06.16  w:1000  cooking  food  Cuba  language  from instapaper
july 2017 by bankbryan
Decades
"I figured they'd change again in 2010, but it's 2017 and they're still saying '80s, 90s, and today'. I hope radio survives long enough for us to find out how they deal with the 2020s."
a:Randall-Munroe★★★  p:xkcd★★★  d:2017.06  comic  time  radio  future  language 
june 2017 by bankbryan
The Apology Critics Who Want to Teach You How to Say You’re Sorry
"Lest these findings convince anyone a good apology is too much work to be worth it, Polin has also studied the various methods by which a violating entity can repair trust with the victim; the apology is just one way to do this. (There are also reparations and contractual, structural solutions, for instance.) Of all the possible ways to repair trust, apologizing is consistently found to be the cheapest, and often the most effective. 'Apologies are surprisingly effective if they’re given correctly,' says Polin. 'They’re easy.' And yet, SorryWatch has been in business for more than five years. Apologizing might be easy in the abstract, but clearly, human beings can always find new and interesting ways to fail at it."
a:Katie-Heaney  p:New-York-Magazine/Science-of-Us★  d:2017.06.08  w:1500  instructional  language  from twitter
june 2017 by bankbryan
The Age of Rudeness
"You can’t take those through, she says.
Why not, he asks pleasantly.
The bag has to close at the top, she says. That’s why not.
But I need them to paint with, he says.
You can’t take them through, she says.
He looks at her in silence. He is looking directly into her eyes. He stands completely quiet and still. The look goes on for a very long time. Her eyes are small and pale blue and impotent: I did not notice them until now. My friend neither blinks nor looks away, and the woman is forced to hold herself there as the seconds tick by, her small eyes open and straining. During those seconds, it seems as if layers of her are being removed: She is being simplified, put in order, by being looked at. He is giving her his full attention, and I watch the strange transformation occur. Finally he speaks.
What do you suggest I do, he says, very calmly."
a:Rachel-Cusk  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2017.02.15  w:6500  social-interaction  travel  customer-service  aviation  UK  language  from instapaper
june 2017 by bankbryan
Why the Internet Tilde Is the Most Perfect Piece of Snark We Have
"Though 'visual onomatopoeia' isn't actually a real idea, when I floated the idea by the linguist Lauren Gawne, she referenced a 1929 study done by German-American psychologist Wolfgang Köhler on what he titled the 'bouba/kiki effect.' In the study, both American college students and Indian Tamil speakers were shown two different shapes — one curvy, and one jagged. The participants were then asked which of these shapes was named bouba and which was named kiki. In both the English and the Tamil-speaking groups, 95 to 98 percent picked the curvy shape as 'bouba' and the jagged shape as 'kiki.' In other words, the names of objects are not arbitrary — which means, by extension, that our reasons for repurposing punctuation marks may not be so arbitrary, either."
a:Jess-Kimball-Leslie  p:New-York-Magazine/Science-of-Us★  d:2017.06.05  w:1000  language  Twitter  from instapaper
june 2017 by bankbryan
Eponymous Laws as Persuasion Tools and Other Tricks for Robbing Walmart
"Now, this argument may not be remotely correct. But you can see how, in the latter version, the Laws can act as semantic stop signs — language based equivalents to the authority principle — saying 'do not reason beyond this point'. They sound authoritative and are thus more likely to prevent readers (or listeners) from considering the obvious next questions. They act as curiosity stoppers — criminals dressed as delivery men — telling you to suspend skepticism."
a:Ryan-Shmeizer  p:Spark-Capital  d:2016.09.06  w:3000  conversation  reading  language  from instapaper
march 2017 by bankbryan
A Guide to NBA B.S.
"'He’s been a great mentor to me, he’s made me a much better player.' — Jimmy Butler this week on Rajon Rondo.
Useful for talking about a teammate who is probably a bad person. You say this about someone when it is possible they might not have been great. Players can’t risk team unity by admitting a guy isn’t playing well. Luckily there’s an out: Fans only see what happens on the court. Maybe this guy, who is no longer good, has a history of getting techs or slinging homophobic slurs. Guess what, behind the scenes, in the locker room, in the places that you don’t have access to, he’s been great. There’s literally no comeback for this."
a:Jason-Concepcion★★★  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2016.12.06  w:2000  list  language  NBA  from instapaper
december 2016 by bankbryan
Fighting authoritarianism: 20 lessons from the 20th century
"17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.
18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no."
a:Timothy-Snyder  p:kottke.org★★  d:2016.11.15  w:1000  list  instructional  government  politics  language  terrorism  social-interaction  privacy  weapons  military  law-enforcement  journalism  media  travel  from instapaper
december 2016 by bankbryan
GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Transgender
"Always use a transgender person's chosen name. Many transgender people are able to obtain a legal name change from a court. However, some transgender people cannot afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to legally change their name. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who uses a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities)."
p:GLAAD  w:2000  reference  instructional  media  transgender  naming  language  gender  from twitter
november 2016 by bankbryan
When it comes to swear words, data reveals the New York Times is surprisingly squeamish about reality
"When I began the Fit to Print project, I could enjoy the cleverness of some of these contortions. But after reading through hundreds of examples over several years, expletive avoidance no longer strikes me as an interesting puzzle for a writer to solve. The policy just seems prissy, arbitrary, and delusional. All this information is on the internet and, increasingly, the Times links out to the words it will not print."
