The Kazakh language comes in three shapes: Arabic, Cyrillic, and Latin. Continue reading Alphabet soup
Slang is as old as the hills. Victor Hugo hated it, but G. K. Chesterton thought, “All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.” Continue reading In praise of argot and French inventiveness
Restaurant menus: Is it “baked beans on toast” or “Navy beans redolent of pomegranate molasses afloat in a sauce of Cherokee Purple tomatoes suffused with basilico genovese concealing a hand-cut slice of toasted wholewheat”? Continue reading Restaurant-speak needs a dash of credulity
At the end of January 2008, at the St. Innocent Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska, friends and relatives gathered to bid farewell to Marie Smith Jones, a matriarch of her community. At 89 years old, she was the last fluent speaker of the Eyak language. Continue reading What goes around comes around
The Académie Française has been monitoring the French language for more than three and a half centuries. It regularly issues edicts on usage, vocabulary, and grammar, although its recommendations carry no legal power and are largely ignored. And the language continues to evolve in a process of linguistic natural selection. Continue reading French as he is spoken
The Celtic people of Cornwall in south-west England are to benefit from European Union rules for the protection of national minorities. What with Wales and now Scotland agitating for devolution, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is fast unravelling. How long before the Isle of Wight hoists the flag of independence? Continue reading Cornwall arises!