Monthly Archives: October 2012


I discovered an acronym today that is used by IT support types to indicate that the problem is with the user rather than the computer – PEBCAC, or ‘problem exists between computer and chair’. An alternative version is PEBCAK, or ‘problem exists between keyboard and chair’. Related acronyms I found in the Urban Dictionary include […]

English, Language 6 Comments

Couchsurfing and languages

Last week when looking for people in Bangor to practise my languages with I found mention of a polyglot conversation group on I’m not sure if it’s still going, but after looking around the site I thought I’d register. A few days later I got a couch request for this coming weekend from some […]

Breton, Language, Language learning 1 Comment

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 5 Comments

Cromarty fisher dialect

According to a report I found today in the Herald Scotland, the last fluent speaker of the Cromarty fisher dialect of Scots, Bobby Hogg, died recently. It was a dialect spoken by fisherfolk in the northeast of Scotland. According to experts, it was “the first ever linguistic demise to be so exactly recorded in Scotland.” […]

Language, Scots 1 Comment

A foreboding sky

Last night when I went out the sky was dark with very low clouds, and I expected it to rain at any moment. It did start raining while I was outside, but fortunately I was inside by the time the heavy rain arrived. I said to a friend that the sky had looked decidedly foreboding. […]

English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Mandarin in UK schools

According to an article I found today in The Independent there is a dire shortage of qualified teachers of Mandarin Chinese in the UK – only about 100 at the moment – and at the same time increasing numbers of schools want to offer Mandarin lessons. Apparently some 500 schools in the UK currently teach […]

Chinese, Education, Language Comments Off on Mandarin in UK schools
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