a:Blake-Eskin  p:Quartz★  d:2016.11.01  w:1500  analysis  language  media  from twitter
november 2016 by bankbryan
What's True About Pho
"Most of us now know how pho is pronounced ('fuh?' with a question mark at the end). It’s hard to pin down exactly when the correct pronunciation became widespread—people had already been saying it correctly in the seventies, of course, but plenty of others were also saying it incorrectly, in a variety of ways. The New West, in 1978, said it was pronounced 'foo.' The New York Times had it a bunch of different ways: in 1995, a Times article instructed readers to pronounce pho 'FOE.' And in 2002, Florence Fabricant wrote, 'At open-air storefronts people perch on tiny plastic stools to down steaming, restorative bowls of the ubiquitous noodle soup, pho (pronounced feh).' Other magazines were across the board: A 2004 issue of Orange Coast magazine says, 'pho (roughly pronounced ‘fuh-uh’),' though they got it right in a 2008 issue; a 2011 issue of San Diego says 'pho (pronounced ‘fun’).' And cookbooks and books, like the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking Chicken, published in 1999, instructed complete idiots to pronounce pho 'far.'"
a:Rachel-Khong  p:Lucky-Peach★★  d:2016.07  w:5000  food  language  from twitter
october 2016 by bankbryan
Wedding Crasher
"Around midnight, Marika said, 'It’s important to go pay our respects to the bride and groom.' Neither the Uruguayan nor I had a whole lot of coherence going for us by that point, but she held us aside until we could properly pronounce the string of chipped consonants that meant 'Congratulations.' The bawdy atmosphere quieted as the three of us approached the dance floor before the raised dais. The newlyweds couldn’t have been older than twenty, both of them rosy and taut and, now that I could see them close up, extremely attractive. We stood before them like supplicants before prom royalty, and I may have bowed a little, and the Uruguayan and I pronounced the unpronounceable Georgian words, and they smiled and thanked us and, before we walked away, they told Marika to tell us that it had truly been a special honor to have us there with them, in Zugdidi, to celebrate this wedding day that they would always remember, and that I should provide my own brother a chance to give a wedding toast—because, as they reminded me, I wasn’t so young. Marika looked a little teary as she ushered us out. 'I know,' she said to me, 'that you didn’t say much for those toasts, but you said them with just the right drunken enthusiasm, and I can tell you that meant a lot to those people.'"
a:Gideon-Lewis-Kraus★  p:Lucky-Peach★★  d:2016.06  w:10000  travel  alcohol  relationships  language  from twitter
october 2016 by bankbryan
The parlance of pilots
"It’s hard to imagine a system more in need of a common language. And that language is English (or English-derived Aeroese). When a Venezuelan pilot speaks to a New York air-traffic controller, or when a pilot from Brooklyn speaks to a controller in Caracas, they speak in English. It’s something to marvel at, the first time you fly to Tokyo, say, and you hear an exchange between a Japanese pilot and a Japanese air-traffic controller, both speaking carefully in Japanese-accented English. It’s standardisation and globalisation by force of bare necessity, by force of speed. There are exceptions – places where controllers may speak to local pilots in a shared first language. This often occurs in France, for example, when a French pilot arrives in French skies. It also occurs when longhaul French pilots cross the aerial borders into the administrative airspace region of the Canadian sky known as Montréal. But every airline pilot flying internationally can speak English, and usually does."
a:Mark-Vanhoenacker★  p:aeon★★  d:2016.06.09  w:4000  aviation  language  globalization  naming  from twitter
september 2016 by bankbryan
Donald Trump’s most WTF moments happen when he tries to speak conservative
"Donald Trump is generally not the world’s most careful speaker. His greatest appeal, and one of his greatest liabilities, is that he deals poorly with talking points. That doesn’t mean he’s impossible to control — it just means it’s difficult for him to be *directed* without controlling what he says completely. If you give him a fully scripted speech and a teleprompter to deliver it on, he won’t go off script; he’ll ad lib for good measure, but he’ll say what he’s supposed to. If you don’t, he’ll speak totally off the cuff — and, inevitably, return to his favorite topics (like how many people he beat in the primary) even when they’re totally irrelevant."
a:Dara-Lind  p:Vox★★  d:2016.08.10  w:1000  Donald-Trump  Republicans  language  from iphone
august 2016 by bankbryan
Rory Stewart: 'The secret of modern Britain is there is no power anywhere'
"Ten years ago he would have listed 10 things Afghanistan needed to build a new state: rule of law, financial administration, civil administration and so on. 'And, then you would say, well, how do you do that? Well, I'd say, by a mapping of internal and external stakeholders, definition of critical tasks – all this jargon talk. And I've only now just begun to realise these words are nonsense words. I mean, they have no content at all. We should be ashamed to even use them.' They are nothing more, Stewart now acknowledges, than tautologies. 'They pretend to be a plan, but they're actually just a description of an absence. Saying "What we need is security, and what we need to do is eliminate corruption" is just another way of saying: "It's really dangerous and corrupt." None of that actually tells you how it's done.'"
