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Links 1 through 10 of 41 by Tom Armitage tagged language

"Words in other languages are like icebergs: The basic meaning is visible above the surface, but we can only guess at the shape of the vast chambers of meaning below. And every language has particularly hard-to-translate terms, such as the Portuguese saudade, or "the feeling of missing someone or something that is gone," or the Japanese ichigo-ichie, meaning "the practice of treasuring each moment and trying to make it perfect."" Lovely little article on the untranslatable.

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"In this adaptation of Raymond Queneau’s 100,000,000,000,000 Poems, the rules of 10 sports (football, polo, water polo, lacrosse, ice hockey, table tennis, basketball, rugby, the Kirkwall ba' and beach volleyball) are divided into their constituant elements (duration, playing area, objective, players per team, attire, ball and method of play/restrictions) in such a way that they can be reassembled without contradicting each other."

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Depicted as a grid by artist Susan Wolf; to circumvent the large number of languages spoken in Joburg, taxi drivers have official hand signals to take you from A to B. This PDF shows all of them. (via Bobulate)

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""Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." is a grammatically correct sentence used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated constructs." And: what a URL.

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"Every family, it seems, has its own set of words for describing particular Lego pieces. No one uses the official names. “Dad, please could you pass me that Brick 2x2?” No. In our house, it’ll always be: “Dad, please could you pass me that four-er?”" So true. I'm trying to recall our own nomenclature.

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"This is a selected list of gairaigo, Japanese words originating or based on foreign language (generally Western) terms, including wasei-eigo (Japanese pseudo-Anglicisms)." One of my new favourite Wikipedia pages; there is some fascinating stuff in here.

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"It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate." And so on.

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Andrew Plotkin on some of the design of Inform 7, and rule-based programming as it applies to IF. Long story short: everything is exceptional, and designing systems to support the kind of stories IF authors want to tell is hard.

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"In business, words are like fashion. You try a word on because important people around you are saying it and getting results, but you may not actually know what it means." Rands helps you discover what the words actually mean. As usual, he is right.

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"‘sdfsdf ‘means, I would argue, ‘I am testing’, or even more specifically, ‘I am now testing what can be seen’. It’s another performative expression because there is no semantic distance between typing this string and doing what it says, in the same way that there is no semantic distance between saying ‘I do’ in your marriage vows and actually performing your marriage vows. Saying is doing."

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