Archive for the ‘language’ Category

Why Bernie Tawks the Tawk

February 26, 2016

Senator Bernie Sanders represents Vermont. So what’s with that accent? Joss Fong explains it all to you.

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90-Second Prep for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

December 14, 2015

You’re psyched to see the new Star Wars movie, but do you remember the older Star War films? Anne-Sophie Goninet and Worldcrunch present 90 seconds of highlights  Just watch the video above.

There. All caught up?

Before you ask: Spanish, Russian, English, Hungarian, Japanese, Portuguese, French, German, Turkish and Italian. 

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ฉันไม่พูดภาษาไทย (“I Don’t Speak Thai”), Sings Brooklyn’s Maggie Rosenberg

July 22, 2015

“For 19-year-old Brooklyn native Maggie Rosenberg, learning Thai pop songs began as a frustrated attempt to connect with the people of her host country. But the connection turned out stronger than she had anticipated ….

After returning home from a cultural immersion program in Thailand four years ago, Rosenberg taught herself Thai by learning how to sing the country’s pop hits. Today, her covers draw tens of thousands of views, while her original song, the endearing “I Don’t Speak Thai,’ has racked up nearly a million. Most videos feature her strumming a ukulele in her bedroom ….”

— “Maggie Rosenberg, Thailand’s American Sweetheart.” Melissa Pandika, OZY

Maggie Rosenberg @Facebook

Downloads @Bandcamp

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Spanish Is a Lovin’ Tongue

April 18, 2015

Video: “She Never Spoke Spanish to Me,” written by Butch Hancock, performed by Joe Ely with Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and the Muscle Shoal Horns.

“Met her in old Mexico
She was laughing sad and young
In a smokey room no one could see
Her favorite poets all agreed
Spanish is a loving tongue
But she never spoke Spanish to me”

Data analysis adds:

“Spanish was the most positively biased language followed by Portuguese and English. China landed at the end of the list, having used the fewest positive words of the 10 most spoken languages. Each language contains a complex history in which certain words became more important according to custom, practicality, and culture.”

— “Spanish is the Language of Love. English, of Poetry.” Orion Jones, Big Think

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Forward-Thinking Weird Al Takes Enterprise to Next Level

September 15, 2014

Business executive Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic takes a deep dive into employee engagement with his dynamic Mission Statement (above). At the end of the day, the value-added process he designed can circle back and leverage the synergy of the entire enterprise.

More:

“When Weird Al Yankovic sings about business jargon, he’s mocking these companies,” Sonali Kohli, Quartz

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Huh?

May 31, 2014

New research by Mark Dingemanse and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics … has uncovered a surprisingly important role for an interjection long dismissed as one of language’s second-class citizens: the humble huh?, a sort of voiced question mark slipped in when you don’t understand something. In fact, they’ve found, huh? is a “universal word,” the first studied by modern linguists.

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Mazel Tov, Arvind Mahankali!

June 2, 2013

Mazel Tov, Arvind Mahankali!
Last Thursday the Scripps National Spelling Bee was won by 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali when he successfully spelled “knaidel,” a word for “matzoh ball.” Surprised a young man with an Indian name can spell a Yiddish-derived word? Kid’s from Queens, fahcryinoutloud! As Lenny Bruce said, “If you live in New York … you are Jewish.”

But you think any aspect of Jewish-American culture is without controversy, especially in New York City? Fuggetaboutit.

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Strunk n’ White In Da House!

March 28, 2013

Strunk n’ White: Elementz o’ Stylin’ Out.

Like the video? You’ll love the book. All your fav celebrities do!

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A E I O U

April 8, 2012

“Vowels,” a short film by illustrator and filmmaker Temujin Doran, based on a 1945 Linguaphone instructional recording.

Hat tip: Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

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Breaking News: Okay!

January 11, 2012

Breaking News: Okay!

Want to know America’s lingustic gift to the world? Okay.

No, that’s it, the word “okay.” If you travel or scan global broadcasting you’ll hear it used by speakers of many languages, but the word came from the USA, coined in 1839 by Boston journalist Charles Gordon Greene (1804-1886).

More:

“Did you know a journalist coined the word ‘OK’?” Mignon Fogarty, MuckRack

OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word, Allen Metcalf (Oxford, 2010)

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