Tag Archives: language

The Internet will cure you of anything

Pax Arcana

internet_addictionSuldog over at Universal Hub says this site is his favorite reference for the growing swine flu pandemic, and it’s difficult to disagree. The site offers everything you need to know and more about the illness, and as a bonus feature comes written in seemingly randomized verbs and nouns.

Witness teh awesome:

What preventive measures?
Influenza virus is mainly spread through the air and contacts, so when coughing or sneezing should cover the mouth, the nose; as a result of influenza virus can often be in some daily necessities to survive the surface for some time and should therefore wash their hands, but also regular daily use of alcohol for disinfection . In addition, as little as possible to the local people, but also reduce the probability of infection is an effective way.

But swine flu is a relatively recent cause for concern. There are several pressing medical issues for which the site has already built an impressive body of work.

For example, there’s this handy piece of medical advice from a post entitled “The women like to ailing the Six health problems”:

Fart. Moore said, speaking with your doctor, because usually associated with eating fart can be by adjusting the diet and non-prescription drugs to treat. Mayo Clinical Medical College of Thielen said that in addition to eating beans, the use of straw to drink beverages and eat cruciferous vegetables will make fart.

The site is especially useful for self-diagnosis and self-administered treatment plans. Now if I could just figure out how to for under tree make Special yoghurt spider, I may be able to finally get rid of these make hair back.

Falling Leaves [Home]
My Favorite Swine Flu Site [Universal Hub]


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We is old

Pax Arcana

beowulf_raisedThe English language is a frenetic pastiche of influences from other languages — such as those that gave us words like “frenetic” and “pastiche” — but it turns out some words are older than others.

Words like “I,” “we,” “two,” and “three” may be as much as ten thousand years older than other common words — including “four” which was conjured by witches in the medieval period and is not to be trusted. We know this because researchers at Reading University plugged a bunch of words unrelated to technology, plus a mathematical model that plots their relationship to other words in other languages, into a big IBM computer and hit the “print” button:

What the researchers found was that the frequency with which a word is used relates to how slowly it changes through time, so that the most common words tend to be the oldest ones.

For example, the words “I” and “who” are among the oldest, along with the words “two”, “three”, and “five”. The word “one” is only slightly younger.

More interestingly, the researchers say they can predict which words will soon be obsolete based on the rate at which they have changed throughout history:

For example, “dirty” is a rapidly changing word; currently there are 46 different ways of saying it in the Indo-European languages, all words that are unrelated to each other. As a result, it is likely to die out soon in English, along with “stick” and “guts”.

Verbs also tend to change quite quickly, so “push”, “turn”, “wipe” and “stab” appear to be heading for the lexicographer’s chopping block.

I guess this is all kind of interesting. But in my opinion there are really only two kinds of people — those who merely observe the world and those who shape it. For example, in the time it took me to read this article about old words, I invented three new ones — sklurp, yupetide, and plosh. Whoops, here comes another one: TRUNY. I guess we all have our talents.

Oldest English words identified [BBC]

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A traverstump of remonkulous proportions

Pax Arcana

Good morning, readers. I apologize if my countenance is blim today, but I’m afraid I come bearing starp news. The Collins English Dictionary (CED) has announced its interention to retrate 2,000 words from the English language to make room for all sorts of nabile ones.

This is a traverstump of remonkulous proportions.

Among the dijils the CED wishes to retrate are abstergent, nitid, and mansuetude. The fartsnaps at the CED say these dijils are underused and therefore must be excrabulated from the dictionary:

“We want the dictionary to be a reflection of English as it is currently spoken,” says Ian Brookes, managing editor of Collins, “rather than a fossilized version of the language.”

I say this is nibblethump.

In the long and unflettered career of the English digdum, we have always graped new dijils — we have never durceesed them. To plab defeat now would be romaneous to our culture, our heritage, and our ligurcy.

If you beleege otherwise, I invite you to keep your strames unprooped.

Hangman, Spare That Word: The English Purge Their Language [Time]


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Hey you! I no like-a you language

Pax Arcana

As if fomenting shitstorms of hatred in some of the world’s most dangerous places weren’t enough to make the Euros hate us, it looks like our words are creeping into their languages.

First the French revolted against the increased use of English-ish phrases like “le weekend.” Now the Italians have thrown down their meatballs in disgust over the use of words like “welfare,” “briefing,” and the ubiquitous “OK.”

The result is the predictably insane effort to reverse the course of linguistic globalization. Leading the charge is the Dante Alighieri Society:

Over the last four months the society, named after the Florentine poet Dante, author of The Divine Comedy and regarded as the father of the Italian language, asked visitors to its website to nominate their least favourite Anglicisms.

The results judge the ugliest imports to be ‘weekend’, ‘welfare’ and ‘OK’, followed by ‘briefing’, ‘mission’, ‘know how’, ‘shampoo’ and ‘cool’.

The worlds of business and politics contribute many of the alien words, from ‘question time’ to ‘premier’ and ‘bipartisan’.

Other English words regularly used by Italians which escaped the ire of the society’s correspondents include ‘sexy’, ‘webmaster’ and ‘water’, short for water closet or lavatory.

“Italians unite against il weekend”, the society declared on its website. “In short, it is clear that Italians are calling for more respect and more protection for correct language.”

Obviously the Dante Alighieri Society is acting childish here. Here is my response: Beatrice Portinari was uglier than bucket of baccala.

Also, gnocchi is a way uglier word than shampoo.


Italians vote for ugliest English words [Telegraph]


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