allaboutgeorge + english   42

I Wish I Had Videos of My Dad's Accent - Father's Day Essay
The last remaining evidence of my father's voice, the final thing that roots him and his existence in my brain, will eventually cease to exist–just like VHS tapes, and the accent he spoke with, and my memories of him, too.
language  speech  parenting  memory  technology  culture  curation  family  english 
june 2017 by allaboutgeorge
Guest Post: Robert Lane Greene on Language Sticklers -
Illiteracy has fallen from one in five people to almost nonexistent over a century and a bit.  But “illiteracy” clearly isn’t a single on-or-off switch. It’s not just “you can read and write or you can’t.” Literacy is a continuum of skills. Basic education now reaches virtually all Americans.  But many among the poorest have the weakest skills in formal English.

That combines with another fact: more people are writing than ever before. Even most of the poor today have cell phones and and internet. When they text or scribble on Facebook, they’re writing. We easily forget that this is something that farmhands and the urban poor almost never did in centuries past. They lacked the time and means even if they had the education.
language  english  technology  social  usa  mobile  internet  facebook  grammar 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
It’s Morning in India -
India and America are both democracies, a top Indian official explained to me, but emotionally they are now ships passing in the night. Because today the poorest Indian maid believes that if she can just save a few dollars to get her kid English lessons, that kid will have a better life than she does. So she is an optimist. “But the guy in Kansas,” he added, “who today is enjoying a better life than that maid, is worried that he can’t pass it on to his kids. So he’s a pessimist.”
usa  india  politics  english  democracy  education 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Lost Languages, Found in New York -
“It’s hard to use a word like preserve with a language,” said Robert Holman, who teaches at Columbia and New York University and is working with Professor Kaufman on the alliance. “It’s not like putting jelly in a jar. A language is used. Language is consciousness. Everybody wants to speak English, but those lullabies that allow you to go to sleep at night and dream — that’s what we’re talking about.”
language  nyc  history  english  attention  research 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Fewer copy editors after staff cuts means more grammar errors - Issues & Ideas -
Today's copy editors are multitaskers who design pages, pick wire stories and process them for the Web -- all in addition to the traditional duties of line-editing, trimming to perfectly fill space and writing headlines.
journalism  newspapers  media  editing  writing  grammar  language  english  Miami 
february 2010 by allaboutgeorge
IMDB: Adaptation. (2002) - Memorable quotes
Donald Kaufman: I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn't have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.
Charlie Kaufman: But she thought you were pathetic.
Donald Kaufman: That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That's what I decided a long time ago.
english  quotes  language  love  beauty  identity  movies  film  relationships 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
At Bloomberg L.P., a Modest Strategy to Rule the World -
For many years, Bloomberg viewed news as little more than an added service for Wall Street traders. To that end, Mr. Winkler demanded short, direct articles. He ordered reporters to avoid adverbs and adjectives, along with “but” and “however,” which he said muddled the clarity of sentences.
writing  technology  media  business  style  language  english  economy 
november 2009 by allaboutgeorge
A man of many words - The Globe and Mail
“The first thing you realize is that our way of thinking that we take for granted – how you look at the day-to-day stuff – is not the only way there is. … What you are losing by not knowing the earlier stuff is, if nothing else, a constant reminder that you may not be seeing the full picture.”
language  judaism  religion  canada  books  identity  reputation  english  ethics 
september 2009 by allaboutgeorge
N.Y. Times mines its data to identify words that readers find abstruse » Nieman Journalism Lab
This is mostly just interesting — quiz: how many of these words can you define? — but it’s also a reminder that news sites are sitting on a wealth of data, from popular search terms to click rates, that can help them adjust to reader preferences. So are Times scribes being asked to rein in their vocabularies? That might be a Sisyphean (#37) task, but no, Corbett merely advised reporters to “avoid the temptation to display our erudition at the reader’s expense.”
language  english  newspapers  nytimes  journalism  seo  media  attention 
june 2009 by allaboutgeorge Interviews - Iain Banks
"[...] Presented with something like English, you're almost derelict in your duties if you don't have fun with it, because there's so much fun to be had. You shouldn't just think, 'This is my way of getting information across to you.' No. You should have fun with it. If the writer's having fun, unless you're being hopelessly self-serving, I think you can please other people at the same time, if you do it right. [...]"
