October 25th, 2007


Styles in the writing of titles

This is a vague/underdeveloped question, but...

in English, at least, it's undeniable that there are at least a handful of major "templates" which writers often follow in titling their works. Many works have unique or unusual titles, but just as many fall into common molds.

For example, as far as academic writing goes, papers in the humanities are often given a "title: subtitle" combo, in which the title is at least semi-creative and memorable, while the subtitle is a more literal rendering of the contents of the work. (as far as the title-subtitle combo goes, an older style I've noticed in creative works interposed an "OR:" between the titles, whereas I recently saw an instance in which "A.K.A.:" separated a title from a subtitle in a column of my school newspaper.) In the sciences, on the other hand, a title might be very utilitarian, in a format no more complicated than "The effect of [variable] on [phenomenon]."

As another vague jab, I have to imagine that Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and others novels of that era weren't all given "[noun] and [noun]" names entirely by coincidence-- I know virtually nothing of 19th-century literature, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a trend of similarly-arranged titles if I looked further into it.

So I guess my question is, have any of you come across any studies into the history of titling styles, tracking the development of these and other memes?

Need Help in Englsh!!!

I am going to be a main translator of the big Russian Visual Anthropology Festival. Of course, it's interesting but I am rather had translated from English on Russian before...
But now way back.
So, this community will read a lot of textes on bad English. And, I hope, you will help me not to be quit.
First it's the LAST version of the infornation bulletin. Please, help me to find mistakes and understand - is this understand-able?

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It is okay to be you

Chinese(?) spam

So these sort of emails usually are filtered into my spam; for whatever reason, this one didn't. Curiosity got the best of me, and...well now I'm on the prowl for a translation.

I think it's in Chinese. Although really, I have trouble distinguishing between Chinese, Hanja, and Kanji. At any rate, any indication as to what this might say are appreciated!


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  • targaff

I has an apostrophe question!

I has an apostrophe question!

I'm aware that apostrophes are correctly to be used in time expressions, but I have a sentence in which a time expression is used but the subject noun is implicit rather than explicit as a result of that noun being stated earlier in the sentence:
The court does not sentence a defendant to 6 years' imprisonment because it judges 4 years to be the appropriate term or 3 years because it judges that the defendant should be incarcerated for 18 months.
My question, therefore, is: in the second part of this sentence, should an apostrophe be used (3 years') despite the noun to which the time expression is subject (imprisonment) being omitted on the basis that that noun is implicitly repeated in the sentence? Or does the fact that this noun is omitted mean that the apostrophe is dropped as a consequence, even where the noun is implicit?

(I am aware, before any points it out, that in this particular instance it is possible to say "or [sentence to] 3 years" without the noun, but it is evident that what is meant is "or [sentence to] 3 years' imprisonment" because the context is a clarification of a sentence breakdown, i.e. imprisonment as opposed to parole. My question is thus on the basis that the latter meaning is indeed the case.)

Latin/Spanish Participles

Spanish participles are the same as their Latin counterparts with the proper sound changes applied, right?

Sp. decir < L. dicere; Sp. dicho < L. dictus
Sp. escribir < L. scribere; Sp. escrito < L. scriptus
Sp. hacer < L. facere; Sp. hecho < L. factus
Sp. poner < L. ponere; Sp. puesto < L. positus

I'm seeing a pattern. However, I've hit a snag:

Sp. elegir < L. elegere; Sp. *elecho < L. electus

The past participle of elegir in Spanish is elegido, which isn't a result of sound changes being applied to L. electus. What gives? How come this participle was forgotten?

I apologize if this is painfully obvious and I'm just not thinking.
  • tisoi

News report about Minnesota English

Here's a news report about the English spoken in Minnesota (with a mention of Wisconsin). I never really heard a Minnesota accent - the only thing I have associated it with is the way they pronounce /o/.

Other things they have going on in their accent are the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, the caught/cot merger, and also pronouncing "ag" as "eyg" (beyg instead of bag). The latter is found in the Pacific Northwest accent. So in a way, Minnesota accent, to me, sounds like a mix of Washington and Michigan accents.

face of the me
  • miriena

Call for native speakers

Hello fellow language-loving people. I'm posting a job offer. It's 100% real, 100% legit and does not involve you giving your credit card information to anyone, signing up for mailing lists, helping a wealthy business man in Nigeria or anything like that. It's somewhat similar to the job that I do (which allows me to LJ in between tasks... whee!).

I would like to get in touch with native speakers of the following languages:

  • Italian

  • Spanish (Castillian)

  • French

  • Dutch

  • German (we *might* have enough, but just in case...)


  • Good knowledge of the IPA

  • Experience creating phonetic transcriptions

  • Decent attention span

The work basically involves making phonetic transcriptions, stuff like geographical place names, business names, song titles, movie titles, etc.. You'll be sent a list of a couple hundreds of words, you transcribe them, send the list back, get money.

Yes, it's paid! And not too badly, either, especially for the work that it is, which is NOT hard; I did it myself for a while. You can work on your own time, you'll be working for a great group of folks at one of the leading companies in speech recognition, no contract, nothing like that. We're having a difficult time finding interested people through universities and places like that...

If you're interested or know someone who might be, please either comment here, or contact me at: annas7 (AT) u(DOT)washington(DOT)edu (please put something like "Native Speaker Job" in the subject line, I have a pretty good spam filter and get a ton of e-mails daily, this way I won't miss you).

Thank you very much!

PS: x-posted and, mods, if you think this is not appropriate for the community, please feel free to remove the post, I won't be offended :-) But we all know linguistics students need the $$$, hehe.
  • klsse

(no subject)

 Hey I just discovered that the Korean word for clothes looks like a little dude: 옷옷옷옷옷옷옷.

Do you know of any other words/letters/characters, in whatever language, that look like things?

OR, teach me something in Korean. Or some other language.

ASL Reference books

Hello everyone- my mum is going to be taking an Intro to ASL class beginning in January and I would like to buy her a reference book and also a how-to book for Christmas. What do you recommend for a beginner?


Do any east European or northern European (or other) languages call Ruth (from the Bible) Rutha? I met a really tall blonde woman briefly, who was named Rutha (I saw it on her ID tag)...and I didn't get the chance to ask where she was from or what her native language was. It might have been interpreted as rude, anyway.

I've looked over Wikipedia and haven't found anything.

I know she could have been from anywhere, but east or north Europe are my best guesses...