logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: language
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-06 04:54
Swearing is Good For You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language
Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language - Emma Byrne

I've been waiting months for this to come out; I swear like a sailor and my love of etymology and words in general draw me to books like these.  This one was excellent.  

 

In the introduction Byrne sets the expectations for the reader; not all the chapters are focused on swearing specifically - or how swearing is good for you, but all the topics she discusses are topical to swearing, and all of them contribute to our understanding of why swearing can be fun, powerful, and offensive - often all at once! 

 

There is a lot of science here, written by a woman who is a scientist first and a writer second, and a lot of studies make up a good portion of the narrative, with humor to keep the reading easy. Even when the chapters aren't geared directly at the benefits of swearing, they are fascinating.  In a slim volume of under 200 pages, she covers the interrelationship of pain and swearing, Tourette's Syndrome (a tragic, eye-opening chapter that she describes as 'the chapter that should not be in this book'), swearing in the workplace, other primates that swear (so good!), gender and swearing, and finally, swearing for the multi-lingual.  All fully cited and fascinating.  With citations/notes, a bibliography, and an index in the back. 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and should have saved it as a suggestion for The Flat Book Society, dammit!  Though I was never going to be able to wait that long to start reading it; luckily it was good enough to re-read someday soon, so perhaps it will find it's way to the voting list anyway.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-20 11:00
Abused and Shunned by Society: The Diary of a Lost Girl by Margarete Böhme
The Diary of a Lost Girl (Louise Brooks edition) - Thomas Gladysz;Margarete Bohme
Tagebuch einer Verlorenen - Margarete Böhme

This forgotten classic from Germany was a best-selling novel in 1905 and translated into many languages.

 

It was also widely read for nearly three decades – until the story of a fallen girl from a bourgeois family who sees no other way to survive but prostitution was pushed into the abyss of oblivion because it didn’t fit into the ideal and virtuous image of Germans that Nazi propaganda created. Mute films made of it had the same fate although the 1929 film of G. W. Pabst starring Louise Brooks is much appreciated by enthusiasts like the editor of the again available English edition of the book.

 

Please click here to read the full review on my main book blog Edith’s Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-16 19:49
In the Land of Invented Languages / Arika Okrent
In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language - Arika Okrent

Here is the captivating story of humankind’s enduring quest to build a better language—and overcome the curse of Babel. Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man’s attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, Loglan (not to be confused with Lojban), and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries. With intelligence and humor, Arika Okrent has written a truly original and enlightening book for all word freaks, grammar geeks, and plain old language lovers.

 

  I think I would really enjoy sitting down for a cup of coffee and a discussion with this author! She is a linguist and linguistics is a favourite subject of mine. She knows a thing or two about the Library of Congress classification schedules too (or at least the P section of them, linguistics & languages), which appeals to my inner cataloguing nerd. Plus, she is just interested in words and their history and in the psychology of people who strive to build better languages.

I was absolutely gobsmacked at how many artificial languages are lurking out there and how often that particular bee seems to get into someone’s bonnet! Mostly, the creators seems to be altruists—Esperanto was going to be the language that allowed us all to understand one another and prevent future wars. Many of these language developers were hoping to express “pure” concepts and keep prejudice and politics out of things. Unfortunately for them, language just doesn’t work that way! One of the best uses of language is politicking! Also unfortunate is the tendency of these men (and I think we can say that it’s mostly men who attempt this) to be unable to let go and let their languages run free, to change during regular use. Their rigid attempts to control the people using their languages seemed to negate any positive uses for their creations.

I was amused as the author’s type-A, gung-ho attempt to learn Klingon. If I had been at that particular conference, I would have been right at her side competing to my heart’s content! I loved that in her author note at the end of the volume, she listed both PhDs and her Klingon 1st level pin as her accomplishments.

What I found a bit freaky: I returned to work on Monday (having read the book on the weekend) and the very first volume that I picked up to catalogue was written in Esperanto! (I’ve been working on a big collection of materials by and about H.G. Wells and am busy with translations right now.) That little piece of synchronicity was amusing.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-12-28 05:33
Fair Dinkum!
Fair Dinkum! Aussie Slang - H. G Nelson

A quick and fun read full of older photos guaranteed to make anyone cringe and possibly tarnish the world view of Aussies being buff, beautiful and glamourous.  This compendium covers just about most of the Aussie slang they're famous for, including 'Strewth!' and 'Stone the Crows!' (neither of which, by the way, I've ever actually heard used), along with a few that might not have made it across the oceans: 'chuck a wobbly' (throw a fit), or 'dinky-di' (authentically Australian, apparently).

 

I dinged the book a star because Nelson includes a few slang terms that are definitely not strictly Aussie:  I grew up using 'chuck a u-ey' (do a u-turn) and 'mad as a cut snake' amongst others in the collection ('In like Flynn').   I don't claim them as American, but they're definitely not quintessentially Aussie, either.

 

A fun surprise stocking stuffer from MT and I'm going to have fun sharing some of these terms with my friends and family back home.

Like Reblog Comment
photo 2017-12-20 17:04
Award-winning children's author Karl Beckstrand
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?