December 15th, 2007

Grauen!

I'm not being funny, but...

Has anyone heard of the idiomatic phrase:

"I'm not being funny, but..."

usually (but not always) followed by a scathing statement? I've found it more prevalent here in the UK - I just wondered how far it spreads?

If you have heard of it, would you mind saying where you're from, if it's not local where you heard it, and also (if you can be bothered) how you might explain to someone (English-speaking or not, or unfamiliar with the phrase) what the phrase means, and when/why it is used?

Additionally if anyone knows a similar phrase in any other language I'd be thrilled to hear it! :)

Czech informant?

I was hoping I could find a native Czech speaker for some data on a syntax project. I already have one informant, but I'd like to get data from two people if possible. Would anyone be willing to help? It would consist of providing a few basic, simple translations for me from English into Czech via e-mail and possibly answering one or two follow-up questions.

Thanks in advance.
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about related communities

I have a question that's a bit off-topic, but not by far.

Is there an LJ community specifically for people who teach college literature courses? What I'd like to do is discuss books that are used for courses, trade information about what's available or about to be published, etc.
  • ausila

(no subject)

I just had an interesting idea for a study in language formation. You isolate a group of 10 monoglots whose native languages do not have a common ancestor (i.e. are not from the same language family). The  object is to see if and how they would find  a means to communicate with each other, as well as what forms that language would take.

I wonder if that's already been done with verbal language. I bet what would happen is the most assertive individual would impose their language on the other subjects, rather than the group creating a pidgin from the 10 source inventories. I know Nicaraguan sign language is an interesting example of something similar, but I'm mostly interesting in verbal language.