english  language  beauty  speech  writing  fiction  creativity  uk  books  interviews 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | The man who reads dictionaries
"I'm not against big words per se or fancy or obscure words, obviously I love them, but I'm opposed to using them for their own sake. If words are to form a communication, you use them as a tool to communicate to people and it's pointless to intentionally use a word that no-one else knows."
words  english  language  uk  writing  speech  communication 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Sex and the semicolon - The Boston Globe
"Sexist language aside, though, the semicolon debate is a model of the way we should approach most disagreements about usage issues: as matters of taste, not law. The interesting questions, after all, aren't about using its and it's; they're the ones that have, yes, nuance and complexity."
grammar  language  english  beauty  sex  aesthetics  copyediting  editing  speech  writing 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Chinese, Arabic and Hindi domain names to go up for sale – finally! | The Industry Standard
"As the world’s population shifts, and the languages based on the Roman alphabet continue to decline in dominance, this decision will only continue to grow in importance."
language  internet  web  china  india  arabic  asian  online  english 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Native Intelligence: India: Editing broadsheets abroad
"However, as Mindworks has made copy editing part of its mission, I thought I might help clean up its Careers page. Consider it a bit of reverse outsourcing."
journalism  editing  english  language  india  newspapers  copyediting 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Typo personalities --
"They fight a losing battle, an unyielding tide of misplaced apostrophes and poor spelling. But still, they fight. Why, you ask. Because, they say. Because, they must."
culture  grammar  design  language  english  public  copyediting 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Switch to Español -
"There's no comparison in the coverage. For people here, there are two places to look for better news: BBC News and Spanish-language news."
language  spanish  english  journalism  media  television  diversity  news  california 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork Feature: Column: Resonant Frequency #56
"When I was younger I was a cobra/ In every case I wanted to be cool/ Now that I'm older and sub-space is colder/ I just want to say something true"
music  pitchfork  english  language  poetry  songwriting 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Words Will Tell - Measure for Measure - Opinion - New York Times Blog
"[W]riting lyrics becomes like running multiple code-breaking programs in your head until just the right word with just the right number of syllables, tone of vowel and finally some semblance of meaning all snap into place."
songwriting  poetry  nytimes  music  beauty  creativity  language  english 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Reading Obama ::
"On the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale, Obama's sentence requires a Grade 12 education. On the Flesch Reading Ease scale, it comes in at 21.1 out of 100. That's hard."
obama  writing  race  politics  elections  english 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
FindLaw's Writ - Dean: Barack Obama's Smart Speech "A More Perfect Union" Did It Reveal Him To Be Too Intellectual To Be President?
"Computers have made it rather simple to determine the intelligence or grade level of a speech by measuring it with the Flesch-Kincaid test, which is found on the Tools/Options menu of Microsoft Word."
obama  elections  information  story  writing  c  computers  english  politics  race 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge Interviews - Richard Price
"All the dialogue is made up. The worst thing you can do is try to go around like a sociologist and record a glossary of slang. It's so mobile, it changes by the time you get it in print, it's so outdated it's embarrassing, so I just make up my own."
language  writing  teenagers  english  sociology  creativity 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location - New York Times
"In response, most New Yorkers accelerate; they don’t pause to contemplate."
english  grammar  nyc  nytimes  culture  language  transit 
february 2008 by allaboutgeorge
India's Cheeky 'Chick Lit' Finds an Audience -
"They inhabit a world where women enjoying a drink in the bar are not social outcasts. They are not tragic figures because they are single."
women  india  feminism  writing  novels  identity  work  jobs  literature  english 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Thousands of hyphens perish as English marches on | U.S. | Reuters
"Printed writing is very much design-led these days in adverts and Web sites, and people feel that hyphens mess up the look of a nice bit of typography. The hyphen is seen as messy looking and old-fashioned."
