Verily I Say Unto Thee... archive
Tag : language

Universal Alphabet On A Grid

Categories: Language, Personal
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2017.11.04

Multi-lingual Part of the packaging for my Joby GorillaPod had the above label, with the same phrase in 11 languages and at least six alphabets. (Copyright © 2016 by Wil C. Fry.) In mid-2016, I got to thinking about about the evolution of written languages (I think I was reading The Selfish Gene at the[…]

What If We Could Make The Internet Better? We Can.

Internet cafe in Cozumel (Copyright © 2006 by Wil C. Fry.) The world’s a decent enough place — most of us won’t get murdered, for example — but it could be better. I feel the same away about the internet: it’s wonderful, but it’s not as good as it could be. Even those of us[…]

Some Of Earth’s Languages Are ‘Endangered’

Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2014.09.03

* Economic Growth Has Put A Quarter Of The World’s Languages At Risk Of Extinction (Business Insider, 2014.09.03) * 25% of World’s Languages Are Threatened (livescience, 2014.09.03) There are, according to Business Insider, 6,909 known human languages on Earth. The same articles says “…about a quarter of [them are] threatened.” The livescience (which doesn’t capitalize[…]

Words That Bug Me: Doubled-Up Abbreviations

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.07.09

Remember the “FBI: Female Body Inspector” T-shirts? I first saw one in the 1980s, and I know they were still for sale in the late 1990s (edit: and they are still for sale). That’s not what I’m talking about; it’s just a sexist joke on a shirt. I’m talking about when an abbreviation already exists[…]

Phixing English: Let’s Start With the “ph”

Categories: Fixing English
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.04.16

A few of the hundreds of words using the silly “ph” spelling instead of “f” If there is an international board of secret scholars somewhere whose job it is to fix the English language, I really want to suggest they start with the unnecessary letters like C and X — neither makes a sound that[…]

Words That Bug Me: Changing Definitions

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.02.17

Words that used to have multiple meaning but now just have one, or words that used to have a neutral connotation but now are inextricably tied to the negative connotation — these irritate me mainly because most of us have, at best, a tenuous grasp of the language, and it doesn’t help that words keep[…]

Words That Bug Me: ‘Kiddos’

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2013.12.10

“Kiddos” has been around for a while. The Oxford English Dictionary (here) and other online resources say it’s just an informal “friendly or slightly condescending form of address”. I’m fine with that definition. My complaint is about when parents use the term for their children: “Here’s a picture of the kiddos”, they’ll say with a[…]

Words That Bug Me: “Out Of” In Sports

Categories: Sports, Words That Bug Me
Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: 2012.12.29

I’ve you’ve watched or listened to a sports event broadcast lately, you’ve heard at least one of the commentators say “out of” when they meant “from”. It’s getting worse, and it bugs the hell out of me. “James Johnson, the quarterback, is out of Billings, Montana”, they’ll say. I’ve got news for them. Unless the[…]

Words That Bug Me: ‘Price Point’

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2012.08.12

Yes, I’ve been watching too many episodes of ‘House Hunters’. But it bugs me when people say “price point” when they mean price range, or simply price.

Words That Bug Me: Piracy

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: 2012.05.26

Today’s English (and, I assume, other languages) is peppered with old words that have been given new meaning, either by marketing campaigns or by the news media. Sometimes the new meanings come from the slang of youth, song writers, or authors. I’m not sure how or when “piracy” took on its new meaning, but I[…]

Words That Bug Me: Poorly Shortened Words

Comments: 5 Comments
Published on: 2012.05.26

One of my many pet peeves is shortened words. Well, words or phrases that are shortened poorly. For example, cellular telephone has been shortened to cell in the U.S. Fortunately, many people actually say phone, which is much better. Why? Phone already means telephone. Cell, on the other hand, never meant telephone. It referred to[…]

Removing Testiness From Tests

Categories: Education, InTheNews
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2012.03.30

(Referencing the story found on ABC News and the NY Post.) The New York city public school system is trying to make tests less “biased” and less likely to “evoke unpleasant emotions” in school children. One of the ways they’re doing this is banning a list of words, including birthdays, junk food, Halloween, dinosaur, dancing,[…]

Fixing The English Language

Categories: Fixing English
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2005.04.23

[Begun April 23, 2005. Never finished or polished.] Every child born and raised in the United States has asked about it at least once, except maybe those who are born vegetables. And every person from a foreign land who tries to learn English (even British English) wonders about it as well. “Why does the English[…]

Words Aren’t ‘Bad’

(Originally Published Oct. 12, 2003, as part of my “Off-Center Thoughts”) According to society some words are “bad” words. We’ve known this since we were young children. It’s bull crap, I say. How can a word itself be evil? Most of these words consist of four letters, in the English language, thus the euphemism, “four-letter[…]

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