a:Decca-Aitkenhead  p:The-Guardian★★  d:2014.01.03  w:2000  UK  government  Afghanistan  war  language  from instapaper
july 2016 by bankbryan
Euphemise this
"We should expect that the terms we introduce to kick off new ways of thinking will require periodic replacement."
a:John-McWhorter★★  p:aeon★★  d:2016.07.27  w:2000  language  ideas  from twitter
july 2016 by bankbryan
Translating Game of Thrones into Turkish: The Man who Brought Jon Snow to Turkey
"Turks’ reimagining of American superheroes has been reclaimed by American film buffs. And Game of Thrones is now part of Turkish pop culture. As can be seen by the nightclub in mourning or on the front page of radical zine Penguen, bits of Game of Thrones have melded with elements of culture to create something uniquely Turkish. The show’s probable English War of the Roses inspiration is irrelevant. But a slideshow can be made out of how an (Indian American) writer mapped Game of Thrones’ politics onto the Middle East. Jon Snow, who is surly and duty-bound and really handsome, is a character straight out of those 1970 Yeşilcam flicks. Judging by how audiences regard it, Game of Thrones is a Turkish show that happened to have been funded by an American company."
a:Asher-Kohn  p:Ajam-Media-Collective  d:2016.05.04  w:1500  television  Game-of-Thrones  language  from twitter
july 2016 by bankbryan
MLB media roundtable: Challenges of reporting, tough interviews and more
"Relievers are just a can short of a sixer. I don't know what it is. Maybe they spend too much time isolated in the bullpen. Maybe they're still amped up on uppers or caffeine or who knows what by the time they talk. Whatever the case, relievers are the best, and lefty relievers are even better."
a:Richard-Deitsch  a:Jeff-Passan  p:Sports-Illustrated★★  d:2016.03.20  w:7000  media  journalism  language  baseball  from twitter
june 2016 by bankbryan
How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained
"Linguists say that there are two trajectories for a language divorced from its place of origin. It sometimes dies out quickly; people assimilate, speak the most popular language wherever they live, stop teaching their children the old language. But sometimes, the language has a firmer hold on its speakers than most, and refuses to entirely let go. The Italian dialects are like that. 'I grew up speaking English and Italian dialects from my family's region of Puglia,' says Gardaphe. 'And when I went to Italy, very few people could understand me, even the people in my parents' region. They recognized that I was speaking as if I was a 70-year-old man, when I was only 26 years old.' Italian-American Italian is not at all like Standard Italian; instead it’s a construction of the frozen shards left over from languages that don’t even really exist in Italy anymore with minimal intervention from modern Italian."
a:Dan-Nosowitz  p:Atlas-Obscura★  d:2015.11.05  w:2000  language  history  immigration  food  New-Jersey  from twitter
june 2016 by bankbryan
Teaching Robots to Feel: Emoji & Deep Learning
"Before training, a neural network is initialized; it is given a set of more-or-less random values; it is, essentially, a clean slate. Sentences map randomly into semantic space, wherein the emoji are randomly scattered. To train a neural network, we define an objective function; this is essentially a way of grading the network’s performance on a given example. The objective function outputs a score telling us how well or badly Dango did predicting a given example. The smaller the score, the better. We then use a very simple algorithm called gradient descent. With each training example, gradient descent slightly modifies the value of all of the millions of parameters in the neural network in whatever direction that most reduces the objective function. After several days of this procedure taking place on GPUs, the objective function cannot be improved any further — Dango is fully trained and ready to take on the world!"
a:Xavier-Snelgrove  p:Whirlscape  d:2016.06  w:2000  emoji  language  from instapaper
june 2016 by bankbryan
The case against IBUs
"'I understand customers wanting to know how bitter a beer is, but I don’t find this a useful measure,' Friedman says. 'IBUs don’t tell you anything about residual sweetness or even the nature of the bitterness; is it clean or bracing or rough?' Harris echoed that sentiment: 'We try to come up with three words to describe each beer, and then we share that with our servers. Rather than saying 93 IBUs, we say mouth-puckeringly bitter. The more you do that, the bigger your vocabulary gets and the more interesting the beer starts to sound, rather than just "it’s an 82 or 54 or 21."'"
a:Kate-Bernot  p:Draft-Magazine  d:2016.05.25  w:500  beer  language  bars  from instapaper
may 2016 by bankbryan
Why Do We Delete the Initial Pronoun From Our Sentences? Glad You Asked.
"Linguists, who call the axing of pronouns from the start of a statement 'conversational deletion', classify it as an expedient form of ellipsis, or the scraping away of words that are nevertheless understood in context. Randolph H. Thrasher Jr. conjures a kind of ecological precariousness, explaining that 'whatever is exposed (in sentence initial position) can be swept away. If erosion of the first element exposes another vulnerable element, this too may be eroded. The process continues until a hard (non-vulnerable) element is encountered.' The nonvulnerable words here—the verbs, the proper nouns—are rocks, crucial to making the sentence express what it wants to express. The initial pronouns are sand, washed away by caprice and intuition."
a:Katy-Waldman  p:Slate/Lexicon-Valley  d:2016.05.04  w:1000  language  email  writing  from instapaper
may 2016 by bankbryan
Inshallah Is Good for Everyone
"Inshallah is the Arabic version of 'fuggedaboudit'. It’s similar to how the British use the word 'brilliant' to both praise and passive-aggressively deride everything and everyone. It transports both the speaker and the listener to a fantastical place where promises, dreams and realistic goals are replaced by delusional hope and earnest yearning. If you are a parent, you can employ inshallah to either defer or subtly crush the desires of young children."
a:Wajahat-Ali  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2016.04.22  w:1000  language  children  Muslims  from twitter
april 2016 by bankbryan
Behind Bars
"'We ain't servin' holy water...' Said when a good customer turns bad one night."
a:Ben-Schott★★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2014.02.15  bars  restaurants  NYC  language  alcohol 
april 2016 by bankbryan
A Professor’s Guide: When to Drop the F-Bomb in Class.
