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death-limes:

venipede:

osteophagy:

endcetaceanexploitation:

Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.
One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:
"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." [23]
Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age.

more about Washoe:
after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”
the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.
*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.

Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.

now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face

death-limes:

venipede:

osteophagy:

endcetaceanexploitation:

Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.

One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:

"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." [23]

Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age.

more about Washoe:

after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”

the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.

*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.

Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.

now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face



quickweaves:

Being southern is really funny cause were inherently fake as hell “bless your heart” is THE shadiest sentence in the entire lexicon of americanized english  



ubungmachtdenmeister:

So you know how every language has that word/phrase/sentence that native speakers can pronounce just fine, but foreigners can almost never pronounce it correctly? And the natives have a lot of fun telling the foreigners to try and say it and laughing at their attempts?

They’re called Shibboleths, and wikipedia has a whole article on them. 
Even better, wikipedia has a whole article on examples of them.

Some of them are ridiculous, I can’t stop reading this article.



The linguist Julia Penelope talks about how the use of the passive voice when we talk about crimes against women tends to shift our focus off of male perpetrators, and on to female victims and survivors. For example, we talk about how many girls were raped last year, how many women were assaulted, or how many women were slain. As opposed to saying how many men raped women or girls, or how many boys or men assaulted and murdered women.
Jackson Katz, Tough Guise: Violence, Media, & the Crisis In Masculinity. (via inactivecharliebronsons)


hippity-hoppity-brigade:

xshiromorix:

bleedingsilverbird:

“Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.”

— (via be-killed)

But, but, but!

But, no, because there are reasons for all of those seemingly weird English bits.

Like “eggplant” is called “eggplant” because the white-skinned variety (to which the name originally applied) looks very egg-like.

image

The “hamburger” is named after the city of Hamburg.

The name “pineapple” originally (in Middle English) applied to pine cones (ie. the fruit of pines - the word “apple” at the time often being used more generically than it is now), and because the tropical pineapple bears a strong resemblance to pine cones, the name transferred.

The “English” muffin was not invented in England, no, but it was invented by an Englishman, Samuel Bath Thomas, in New York in 1894. The name differentiates the “English-style” savoury muffin from “American” muffins which are commonly sweet.

"French fries" are not named for their country of origin (Belgium or Spain, depending who you ask), but for their preparation. They are French-cut fried potatoes - ie. French fries.

"Sweetmeats" originally referred to candied fruits or nuts, and given that we still use the term "nutmeat" to describe the edible part of a nut and "flesh" to describe the edible part of a fruit, that makes sense.

"Sweetbread" has nothing whatsoever to do with bread, but comes from the Middle English "brede", meaning "roasted meat". "Sweet" refers not to being sugary, but to being rich in flavour.

Similarly, “quicksand” means not “fast sand”, but “living sand” (from the Old English “cwicu” - “alive”).

The term boxing “ring” is a holdover from the time when the “ring” would have been just that - a circle marked on the ground. The first square boxing ring did not appear until 1838. In the rules of the sport itself, there is also a ring - real or imagined - drawn within the now square arena in which the boxers meet at the beginning of each round.

The etymology of “guinea pig” is disputed, but one suggestion has been that the sounds the animals make are similar to the grunting of a pig. Also, as with the “apple” that caused confusion in “pineapple”, “Guinea” used to be the catch-all name for any unspecified far away place. Another suggestion is that the animal was named after the sailors - the “Guinea-men” - who first brought it to England from its native South America.

As for the discrepancies between verb and noun forms, between plurals, and conjugations, these are always the result of differing word derivation.

Writers write because the meaning of the word “writer” is “one who writes”, but fingers never fing because “finger” is not a noun derived from a verb. Hammers don’t ham because the noun “hammer”, derived from the Old Norse “hamarr”, meaning “stone” and/or “tool with a stone head”, is how we derive the verb “to hammer” - ie. to use such a tool. But grocers, in a certain sense, DO “groce”, given that the word “grocer” means “one who buys and sells in gross” (from the Latin “grossarius”, meaning “wholesaler”).

"Tooth" and "teeth" is the legacy of the Old English "toð" and "teð", whereas "booth" comes from the Old Danish "boþ". "Goose" and "geese", from the Old English "gōs" and "gēs", follow the same pattern, but "moose" is an Algonquian word (Abenaki: "moz", Ojibwe: "mooz", Delaware: "mo:s"). "Index" is a Latin loanword, and forms its plural quite predictably by the Latin model (ex: matrix -> matrices, vertex -> vertices, helix -> helices).

One can “make amends” - which is to say, to amend what needs amending - and, case by case, can “amend” or “make an amendment”. No conflict there.

"Odds and ends" is not a word, but a phrase. It is, necessarily, by its very meaning, plural, given that it refers to a collection of miscellany. A single object can’t be described in the same terms as a group.

"Teach" and "taught" go back to Old English "tæcan" and "tæhte", but "preach" comes from Latin "predician" ("præ" + "dicare" - "to proclaim").

"Vegetarian" comes of "vegetable" and "agrarian" - put into common use in 1847 by the Vegetarian Society in Britain.

"Humanitarian", on the other hand, is a portmanteau of "humanity" and "Unitarian", coined in 1794 to described a Christian philosophical position - "One who affirms the humanity of Christ but denies his pre-existence and divinity". It didn’t take on its current meaning of "ethical benevolence" until 1838. The meaning of "philanthropist" or "one who advocates or practices human action to solve social problems" didn’t come into use until 1842.

