Articles with tag 'language'

Language and identity 2010-03-31

Transitioning… Happening, without me even realizing.

The though tonight surfaced when considering the origin of the headache that bothered me all this evening. I have known this headache for a few years already; it happens every now and then, the pain creates each time a sensation of déjà-vu without clear …

“ Where do you come from? ” 2009-01-03

I am getting seriously annoyed by this question.

Not because it is somewhat intimate and still part of the social handshake, just between “what’s your name?” and “what do you do?”. The latter got me annoyed before but I learned how to cope with it already.

No, the reason …

Irreductible verbs 2008-04-14

Here is an exercise for the linguistically-inclined — try to find in your native language a single word that carries the following meanings:

  • menen: to give one’s opinion about something (ik meen dat dit waar is = I give my opinion that this is true)
  • opvallen: to make oneself easily noticeable …
Stappen naar onzichtbaarheid 2008-04-13
  1. surprise, curiousity: “oh, you can speak Dutch? How nice!” Hidden meaning: it’s surprising; unusual for foreigners to be interested in our language; but I really can’t understand a word of what you’re saying.
  2. condescension: replying in English. Hidden meaning: ok, you’ve shown you can make yourself …
Migration of words and original spellings 2008-01-28
  • fact: an Italian word spelled “ciao” is used in many latin-based languages in Europe with a similar meaning. It is used as an interjection when people part, or as a sign of surprise.
  • fact: in several European languages other than Italian, this word is actually used in writing by speakers …
“Stores” and “shops” in American English 2007-12-14

In America, people buy stuff in “stores.” Over here, they buy stuff in “shops.”

In America, people find the word “shop” old fashioned. They expect it to designate a small and cramped place where goods are not on display in large quantities.

Now, if we look at three hundred years …

Kōan of the day - What is Art? 2007-07-29


A kōan (公案) is a story, dialogue, question, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet that may be accessible to intuition.

Sometimes kōans appear out of nowhere, and I was today witness to a beautiful one:

(20:32) <@kena> sylvain_: c'est quoi l'art pour toi …
Meet the new French language 2007-03-19

The following is a quote from a semi-official Usenet newsgroup for the French institution EPITECH where current and soon-to-be students can meet and discuss their past and future education in computer science:

moi chui pa un intelektuel mer g ete pri fo just avoir la motiv couz. moi jveu savoir …