Tag Archives: Language

In English, this is called a coup

I SAW THIS SIGN on the subway:

french-2050

The caption, which I wasn’t able to photograph in full, reads,

In 2050, the first spoken language in the world will be French

As an uncredentialled but 100% reliable brainologist, I point out that this sign does not say French will be the most-spoken language. But your brain processes it that way. And the creators of this sign, who are probably credentialed French brainologists, know this, and take advantage. I’m not saying this sign is lying. My point is much less bold and much less controversial than that …

Those French people are sneaky

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Death and Language

chinchorro

AN EDITOR ASKED ME not long ago if I might change the word “died” to “passed away” in something I’d written of a late and mutual friend. I respectfully said No, and here’s why.

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Why Do People Say Like So Much?

AT LEAST A FEW of you, dear readers, weren’t yet born thirty years ago when Frank Zappa and his daughter Moon Unit recorded “Valley Girl.” At that time I thought it was a clever piece of work, but that it must be an exaggeration, maybe even a fabrication, of San Fernando Valley speech. I’d never heard anyone talk that way in the small Canadian town where I grew up, and I expected I never would.

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