Monthly Archives: May 2011

Puzzle

The mysterious text below was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot and is a geocache clue that has apparently resisted all attempts to decipher it. Can you help?

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Language, Puzzles 12 Comments

A kitten’s growl

A kitten’s growl would not come near the plights of your spoken voice. You are a banana moon subverting the sun. Your ear-splitting sequels have a mind of their own. Demonize your sofa. It will lend forth more peanuts between the cushions. The tiny sounds of ancient bees resound forth from the forrested coercions between […]

English, Language, Spanish 3 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 11 Comments

Mainbrace splicing

When any swashes they can find have been thoroughly buckled, or indeed buckles swashed, swashbucklers might hear the exclamation/order ‘splice the mainbrace!’. I’ve often wondered what a mainbrace was and how you would splice one. So I decided to find out. It turns out that nowadays the order ‘splice the mainbrace’ has nothing to do […]

English, Etymology, Language 6 Comments

Buckling swashes

In one of the books I read recently quite a few swashes were buckled, and this got me wondering what exactly was a swash and who you would go about buckling one. A swashbuckler (/ˈswɒʃˌbʌklə(r)/) is a swaggering bravo or ruffian, or a noisy braggadocio, and first appeared in writing in 1560, according to the […]

English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Flame of the woods

Lasair choille or ‘flame of the woods’ is the Irish name for the goldfinch (carduelis carduelis), two of which I saw on my apple tree this morning. I like to know the names of birds and other creatures in the my languages, and particularly liked the Irish version when I discovered it. The Irish word […]

English, Etymology, French, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Welsh, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 11 Comments

Language bears

Today I came across this quote from Francis Bacon on YourVietnamese.com: “Men imagine that their minds have the command of language, but it often happens that language bears rule over their minds.”

Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Ukuleles and machetes

Yesterday I bought myself a ukulele, something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I already play the guitar and mandolin, and had been thinking about trying other stringed instruments, such as the ukulele, banjo and bouzouki. A while ago I saw a poster about the Bangor Uke Club / Clwb Uke Bangor and […]

English, Etymology, Hawaiian, Language 2 Comments

Academic English

Yesterday I listened to an interesting episode of Word of Mouth, BBC Radio 4′s programme about language, which looked at academic English. They talked to staff and students in Swedish universities about how English has taken over from Swedish as the main language of higher education and research in Sweden. One researcher explained that if […]

English, Language, Swedish 4 Comments