jm + english   4

"BBC English" was invented by a small team in the 1920s & 30s
Excellent twitter thread:
Today we speak of "BBC English" as a standard form of the language, but this form had to be invented by a small team in the 1920s & 30s. 1/
It turned out even within the upper-class London accent that became the basis for BBC English, many words had competing pronunciations. 2/
Thus in 1926, the BBC's first managing director John Reith established an "Advisory Committee on Spoken English" to sort things out. 3/
The committee was chaired by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, and also included American essayist Logan Pearsall Smith, 4/
novelist Rose Macaulay, lexicographer (and 4th OED editor) C.T. Onions, art critic Kenneth Clark, journalist Alistair Cooke, 5/
ghost story writer Lady Cynthia Asquith, and evolutionary biologist and eugenicist Julian Huxley. 6/
The 20-person committee held fierce debates, and pronunciations now considered standard were often decided by just a few votes.
bbc  language  english  history  rp  received-pronunciation  pronunciation  john-reith 
4 weeks ago by jm
A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow.
In this sense, doge really is the next generation of LOLcat, in terms of a pet-based snapshot of a certain era in internet language. We’ve kept the idea that animals speak like an exaggerated version of an internet-savvy human, but as our definitions of what it means to be a human on the internet have changed, so too have the voices that we give our animals. Wow.
via:nelson  language  linguist  doge  memes  internet  english 
february 2014 by jm
English Letter Frequency Counts: Mayzner Revisited or ETAOIN SRHLDCU
Amazing how consistent the n-gram counts are between Peter Norvig's analysis (here) against the 20120701 Google Books corpus, and Mark Mayzner's 20,000-word corpus from the early 1960s
english  statistics  n-grams  words  etaoin-shrdlu  peter-norvig  mark-mayzner 
january 2013 by jm
The trench talk that is now entrenched in the English language
'From cushy to crummy and blind spot to binge drink, a new study reveals the impact the First World War had on the English language and the words it introduced.' Incredible comments, too...
english  etymology  history  wwi  great-war  via:sinead-gleeson  words  language 
november 2012 by jm

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