"This allows the teacher to reveal true feeling and, temporarily, to not simply go along with the program. Here is a teacher, but more. Teachers, say this to yourself every once in a while: 'I am an untranslatable complex and undiminished human butterfly. I roar.' And then never say that out loud to anyone, but occasionally offer a glimpse of your rich inner tapestry with the silent fuck."
a:John-Minichillo  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2016.04.11  w:2000  instructional  academia  education  language  from twitter
april 2016 by bankbryan
The mainstream U.S. press has recently become willing to label a leading politician racist. Can this last?
"Though it wasn't hard to spot, calling a sitting President a racist Just Wasn't Done. The press had to chose: Truth-telling or neutrality. They often went with neutrality. This is what my friend calls 'the production of innocence': We have no idea who's right! Racist and racism became like genocide or torture, words whose plain English meaning made them unutterable, because they were too clear."
a:Clay-Shirky★★  d:2016.04.09  w:1000  race  media  2016-election  Donald-Trump  language  future  Republicans  from twitter
april 2016 by bankbryan
Measuring Trump’s Language: Bluster but Also Words That Appeal to Women
"Mrs. Clinton’s language is often about coming together, and she mentions family five times as often as any other candidate. Mr. Trump’s language is the most polarized between masculine and feminine, though he has been sounding more feminine over the campaign, perhaps to try to appeal to female voters. There can be a double standard for women, linguists say. 'If men add these little feminine flourishes, they have it both ways — they get admired for being tough and yet people like them,' said Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor."
a:Claire-Cain-Miller  p:The-New-York-Times/The-Upshot★  d:2016.03.14  w:1000  analysis  language  gender  Donald-Trump  2016-election  from iphone
march 2016 by bankbryan
What Are Trump Fans Really ‘Afraid’ to Say?
"It’s an odd construction. Once you say, 'He says what I’m afraid to say,' and point to a man who is essentially a 24/7 fire hose of unequivocal bigotry, *you’ve* said what you’re afraid to say, so how afraid could you have been in the first place? The phrase is a dodge, a way to acknowledge that you’re aware it’s a *little naughty* to be a misogynist xenophobe in 2016, while letting like-minded people know, with a conspiratorial wink, that you’re only pretending to care. It’s a wild grab for plausible deniability — how can I be a white supremacist when I’m just your nice grandpa? — an artifact of a culture in which some people believe that it’s worse to be called racist than to be racist."
a:Lindy-West★★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2016.03.11  w:1000  racism  2016-election  language  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
march 2016 by bankbryan
How to Write Telegrams Properly
"If you are telegraphing the home folks that you expect to arrive on the 20th for that long planned visit, spell it out 'twentieth'. Two words are saved. The telegraph companies have nothing to sell but service. They undertake to transmit your message from point to point, speedily, accurately and secretly. The cheapest way of handling that message is invariably the safest way, and your cooperation is welcomed by the companies. When groups of figures are spelled out, the chance of an error in transmission is reduced to a minimum."
a:Nelson-E-Ross  d:1928  w:7000  instructional  communication  language  from twitter
march 2016 by bankbryan
Synthetic or human? The changing voices behind transport announcements
"When they were choosing a voice in Minneapolis-St Paul, as well, it was important that place names be pronounced as they are by locals. Transit authorities went for one of Acapela’s 'out of the box' voices, called Heather, but customised it by modifying the phonetics. 'We anticipated that we’d hear from customers if place names were pronounced wrong,' says Gary Nyberg of Metro Transit. 'Even if the emphasis is on the wrong syllable, it might sound odd to a customer.' Having announcements pronounce station names like a native might sound obvious, but it can be a cultural thing: in Sweden, names are pronounced as they are locally, while in Norway they are spoken as a foreigner would probably read them."
a:Ellie-Violet-Bramley  p:The-Guardian/Cities★  d:2016.02.02  w:2000  public-transit  sound  language  from instapaper
march 2016 by bankbryan
English is not normal
"The die was cast: English had thousands of new words competing with native English words for the same things. One result was triplets allowing us to express ideas with varying degrees of formality. Help is English, aid is French, assist is Latin. Or, kingly is English, royal is French, regal is Latin – note how one imagines posture improving with each level: kingly sounds almost mocking, regal is straight-backed like a throne, royal is somewhere in the middle, a worthy but fallible monarch. Then there are doublets, less dramatic than triplets but fun nevertheless, such as the English/French pairs begin and commence, or want and desire. Especially noteworthy here are the culinary transformations: we kill a cow or a pig (English) to yield beef or pork (French). Why? Well, generally in Norman England, English-speaking labourers did the slaughtering for moneyed French speakers at table. The different ways of referring to meat depended on one’s place in the scheme of things, and those class distinctions have carried down to us in discreet form today."