design  marketing  language  english  aesthetics  media 
september 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Hats Off To The Unsung Copy Editor --
"From time to time, a copy editor may get a nod for an exceptional headline or a thank you from a reporter or assignment editor for a good catch, but copy editors accept that most praise in the newspaper business is for reporters."
editing  writing  newspapers  media  english  news  creativity 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
A Capital Idea: In which I prove I'm not dead by blogging again
"Merill had the perfect example about how the placement of 'only' can change the meaning of a sentence. Start with 'I hit him in the eye yesterday.' "
english  language  newspapers  information  writing 
june 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Mexico City's Indie Rock, Now Playing to the World
“There’s always what we call the Mexico City lag. In the U.S. there was the college rock boom — Pavement, Sebadoh, even Nirvana — and now in Mexico City we have our own version of that. This is our own ’90s indie boom, just a decade or so late.
rock  mexico  pop  identity  language  english  spanish  yasns  myspace  mp3  1990s 
may 2007 by allaboutgeorge
After Shootings at Virginia Tech, Many Find Solace in Poetry
"My average poetry reading gets 300-400 people. On tour, about 1,000 people. Am I a rock star? No. Could I go to Yankee Stadium to read? No. I like libraries. … I am not [legendary rhythm and blues singer] Aretha Franklin."
poetry  english  language  public  social  literature  fiction  music  sports 
april 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Urban Poetry Walk Takes Verse to the Streets
E. Ethelbert Miller big-ups one of my favorite poems, Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays."
poetry  washington  exercise  language  beauty  urban  cities  english 
april 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Wired 14.11: Very Short Stories
"We'll be brief: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") and is said to have called it his best work."
creative  english  fiction  humor  literature  memory  minimalism  poetry  reading  scifi  shortstory  story  writing 
october 2006 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: Clauses and Commas Make a Comeback
"What you have is a generation of teachers from the early to mid-'70s who don't know grammar, who never learned it. We have armies of teachers, elementary teachers and English teachers, who don't have the language to talk about language."
language  english  school  education  public 
october 2006 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Wayne C. Booth, Critic Who Analyzed Rhetoric, Dies at 84
"[L]iterature was not so much words on paper as it was a complex ethical act. He saw the novel as a kind of compact between author and reader: intimate and rewarding, but rarely easy. At the crux of this compact lay rhetoric, the art of verbal persuasion.
language  english  politics  ethics  novels 
october 2005 by allaboutgeorge
LADN: English bypassed in L.A.: Koreans learning Spanish
"In California, Spanish is more important than English. I haven't found any inconvenience because I don't speak English. ... If you can speak Spanish, you can drive, employers can have clients, you can order in restaurants, you can do anything."
spanish  asian  losangeles  language  english  california  work  jobs  ethnicity  immigration  latino 
september 2005 by allaboutgeorge Pause celebre
”'You’re kidding,' said Ann Keatings, an applied linguist, as she absorbed the news I had brought from the US, where I have lived for the past 12 years: Americans see the semicolon as punctuation’s axis of evil."
language  english  grammar  copyediting  usa  uk 
september 2005 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: Love of Learning Language Transcends All Ages
"It's very clear that early exposure facilitates the acquisition of the motor and cognitive skills required for high-level performance. Yet we don't all end up as Tiger Woods or Michelle Kwan or the Williams sisters."
language  aging  education  english 
april 2005 by allaboutgeorge
IHT: "Denglish" is on the march
"If you bump into somebody at the supermarket checkout, it's a lot quicker and easier to say 'Sorry' (pronounced with a guttural 'r') than to say 'Entschuldigung,' with its four syllables (though, of course, many Germans do say 'Entschuldigung')."
english  europe  germany  language 
december 2004 by allaboutgeorge
DWelle: Desperately Ditching Denglish
"The market research outfit Dialego discovered earlier this year that the top seven most recognized ad slogans for German companies were, perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone except the country's ad execs, in German."
english  europe  germany  language 
december 2004 by allaboutgeorge
DWelle: Europe Battles English Invasion
"The range and depth of Shakespeare's vocabulary comes from the way in which he employs Germanic words, French words and Latin words to characterize the different people that he has in his plays."
english  europe  germany  language 
december 2004 by allaboutgeorge

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