15 mai 2016

The Good Old Teen Years

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Alas, where are the years of yesteryear? Gone with the wind, or at least gone with their poetic pronunciations, now that we have moved from the 1900s to the 2000s. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:22 - - Permalien [#]


The Strange Saga of ‘Gobbledygook’

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . The other day, the website Futility Closet posted a reproduction of a document from the National Archives. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:21 - - Permalien [#]

The ‘Au Revoir’ Problem

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Way back when I was taking “Introduction to French” during my freshman year in college, we were given a quiz a month or so into the term. At one point, the professor spoke some French words and we were asked to spell them. One of the words was the French phrase for “goodbye.”
This is what I wrote down: “orra voire.”
The professor had competently taught us that the term is “au revoir.” And I had learned it, up to a point. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:19 - - Permalien [#]

Ars Poetica

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . I like listening to Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac with my daughter. She is in seventh grade. We catch the day’s broadcast on my phone while waiting in the morning at the bus stop. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:17 - - Permalien [#]

Lucifer in the Flesh

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . As a Luciferian from birth, I listened with interest when word of John Boehner’s recent characterization of the Republican candidate Ted Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh” got out. Apparently, there’s no worse insult. The Internet exploded after Boehner made his comment, accompanied by the apparently tamer “miserable son of a bitch,” at an interview at Stanford University. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:14 - - Permalien [#]


The Versatile Octothorpe

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Hashtag. Pound sign. Space. And then there’s the use of the octothorpe to replace the word number, as in “He was #4 in the queue.” How did those little cross-hatched horizontal and vertical lines come to mean so many different things?
Apparently it begins, like so much else, with the Romans, whose abbreviation for libra pondo, or pound weight, was (as it still is) lb, but with a stylized l including a finishing, cursive-like slash across the center, to distinguish it from the number 1. By 1850, bookkeepers had adopted two uses of the octothorpe: If it followed a number, it retained the sense of pounds, but if it preceded a number, it simply indicated number. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:12 - - Permalien [#]

Grammar-Test Dispute Resolution

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Once again, the question insisted on a straight correct/incorrect binary choice between present perfect and preterite (exactly as with another such case I was recently asked to adjudicate on; why are test-devisers so intent on this?). I stressed that We respond as if we had been programmed and We respond as if we were programmed are both fully acceptable in the given context. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:08 - - Permalien [#]

Famous Women, Banknotes, and Online Abuse

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . In Britain you can be jailed for tweets. A defense based on constitutional protections for political speech is out of the question: no written constitution, no Bill of Rights. Online abuse is just menacing behavior, and illegal. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:06 - - Permalien [#]

10 Ways to Make Tech New Again (and Your Soul Shiny)

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy . Will you lose your job to a robot? According to The New York Times a couple of years ago, possibly. And this cute test from Oxford University’s Martin School lets you check whether it’s a real possibility. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:01 - - Permalien [#]

The Importance of Reflection When Learning Technical Skills

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy . It’s not hard to find books, websites, or videos that will help you learn just about any technical skill you’d like, from making animated GIFs to X. But even with the most hands-on approach, it can be hard to get that knowledge to stick, or to figure out why you’d want to keep with it. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:00 - - Permalien [#]