A child’s accent is decided by those around them at playgroup and nursery, not at school or home, a study suggests. I don’t doubt at all that an accent is determined by such things. My complaint is the idea that a child only has one accent. Simply not true (OK, not true in my experience). [...]
Entries Tagged as 'Language'
October 30th, 2012 · 19 Comments
October 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments
I knew the word, knew what it meant, but hadn’t known (or perhaps had bothered to find out) where it came from. charity muggers Ah, OK. This is an intriguing typo as well: Critics argue Norris is a loose canon Senior priest on the rampage sort of thing…..
February 26th, 2011 · 10 Comments
Max Robins of the New York-based Paley Center for Media pointed out how significant it was to scrap a show that still attracts almost 15 million viewers an episode. “It makes CBS a tonne of money and for them to do this it had to be incredibly serious.” The difference between tonne and ton is [...]
January 20th, 2011 · 14 Comments
The upper chamber of Spain‘s parliament has caused controversy by allowing senators to debate in five of the country’s languages, with interpreters employed to turn their words into a tongue they all speak perfectly: Castilian Spanish. Critics claim that allowing senators to speak Catalan, Galician, Valencian and the Basque language of Euskara has turned the [...]
December 9th, 2010 · 10 Comments
Interesting piece of research: that if we mimic other people’s accents when talking to them, we understand what they are saying better. As if by using their accent (as best we can mind) we’re training our own ears to understand them better: not, as some might think, in order that they understand us better (you [...]
November 6th, 2010 · 12 Comments
We might have solved one of the great linguistic mysteries of our time (OK, one of the terribly minor linguistic controversies of our time): the origin of the word “posh”. As we all get told this stands for “port out, starboard home” for this is how the richer, posher, people travelled out to India back [...]
September 8th, 2010 · No Comments
see more Epic Fails
August 21st, 2010 · 3 Comments
I honestly can’t remember meeting a more gentle, modest and courteous man. Or laughing so much. For a comedian it’s the second sentence that is important. But that Ken Dodd also merits the first sentence is, in he larger sheme of things, perhaps more important.
August 18th, 2010 · 3 Comments
“My niche is that not only can I show British culture in an unfamiliar way, but I can do the same with the language. I can show how absurd English idioms sound to the Italian ear.” These include “Bob’s your uncle”, which apparently derives from the nepotistic practices of 1880s PM Robert Cecil. Palmieri proposes an [...]
August 15th, 2010 · 8 Comments
Precisely because everyone else does learn English we should be learning other languages. Foreigners will go on learning English, regardless. The British have an obligation, it seems to me, to reciprocate. Call it what you like – mutuality, courtesy, fair exchange, good practice. Not to do so is in every sense hateful. A self-exemption. A [...]
July 29th, 2010 · 4 Comments
It would appear that you are to be prevented from swearing in emails….. There will never be another s— deal at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The New York company is telling employees that they will no longer be able to get away with profanity in electronic messages. That means all 34,000 traders, investment bankers and [...]
April 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments
But the two pieces of anecdata I have are Anecdata: from the observation that the plural of anecdote is not data.
March 24th, 2010 · 1 Comment
Before learning another language, it is useful to have something worthwhile to say.
March 15th, 2010 · 17 Comments
Ed Balls, in his infinite fucking wisdom, has decided that Latin is a useless subject in schools. Like Boris Johnson, I am outraged, not least because this is my livelihood at stake. The joy and value of Latin being taught in schools and the defence of it being of course entirely separate from this Libertarian’s [...]
February 14th, 2010 · No Comments
Strange that a philosopher should not know this. Falling and being in love is a glorious feeling. We need a different word to describe our love for our neighbour We have two perfectly good words which make this distinction. Eros and agape. True, we simply nicked ‘em from the Greeks but then we’ve done that [...]
February 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments
“As the most over-examined generation, which invests the most money into its education, polyglots should get more recognition for their language skills. They are still sorely underrated here, particularly if you do not wish to pursue professions traditionally associated with languages, such as interpreting, translation or teaching. Abroad of course, the demand is high for [...]
February 9th, 2010 · 8 Comments
Umm: At an Intelligence Squared debate last week, Professor Mary Beard gave some indications of how the teaching of languages has suffered in state education. – Fewer than 500 state schools now offer any classical languages and much of this teaching is offered in the ‘twilight’ hours after most classes have finished. – The government [...]
September 18th, 2009 · 6 Comments
Yes, like this one: When something has crossed the parody horizon, it becomes impossible to parody (that, of course, is a common idiom) for the simple reason that any parody would be indistinguishable from the original. Similar to “jumping the shark” perhaps. “Polly has crossed the parody horizon”….yes, works for me.
September 6th, 2009 · 11 Comments
So, a question. The widow of Ferdinand Marcos disclosed last week that she is pushing her son Ferdinand Jr, 51, known as “Bongbong”, to stand for president next year. … He was educated at Worth, a Benedictine boarding school in West Sussex. I remember, when I was at the prep school there, seeing the limo [...]
September 6th, 2009 · 2 Comments
Anyone help with this? For the past couple of days it’s been difficult to load a page. Keep getting “Connection reset” page. “connection reset while this page was loading”. Is this something on my machine? Or further down the line at my ISP? Hitting “try again” four or five times usually loads the page. Any [...]