Archive for the ‘language’ Category

If we were in Iceland, my sons would have a last name something like Nathanson and my daughter something like Nathansdóttir.  Björk’s last name is Guðmundsdóttir.  It’s the Icelandic name.

I’ve been trying out Duolingo to practice Spanish.  It’s a website where you practice English, Spanish, French, etc. in a game format and earn “points”.  Anyway, I think it’s helping if I could remember where those accents go.

Raisin is French for “grape”.

Stop using “leverage” instead of “use”.  Stop it, stop it, stop it!

Sometimes, I come across a case where I want to use the same word twice in a row.  It seems a bit awkward, but rephrasing the sentence to get around it would be even more awkward.  For example, this question: “Do you think they’ll get their bid in in time for the deadline?”

Sean (5-year-old son) just called me to tell me about his new Lego construction. He seems to have learned the wrong lesson from me…delivering his message and then, almost in mid-sentence, saying, “so bye.” Guess we need to level up our smalltalk skills…and I ain’t talkin’ about the programming language.

A few things about the English language

What’s up with the -let suffix? It’s rarely used, but computer people might be latching on to it. For example, in applet, servlet, and the aforementioned cmdlet. Seems to be borrowed from the French -ette.

And then there’s the issue of not speaking the way things are spelled. (Or is it the same thing?) What happened to the British R? Apparently, that can’t be answered without lots of nightmarish linguistic terms.

So why is English such an insane language? If you try to spell things logically (the way they sound), you’re a bad speller. I mean, we wouldn’t want anything to be logically spelled. Currently, good spelling only comes through lots of experience. There’s apparently a small movement to fix the language. Unfortunately, it sounds like the problems in sorting this out are huge. English is a mishmash of Latin, Greek, French, Germanic, and other terms. If you pick one of those styles, you have to run the whole language through the grinder to make it consistent with that style.

Looks like Vanessa has a new feature on her blog: Professor Sean Presents: The Word of the Day

Notate is a word. “I notated it per your request. Per that’s how I roll.”

Did you ever notice that some stuttering is intentional? You might even do it yourself to emphasize a point, allow the listener time to think, or repeat a syllable because someone just coughed and you may not have been heardat least those are my theories. I think I catch myself doing it occasionally. It could just be learned from hearing others though.