On rebracketing and word boundaries

A whole nother story – by Erich Round

Words do some truly inventive things when they change, and change they always do. Some switch their sounds around, like when hros became hors, nowadays spelt with an extra e as horse. Some lose their sense of having an internal composition, like when wāl-hros ‘whale-horse’ became walrus. Some cave in to peer pressure and change their looks to conform with others, including one of my favourite cases in English, when under the influence of similarly-meaning words probably, possibly, plausibly which all end in -bly, we get supposably, which is how in some varieties of modern English you can say ‘supposedly’. One the of truly odd things that words do though, is to start stealing sounds from their neighbours.

A famous case in English is an apron, which used to be a napron, until the n got snaffled by the a. It goes the other way too. A newt was originally an ewt. Of course, in Middle English when this n-theivery was underway, there were a few more words complicit in the heist, for example my napron also became mine apron, and your napron became yourn apron, since at that stage in English, words like my/mine, your/yourn worked like a/an.

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The world’s English mania

“English is the world’s second language. Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation – a global conversation about global problems, like climate change or poverty, or hunger or disease.”

Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English.
He shares photos and spine-tingling audio of Chinese students rehearsing English“the world’s second language” – by the thousands.

via TED – Ideas worth spreading

Four reasons to learn a new language

“Let’s face it, it’s the language of the internet, it’s the language of finance, it’s the language of air traffic control, of popular music, diplomacy… English is everywhere!”

English is fast becoming the world’s universal language, and instant translation technology is improving every year.

So why bother learning a foreign language?

Linguist and Columbia professor John McWhorter shares four alluring benefits of learning an unfamiliar tongue.


via TED – Ideas worth spreading

Giornata Europea delle Lingue 2018 (#coeEDL #coeEDL2018 #EDLangs2018)

Giornata Europea delle Lingue - European Day of Languages


Il 26 settembre di ogni anno, a partire dal 2001, si festeggia la Giornata Europea delle Lingue (in inglese: European Day of Languages), per coinvolgere ed informare la popolazione europea sull’importanza dell’apprendere una o più lingue straniere.

Gli obiettivi dell’iniziativa – promossa dal Consiglio d’Europa  – sono quelli di favorire la comunicazione e la comprensione interlinguistica e interculturale, nonché di incrementare la diffusione del plurilinguismo e sensibilizzare sull’importanza dello studio delle lingue, sia in ambito europeo che su scala globale.

Continua a leggere Giornata Europea delle Lingue 2018 (#coeEDL #coeEDL2018 #EDLangs2018)

Impara l’inglese con Donald Trump

Impara l'inglese con Donald Trump

Le eccentricità oratorie di Donald Trump – il palare di sé in terza persona, ad esempio, oppure la pronuncia di huge allungando oltremodo il suono della u e senza l’aspirazione che la lettera h richiederebbe – ed il suo uso bizzarro della lingua inglese sono noti ai media di mezzo mondo sin dai tempi dell’annuncio della sua candidatura alla presidenza degli Stati Uniti.


Tuttavia, al di là di questi piccoli vezzi, l’idioletto di Trump risulta essere un peculiare amalgama di lessico e sintassi che veicolano una mentalità altrettanto caratteristica.

Questo conciso dizionario Trumpese-inglese nasce da un’analisi attenta dei discorsi, delle interviste e dei tweet di Donald Trump.

Buona lettura!

Continua a leggere “How to Talk Like Trump” di Kurt Andersen

Per approfondire:
Lost in TrumpslationLicia Corbolante