We recite a play because the word comes from the Latin “recitare” - “to read aloud, to repeat from memory”. “Recital” is “the act of reciting”. Even this usage makes sense if you consider that the Latin “cite” comes from the Greek “cieo” - “to move, to stir, to rouse , to excite, to call upon, to summon”. Music “rouses” an emotional response. One plays at a recital for an audience one has “called upon” to listen.

The verb “to ship” is obviously a holdover from when the primary means of moving goods was by ship, but “cargo” comes from the Spanish “cargar”, meaning “to load, to burden, to impose taxes”, via the Latin “carricare” - “to load on a cart”.

"Run" (moving fast) and "run" (flowing) are homonyms with different roots in Old English: "ærnan" - "to ride, to reach, to run to, to gain by running", and "rinnan" - "to flow, to run together". Noses flow in the second sense, while feet run in the first. Simillarly, "to smell" has both the meaning "to emit" or "to perceive" odor. Feet, naturally, may do the former, but not the latter.

"Fat chance" is an intentionally sarcastic expression of the sentiment "slim chance" in the same way that "Yeah, right" expresses doubt - by saying the opposite.

"Wise guy" vs. "wise man" is a result of two different uses of the word "wise". Originally, from Old English "wis", it meant "to know, to see". It is closely related to Old English "wit" - "knowledge, understanding, intelligence, mind". From German, we get "Witz", meaning "joke, witticism". So, a wise man knows, sees, and understands. A wise guy cracks jokes.

The seemingly contradictory “burn up” and “burn down” aren’t really contradictory at all, but relative. A thing which burns up is consumed by fire. A house burns down because, as it burns, it collapses.

"Fill in" and "fill out" are phrasal verbs with a difference of meaning so slight as to be largely interchangeable, but there is a difference of meaning. To use the example in the post, you fill OUT a form by filling it IN, not the other way around. That is because "fill in" means "to supply what is missing" - in the example, that would be information, but by the same token, one can "fill in" an outline to make a solid shape, and one can "fill in" for a missing person by taking his/her place. "Fill out", on the other hand, means "to complete by supplying what is missing", so that form we mentioned will not be filled OUT into we fill IN all the missing information.

An alarm may “go off” and it may be turned on (ie. armed), but it does not “go on”. That is because the verb “to go off” means “to become active suddenly, to trigger” (which is why bombs and guns also go off, but do not go on).

i think i just came



Here are three elements we often see in town names:

If a town ends in “-by”, it was originally a farmstead or a small village where some of the Viking invaders settled. The first part of the name sometimes referred to the person who owned the farm - Grimsby was “Grim’s village”. Derby was “a village where deer were found”. The word “by” still means “town” in Danish.

If a town ends in “-ing”, it tells us about the people who lived there. Reading means “The people of Reada”, in other words “Reada’s family or tribe”. We don’t know who Reada was, but his name means “red one”, so he probably had red hair.

If a town ends in “-caster” or “-chester”, it was originally a Roman fort or town. The word comes from a Latin words “castra”, meaning a camp or fortification. The first part of the name is usually the name of the locality where the fort was built. So Lancaster, for example, is “the Roman fort on the River Lune”.

A Little Book of Language by David Crystal, page 173. (via linguaphilioist)

woah!

(via submariet)



thenaebyrd777:

egberts:

wikeni:

kanmae-west:

nymph-in-the-yellow-dress:

egberts:

spooktre:

egberts:

minute and minute shouldn’t be spelled the same

im not content with this content

i object to that object

I need to read what I read again

Excuse me but there’s no excuse for this

Someone should wind this post up and throw it in the wind

i hope you dont mind but you just fucked with my mind

fuck all of you



So my German teacher told us this story once

skeletons-keys:

the-ugliest-duckling:

He was in Germany, sitting outside, observing an American family with two young children who did not speak German. This one drunk man, who is totally hammered and can hardly walk happens to stand nearby and start peeing on the wall. The little girl, disgusted, says, “Gross!” To which the man replies, “Danke,” (German for ‘thank you’). In German, the word ‘gross’ means ‘big’.

brilliant



gayshinjis:

if u expect me to be 100% fluent in my native language u are 100% incorrect



darthmoonmoon:

kaguramutsuki:

please watch this this video made me into who i am today

It is 1:30 and I am hollering laughing.



heatmor:

irish is such a shady language because hello is “dia duit” but directly translated it means “god be with you” and when someone says hello back they say “dia is muire duit” which means “god and mary be with you” .. its like “i see your god and i raise you the holy virgin whatcha gonna do bout it bitch”



clawfoottub:

catladyinwaiting:

actual german compound nouns:
Staubsauger (vaccuum cleaner, literally “DUST SUCKER”)
Vorhang (curtain, literally “HANGS IN FRONT”)
Wasserkocher (kettle, literally “WATER BOILER”)

I smile every time I remember German birth control pills are called “antibabypillen”. Though in the interest of fairness, “fireplace”.



type40tardis-:

annachibi:

libraryoftheancients:

gamzadoodle-makarkles:

sublimesublemon:

yesthisiskenzie:

quazza:

i am reminded that english is a flawed language every time I am forced to use “that that” in a sentence

it’s not fair that that happens

It makes it sound like the English language had gone out to dinner and had had too much to drink.

Get out 

You think “that that” is bad?

Allow Wikipedia to explain you a thing about buffalo.

oh my god

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH US



carriezilla:

people say that German sounds so angry but then there are words like “Kichererbsen” which literally means “giggle peas” 

german u r so misunderstood



tyleroakley:

"Girl Speaks Gibberish With Perfect Accents To Show What Languages Sound Like To Foreigners"



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