Archive for March, 2012

-phones around the world

March 31, 2012

From the NYT on the 29th, in “In Congo, Self-Defense Can Offer Its Own Risk” by Stephen Castle, about Rwandaphone Congolese:

“There is a tendency to reject the presence of all Rwandaphones,” Colonel [Delphin] Kahimbi [commandant of the Congolese Army’s operations in South Kivu] said.

That’s Rwandaphone ‘Kinyarwanda speaker (n.), Kinyarwanda-speaking (adj.)’. Noun use above; here’s an adjective use:

The contested role of the Rwandaphone communities in eastern Zaire (DR Congo) in the political discussions of the Kinshasa based oppositional printed press, 1991-1996 (link)


Adrienne Rich

March 31, 2012

In the Thursday NYT, an obituary for Adrienne Rich by Margalit Fox:

A Poet of Unswerving Vision at the Forefront of Feminism

Adrienne Rich, a poet of towering reputation and towering rage, whose work — distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity — brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse and kept it there for nearly a half-century, died on Tuesday at her home in Santa Cruz, Calif.


language ‘content’

March 30, 2012

From the NYT yesterday, a story by Michael S. Schmidt and Charlie Savage, headlined:

Language Deemed Offensive Is Removed From F.B.I. Training Materials

No, not swearing or racial/ethnic slurs. Not any kind of rewording. Not actually language, in fact, but content; language comes into the matter only because content is conveyed via language. (more…)

Men on AZBlogX

March 30, 2012

Three postings on my X Blog this morning, passing on photos found by Chris Ambidge:

“An assortment of images”, here: five photos, with athleticism, Santa silliness, and sexiness.

“On the butt watch, by the water”, here: nine butt-focused photos — six solo, two couples, and a group of Vikings.

“Five entertainments”, here: silliness, phallic displays, and some man-on-man sex.

Adults only, and not about language.



Formal logic

March 30, 2012

An xkcd (passed on to me by Jim Heringer):

Note: that’s iff (if and only if), not just if.

The mouseover message:

Note that this implies that you should NOT honk solely because I stopped for a pedestrian and you’re behind me.


Prepared for art

March 29, 2012

(Not about language.)

From the cover of a box of Pomegranate Press cards reproducing paintings by Irene Hardwicke Olivieri:

The artist in full gear, prepared for anything.

(There’s a YouTube display of works by Olivieri here. As a bonus, the background music is the Penguin Cafe Orchestra‘s “Air á Danser”.)

Annals of avoidance

March 29, 2012

Words of One Syllable Department. From David Barnhart on ADS-L, this link to a CNN story by Brian Vitagliano:

New York city schools want to ban ‘loaded words’ from tests

New York (CNN) – Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city’s standardized tests.


Imperative, declarative

March 29, 2012

Today’s Bizarro, with an imperative-declarative ambiguity:

A intends You have a nice one as an imperative (a conventional farewell), but B hears it as a declarative (a compliment on some aspect of his appearance). Several things conspire to yield the ambiguity.


where … at

March 28, 2012

A birthday card found on the net (it’s been reproduced on a number of sites):

Two things here: ending a sentence with a preposition (i.e., stranding rather than fronting a preposition); and the construction whereat? The first is a total red herring; the second has been the subject of considerable usage advice.


more bro

March 27, 2012

From Chris Ambidge, yet another contribution to the big pile of bromanteaus: “Broga: Yoga for guys means more Radiohead, less Enya” by Dave McGinn on the Globe and Mail blog (link):

It’s in Somerville, Mass., where a yoga class for men – called “broga”– is helping guys feel macho doing the downward dog.

It seems inevitable, doesn’t it? Nowadays there are more kinds of yoga than there are butts in a yoga class. And we as a culture can’t get enough of dude-tastic portmanteau wordplay – mancation, bromance, a whole new brocabulary, in fact.



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