a:John-McWhorter★★  p:Aeon★★  d:2015.11.13  w:3500  language  history 
january 2016 by bankbryan
The Unluckiest Captain in China
"The people using the listening exercises I’m recording may be surprised that a young American woman is captaining every ship. But considering all the other coincidences, maybe not. On these ships, there are always 23 crew members, and it is an oddity never remarked upon by the traffic officer that many of the ships have the same call sign. They are also almost uniformly in danger. You would think the captain would be losing her mind, her tanks leaking, her ship sinking, fire all around — 23 crew members to save. But because I have been asked several times to speak more slowly, I must lean into the microphone and say, in the voice of a somnolent robot, 'My engine room is explosion.'"
a:Veronique-Greenwood  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2016.01.16  w:1000  China  language  acting  from twitter
january 2016 by bankbryan
What the key emoji and “major key” mean
"Khaled, whose Brobdingnagian personality makes him an appealing follow and self-generating publicist, frequently alerts fans to his 'major keys to success,' ranging from fantastic life advice to absurd trivialities. In recent weeks, he has espoused the benefits of weekly massages, recommended keeping all conversations with friends off-the-record, endorsed Dove soap and cocoa butter, and described his favorite breakfast: 'Almond milk. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Major key to success.'"
a:Zachary-M-Seward  p:Quartz★  d:2016.01.08  w:500  emoji  social-media  language  from twitter
january 2016 by bankbryan
It’s definitely not terrorists at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, don’t worry!
"Using this new style manual, here are some other suggestions for ways to refer to armed people allegedly committing crimes, provided they fit the Ammon Bundy model.
Assassination: A person strongly opposed to the continued existence of certain public figures took decisive action today, bringing his Second Amendment rights to bear."
a:Alexandra-Petri★  p:The-Washington-Post/ComPost★  d:2016.01.04  w:500  satire  language  terrorism  guns  crime  from twitter
january 2016 by bankbryan
The Best (and Worst) Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia
"To correctly order with or without onions, you’re asked to drop the h—so it’s 'wit' or 'witout.' Cheez Whiz is simply 'Whiz'; provolone, 'prov' (or 'provie,' if you’re into the diminutive); and American (you guessed it), 'American.' So it’s 'American wit,' 'Whiz witout,' 'two provies, one wit, one witout,' ad nauseam. By all means, play along. Why talk like you have all your teeth and a command of the English language? Acting is fun!"
a:Tom-Lax  p:Lucky-Peach★★  d:2015.11.04  w:2000  instructional  food  language  from twitter
december 2015 by bankbryan
Talking Productively About Guns
"Me: Don't be ridiculous. Nobody's trying to take away your German Shepherds. But civilians shouldn't own fighting dogs.
You: I have no idea what dogs you're talking about now.
Me: You're being both picky and obtuse. You know I mean hounds.
You: What the fuck.
Me: OK, maybe not actually ::air quotes:: hounds ::air quotes::. Maybe I have the terminology wrong. I'm not obsessed with vicious dogs like you. But we can identify kinds of dogs that civilians just don't need to own.
You: Can we?
Because I'm just talking out of my ass, the impression I convey is that I want to ban some arbitrary, uninformed category of dogs that I can't articulate. Are you comfortable that my rule is going to be drawn in a principled, informed, narrow way?
So. If you'd like to persuade people to accept some sort of restrictions on guns, consider educating yourself so you understand the terminology that you're using. And if you're reacting to someone suggesting gun restrictions, and they seem to suggest something nonsensical, consider a polite question of clarification about terminology."
a:Ken-White★★★  p:Popehat★★★  d:2015.12.07  w:2000  instructional  guns  language  culture  from instapaper
december 2015 by bankbryan
‘Manned’ Spaceflight Is So Last Century
"NASA has already adopted this change. 'All references referring to the space program should be non-gender specific (e.g. human, piloted, un-piloted, robotic),' the agency wrote in a style guide for editors in 2006. 'It’s "crewed" or "human" or "piloted" spaceflight,' the astrophysicist Katie Mack wrote in a recent tweet. 'Because it’s 2015 and sometimes you just gotta move forward.' Mack went on: 'You protest: "But in my head 'man' refers to all humans!" I’m not in your head and don’t want to be. If you mean "human" say "human".'"
a:Adrienne-LaFrance  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2015.12.08  w:500  gender  space  language  from twitter
december 2015 by bankbryan
95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue
"Mr. Trump uses rhetoric to erode people’s trust in facts, numbers, nuance, government and the news media, according to specialists in political rhetoric. 'Nobody knows', he likes to declare, where illegal immigrants are coming from or the rate of increase of health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act, even though government agencies collect and publish this information. He insists that Mr. Obama wants to accept 250,000 Syrian migrants, even though no such plan exists, and repeats discredited rumors that thousands of Muslims were cheering in New Jersey during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He promises to 'bomb the hell' out of enemies — invoking Hiroshima and Nagasaki — and he says he would attack his political opponents '10 times as hard' as they criticize him. 'His entire campaign is run like a demagogue’s — his language of division, his cult of personality, his manner of categorizing and maligning people with a broad brush,' said Jennifer Mercieca, an expert in American political discourse at Texas A&M University. 'If you’re an illegal immigrant, you’re a loser. If you’re captured in war, like John McCain, you’re a loser. If you have a disability, you’re a loser. It’s rhetoric like Wallace’s — it’s not a kind or generous rhetoric.'"
