jm + words   10

on the etymology of "ramen"
One day it hit her when she heard her Chinese chef using his call to let her know an order was done: "Hao-ra" (好了), meaning "it's ready."
She decided to start calling it Ra-men, and the name quickly took off.
ramen  food  japanese  noodles  words  etymology  history 
24 days ago by jm
Frankly Useless Crank “Knowledge,” Only For Fools
A wonderfully-sweary post on the etymology of swear words, and how they're not derived from acronyms, really.
shit? Also from an old Germanic root, descended equally to modern German Scheiss (which sounds closer to Scots shite). It shows up in Old English, fully inflected: “Wiþ þon þe men mete untela melte & gecirre on yfele wætan & scittan” (that scittan is an infinitive form of ‘shit’ and was said like “shit-tan”). I can assure you that an acronym Ship High In Transit – supposedly meaning that manure was to be loaded in the upper parts of ships – was not possible in the language in the Old English period, not just because transit was not borrowed from Latin until half a millennium later, or because they didn’t use acronyms like that then, but because what the fuck are you even thinking. They didn’t need to ship manure. Animals produce it on the spot everywhere. Holy shit, fucking seriously.
shit  funny  words  etymology  acronyms 
july 2016 by jm
The Dutch word for "nitpicker" is significantly more sweary
via James Kelleher on Twitter: "‘Mierenneuker’ — Dutch slang for someone who pays (too much) attention to detail, literally ‘ant-fucker’."; and in German, 'Korinthenkacker', "raisin-shitter".
raisins  funny  words  ants  dutch  german  language  nit-picking  perfectionism 
may 2016 by jm
"Whataboutery"
Great neologism from Mick Fealty:
Familiar to anyone who’s followed public debate on Northern Ireland. Some define it as the often multiple blaming and finger pointing that goes on between communities in conflict. Political differences are marked by powerful emotional (often tribal) reactions as opposed to creative conflict over policy and issues. It’s beginning to be known well beyond the bounds of Northern Ireland. [...]

Evasion may not be the intention but it is the obvious effect. It occurs when individuals are confronted with a difficult or uncomfortable question. The respondent retrenches his/her position and rejigs the question, being careful to pick open a sore point on the part of questioner’s ‘tribe’. He/she then fires the original query back at the inquirer.
words  etymology  whataboutery  argument  debate  northern-ireland  mick-fealty  slugger-otoole 
march 2013 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
Fuchsia MacAree — A-Z of Untranslatable Words
Lovely poster by fantastic Irish illustrator Fuchsia MacAree, who's launching her first exhibition of art and drawings at the Bernard Shaw tonight.

See also "Learn To Swear With Captain Haddock": http://fuchsiamacaree.bigcartel.com/product/captain-haddock-print
want  art  prints  fuchsia-macaree  words  etymology  home 
october 2012 by jm
Scram
noun: an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor. It has been defined as an acronym for "Safety Control Rod Axe Man", due to this story from Norman Hilberry: "When I showed up on the balcony on that December 2, 1942 afternoon [at the Chicago Pile, the world's first self-sustaining nuclear reactor], I was ushered to the balcony rail, handed a well sharpened fireman's ax and told, "if the safety rods fail to operate, cut that manila rope." The safety rods, needless to say, worked, the rope was not cut... I don't believe I have ever felt quite as foolish as I did then. ...I did not get the SCRAM [Safety Control Rod Axe Man] story until many years after the fact. Then one day one of my fellows who had been on Zinn's construction crew called me Mr. Scram."
scram  nuclear  reactor  history  etymology  words  shutdown  emergency  wikipedia  1942  science  acronyms 
june 2012 by jm
Copyfraud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
'a term coined by Jason Mazzone (Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School) to describe situations where individuals and institutions illegally claim copyright ownership of the public domain and other breaches of copyright law with little or no oversight by authorities or legal consequence for their actions.' Good term (via Nelson)
copyright  rights  ip  fraud  copyfraud  wikipedia  words  terminology  neologisms  dmca  infringement 
may 2012 by jm
Skeuomorph
word of the day, via a comment on http://www.jwz.org/blog/2012/01/snow-crash-simulated/ : 'A skeuomorph /ˈskjuːəmɔrf/ skew-ə-morf, or skeuomorphism (Greek: skeuos—vessel or tool, morphe—shape),[1] is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original.[2] Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar,[3] such as copper cladding on zinc pennies or computer printed postage with circular town name and cancellation lines'
words  language  history  objects  ornament  design  wikipedia 
january 2012 by jm

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