Monthly Archives: September 2008

Word of the day – mezzanine

I had my first lecture today, which took place on one of the rooms on the mezzanine floor of the Main Arts building. A mezzanine or entresol is usually an extras floor between main floors of a building. A mezzanine might often projects from the wall like a balcony and may share the same ceiling […]

Language, Linguistics, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a short conversation in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is? [audio:] Clue: some would call this a dialect rather than a language, even though it does have it’s own literature.

Language, Quiz questions 19 Comments

DELE exam

Today we have a guest post from James P. in Chile. I am preparing for the advanced DELE exam (just as it will be useful to have a piece of paper to say I can speak Spanish … such is life). I won’t go into how odd it is (muy suyo), but one thing that […]

Language, Spanish 19 Comments

Word of the day – zeugma

A zeugma is a figure of speech that joins two or more clauses together in a way that allows you to omit the key verb or noun in all but one of the clauses. The word comes via Latin from the Greek ζεύγμα (zeugma) – yoke. Here are examples of different kinds of zeugma: Prozeugma […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a short conversation in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is? Any ideas what the conversation’s about?

Language, Quiz questions 18 Comments

Why German can sound funny to English speakers

In English when you talk about scientific, technical, legal or medical topics, you tend to use a lot more words of Latin, Greek and French origin. However in everyday conversation words of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse origin are much more common. Therefore you could say that English has two distinct registers – a higher register […]

English, German, Language 10 Comments

Taiwan to adopt Hanyu pinyin

According to this report, hanyu pinyin is to be officially adopted in Taiwan from the beginning of next year. The main romanization systems currently used in Taiwan are Wades-Giles and Tongyong Pinyin. However, as they are not taught in schools, mistakes and misspelling are very common, and it’s not usual to see the romanized name […]

Chinese, Language 11 Comments

Txtng nt bd 4 U

The abbreviations and variant spellings found in text messages are not detrimental to your language, according to this article. In fact kids who send the most text messages tend to be more literate better at spelling than others. David Crystal, an independent language consultant, author and honorary professor of linguistics at Bangor University, and has […]

English, Language Comments Off on Txtng nt bd 4 U

Word of the day – poc

In Welsh a poc (/pok/) or pocyn (/’pokɪn/), is a kiss, however this word is rarely used in everyday speech. The more common word for kiss is cusan (/’kɪsan/) or sws (/sʊs/) and ‘to kiss’ is cusanu. When I came across the word poc while looking for something else in the dictionary, it immediately reminded […]

Breton, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases Comments Off on Word of the day – poc

Word quiz

If someone told you that they suffered from logolepsy, what would do? 1. Look concerned and advise them to consult a doctor. 2. Confess that you’re a fellow logolept and discuss your shared obsession. 3. Run away screaming. 4. Other (please specify)

Language, Quiz questions, Words and phrases 14 Comments
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