a:Patrick-Healy  a:Maggie-Haberman★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2015.12.05  w:2500  analysis  2016-election  language  violence  race  politics  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
december 2015 by bankbryan
Write Like You Talk
"It seems to be hard for most people to write in spoken language. So perhaps the best solution is to write your first draft the way you usually would, then afterward look at each sentence and ask "Is this the way I'd say this if I were talking to a friend?" If it isn't, imagine what you would say, and use that instead. After a while this filter will start to operate as you write. When you write something you wouldn't say, you'll hear the clank as it hits the page. This trick may not always be enough. I've seen writing so far removed from spoken language that it couldn't be fixed sentence by sentence. For cases like that there's a more drastic solution. After writing the first draft, try explaining to a friend what you just wrote. Then replace the draft with what you said to your friend."
a:Paul-Graham★★★  p:Paul-Graham★★★  d:2015.10  w:500  instructional  writing  language 
november 2015 by bankbryan
These Are Words Scholars Should No Longer Use to Describe Slavery and the Civil War
"I suggest we follow the lead of Finkelman and Baptist and alter our language for the Civil War. Specifically, let us drop the word 'Union' when describing the United States side of the conflagration, as in 'Union troops' versus 'Confederate troops.' Instead of 'Union,' we should say 'United States.' By employing 'Union' instead of 'United States,' we are indirectly supporting the Confederate view of secession wherein the nation of the United States collapsed, having been built on a 'sandy foundation' (according to rebel Vice President Alexander Stephens). In reality, however, the United States never ceased to exist. The Constitution continued to operate normally; elections were held; Congress, the presidency, and the courts functioned; diplomacy was conducted; taxes were collected; crimes were punished; etc. Yes, there was a massive, murderous rebellion in at least a dozen states, but that did not mean that the United States disappeared. The dichotomy of 'Union v. Confederacy' is no longer acceptable language; its usage lends credibility to the Confederate experiment and undermines the legitimacy of the United States as a political entity. The United States of America fought a brutal war against a highly organized and fiercely determined rebellion – it did not stop functioning or morph into something different. We can continue to debate the nature and existence of Confederate 'nationalism,' but that discussion should not affect how we label the United States during the war."
a:Michael-Todd-Landis  p:History-News-Network  d:2015.09.04  w:1000  language  war  race  history  United-States  from twitter
october 2015 by bankbryan
Jack Dorsey’s jargon-free firing memo, edited to remove the jargon
"For its genre, Dorsey’s memo is indeed admirably brief and to the point. But it’s still riddled with jargon. Why is it so hard for executives to write in a truly straightforward manner? Here is Dorsey’s memo, with our suggested cuts in strikethrough and additions in bold."
a:Gideon-Lichfield  p:Quartz★  d:2015.10.13  w:500  letter  language  Twitter  work 
october 2015 by bankbryan
I Made A Linguistics Professor Listen To A Blink-182 Song And Analyze The Accent
"A key change in the California Shift is what's called the cot/caught merger. Northeasterners and Midwesterners pronounce those words differently, giving the former an 'ah' sound and the latter an 'aw' sound. 'Californians do not,' says Eckert, who is originally from New York. 'They have no idea. That vowel is almost completely merged. Think "mawwm" instead of "mom".' Vowel sounds work like those sliding puzzle games where you have to unscramble a picture by sliding one piece of it at a time. As soon as you move one piece, you're left with an empty space behind you, which has to be filled by something else. Californians dropped the 'cot' vowel sound, pronouncing it like 'caught' instead. So something had to fill that space. 'The California Shift is this kind of combined change in the pronunciation of short vowels,' says Kennedy. The easiest way to think about it? Look at the words kit, dress, and trap. In the California Shift, 'kit' becomes 'ket', 'dress' becomes 'drass', and 'trap' becomes 'trop'."
a:Dan-Nosowitz  p:Atlas-Obscura★  d:2015.06.18  w:3000  music  language  California  singing  from instapaper
september 2015 by bankbryan
Conversation Piece
"Once you’ve separated out the wheat of spoken language, your writing can reap three significant benefits. One of them is diction. Given a choice of two synonymous words (funny/humorous, often/frequently, about/regarding), the simpler, more colloquial one is usually better, but weak writers make a beeline for the fancy one, and often misuse it, to boot."
a:Ben-Yagoda  p:The-Chronicle-of-Higher-Education/Lingua-Franca  d:2015.08.24  w:1000  writing  conversation  language  from iphone
september 2015 by bankbryan
Losing the thread
"Textiles are technology, more ancient than bronze and as contemporary as nanowires. We hairless apes co-evolved with our apparel. But, to reverse Arthur C Clarke’s adage, any sufficiently familiar technology is indistinguishable from nature. It seems intuitive, obvious – so woven into the fabric of our lives that we take it for granted. We drag out heirloom metaphors – ‘on tenterhooks’, ‘tow-headed’, ‘frazzled’ – with no idea that we’re talking about fabric and fibres. We repeat threadbare clichés: ‘whole cloth’, ‘hanging by a thread’, ‘dyed in the wool’. We catch airline shuttles, weave through traffic, follow comment threads. We talk of lifespans and spin‑offs and never wonder why drawing out fibres and twirling them into thread looms so large in our language."
a:Virginia-Postrel  p:Aeon★★  d:2015.06.05  w:3500  language  history  clothing  from twitter
august 2015 by bankbryan
My Mother’s Yiddish
"We got no translations. We did not even know that the Yiddish was Yiddish; we figured everything out from context. I understood that my mother wanted me to quit bothering her, although I sometimes thought she meant that I was a pain in her vagina and sometimes that I was spewing a stream of nonsense as large as all China, and later, when I learned that hock meant 'to pawn', I understood that I had been vexing her by somehow, metaphorically, pawning her dinner service."
a:Phyllis-Rose  p:The-American-Scholar★  d:2015.06.08  w:3000  language  family  Jews  from twitter
august 2015 by bankbryan
We don’t say “plane accident.” We shouldn’t say “car accident” either.
"All this might seem pedantic, but there's a real point here. We live in an era when most Americans drive around in multi-ton machines at high speed, and these vehicles kill with surprising regularity. They cause 30,000 or so deaths per year, as many people as are killed by guns. If we want to cut down on that number, it's worth examining the language we use to describe these events."
a:Joseph-Stromberg  p:Vox★★  d:2015.07.20  w:1500  language  driving  cars  roads  history  from iphone
august 2015 by bankbryan
Mapping the United Swears of America
"Hell, damn and bitch are especially popular in the south and southeast. Douche is relatively common in northern states. Bastard is beloved in Maine and New Hampshire, and those states – together with a band across southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – are the areas of particular motherfucker favour. Crap is more popular inland, fuck along the coasts. Fuckboy – a rising star – is also mainly a coastal thing, so far."
a:Stan-Carey  p:Strong-Language  d:2015.07.28  w:500  language  visualization  map  from twitter
august 2015 by bankbryan
How brand-new words are spreading across America
"Twitter offers an unprecedented dataset, or corpus, of language use in close to real-time. It probably over-indexes for certain words, but that is more of an asset than a liability in the case of this research: People using a platform like Twitter may also be early adopters of new words. In any event, tweets are a more natural representation of word choice than many other possible corpora. 'If you’re talking about everyday spoken language, Twitter is going to be closer than a news interview or a university lecture,' Grieve said."
a:Nikhil-Sonnad  p:Quartz★  d:2015.07.29  w:1000  language  visualization  map  Twitter  American-South  race  from twitter
july 2015 by bankbryan
13 Tips on How To Speak While Female
"6) Do not baby talk, not even to babies. Especially not to babies. Avoid speaking to babies in general, as they do not control the workforce and cannot offer you advancement."
a:Alexandra-Petri★  p:The-Washington-Post/ComPost★  d:2015.07.28  w:500  list  satire  instructional  gender  language  from twitter
july 2015 by bankbryan
The Secret Slang of the Diamond District
"Cachet: A small, plain (often Manila) envelope used in deals mediated by a broker. A seller lends a broker a selection of stones to show potential buyers. If a buyer likes a stone (or stones), he wraps it in a brivke, seals it in a cachet and writes his name, offer price and payment terms along the flap. This ensures that the stone can’t be shown to anyone else. The broker returns the cachet to the seller, who accepts the deal or makes a counteroffer. The broker takes the cachet back to the buyer, who can agree to the sale, strike out the counteroffer and write in a new price, or tear the cachet open — releasing the stone back to the market and ending the negotiation. Brokers usually take commish or C.O. (commission) of around two percent from the seller on any sales they close."
a:Ben-Schott★★  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2015.04.23  w:3500  language  NYC  Jews  security  pricing  business  from instapaper
july 2015 by bankbryan
What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand?
"Dunham is twenty-eight years old, but the 'No, totally!' phenomenon is not limited to her generation. It’s not even limited to 'No, totally.' I first started noticing it when a fiftysomething acquaintance responded to a question I asked by saying, 'Yup! No, very definitely.' That sent me looking for other examples, which turn out to be almost nonexistent in written English but increasingly abundant in speech. In 2001, the journalist Bernard Kalb told the White House correspondent Dana Milbank that it was the job of reporters to thoroughly investigate political candidates, to which Milbank responded, 'Oh, no, yes, I agree with you there.' In 2012, Anderson Cooper, talking with the CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, referred to Newt Gingrich as 'the guy who has come back from the dead multiple times.' Borger’s reply veered toward Molly Bloom terrain: 'Yes, no, exactly, exactly, exactly.'"
a:Kathryn-Schulz★  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2015.04.07  w:2500  language  Lena-Dunham  from instapaper
july 2015 by bankbryan
Twelve Concepts in Autonomous Mobility
"Car surprise: when you come across your car somewhere where you didn’t expect it to be and witness your vehicle engaging in unexpected activities e.g. pickup up flowers at the mall: the equivalent of catching your parent or kid smoking or shoplifting. Given your cars interest in you and your family, what activities will it record that will surprise others with access to its feed?"
a:Jan-Chipchase★★  p:Hidden-in-Plain-Sight  d:2014.07.19  w:1000  cars  future  language  parking  self-driving-cars 
june 2015 by bankbryan
A world of languages - and how many speak them
"There are at least 7,102 known languages alive in the world today. Twenty-three of these languages are a mother tongue for more than 50 million people. The 23 languages make up the native tongue of 4.1 billion people. We represent each language within black borders and then provide the numbers of native speakers (in millions) by country. The colour of these countries shows how languages have taken root in many different regions."
a:Alberto-Lucas-López  p:South-China-Morning-Post  d:2015.05.27  infographic  language  visualization  from twitter
june 2015 by bankbryan
My Life as a Gay Congressman
"By then, 'gay' was the adjective in general use. 'Homosexual' was not explicitly derogatory, but it was the preferred term among those who wanted to maintain some semantic distance from our cause. In the phrasing of certain aptitude tests, you might say that 'homosexual' was to 'gay' as 'Negro' was to 'black.' It wasn’t exactly an insult, but it was a message to the minority in question that the majority would decide what to call us, rather than let us pick a name we liked. In this case, the message was sent by the man who ran the paper, A. M. Rosenthal. Rosenthal was famously uneasy at best about LGBT rights and insisted on using 'homosexual' instead of 'gay'. Coincidentally, Greenhouse’s story appeared a week before Rosenthal’s last day as editor, so I believe I am the last man in history to be described as 'homosexual' in the New York Times as a matter of editorial policy."
a:Barney-Frank  p:Politico-Magazine  d:2015.03.12  w:7000  gay  politics  media  language  Barney-Frank  from twitter
may 2015 by bankbryan
Absolute English
"The past polyglot character of modern science might seem surprising. Surely it is more efficient to have one language? How much time would be lost learning to read and write three languages in order to synthesise benzene derivatives! If everyone uses the same language, there is less friction caused by translation – such as priority disputes over who discovered what first when the results appear in different tongues – and less waste in pedagogy. By this view, contemporary science advances at such a staggering rate precisely because we have focused on ‘the science’ and not on superficialities such as language. This point is much easier to sustain if the speaker grew up speaking English, but the majority of scientists working today are actually not native English speakers. When you consider the time spent by them on language-learning, the English-language conquest is not more efficient than polyglot science – it is just differently inefficient. There’s still a lot of language‑learning and translation going on, it’s just not happening in the United Kingdom, or Australia, or the United States. The bump under the rug has been moved, not smoothed out."
a:Michael-D-Gordin  p:Aeon★★  d:2015.02.04  w:2500  science  language  history  Germany  from instapaper
may 2015 by bankbryan
The Definition of a Dictionary
"The entry for oxygen is an absurd 192 words long: 'a nonmetallic chiefly bivalent element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless nonflammable diatomic gas slightly soluble in water, that is the most abundant of the elements on earth occurring uncombined in air to the extent …' Take a breath and chuckle. But Merriam’s Stamper says that oxygen helped her get inside the minds of her defining predecessors. 'Before I started working on the Unabridged, I was very quick to pooh-pooh that [defining style] as, like, "This person is so full of themselves. They think they know everything about oxygen and they’re going to say everything they know about oxygen,"' Stamper tells me. 'So I read something like oxygen or hotel and they’re still pretty risible, they’re pretty laughable. … But I understand why the definer got to a point in looking at all of the evidence for oxygen, that they felt like, "If this is unabridged, then, goddamn it, it’s going to be unabridged."'"
a:Stefan-Fatsis  p:Slate/Culturebox★  d:2015.01.12  w:11500  language  history 
may 2015 by bankbryan
The D.C. Manual of Style and Usage: From &pizza to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan (and bama in the middle), Washington City Paper's complete local lexicon
"Pigskins - Instead of the racially insensitive name of the Washington football team. You can also write ''Skins' or 'the Washington football team.'
Plan, the - If you believe in it, it’s capitalized.
PoPville - Dan Silverman, neighborhood blogger beloved by gentrifiers, formerly known as the Prince of Petworth. He belongs to the whole city now."
p:Washington-City-Paper★★  d:2014.10.08  w:6000  reference  language  DC  Washington-Metro  roads  restaurants  housing  from twitter
may 2015 by bankbryan
The Hidden Language Of The ~Tilde~
"That’s a lyric from the Nicki Minaj song 'Up in Flames'. Why is it in tildes? Well, certainly they’re a way to avoid a regrettable tone of early teenage sincerity while still cosigning the words in public. But the tilde juju is subtler than that still. They seem to anticipate your negative reaction to their contents, and, in response, they seem to wiggle away. They seem to say 'We are aware of the terrifyingly complex socio-cultural implications of quoting Nicki Minaj' — because how could a person on the opinion internet not be — 'and we have decided to quote her nonetheless, and you should be aware that we have considered the angles.' Above all, that may be what tildes, used this way, seem to mean: 'I have thought about what I’m doing, and I want you to know that I have thought about what I’m doing.'"
a:Joseph-Bernstein  p:BuzzFeed★★  d:2015.01.05  w:3000  language  communication  Twitter  from twitter
april 2015 by bankbryan
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