January 23rd, 2009


verbal amusement

I've been giggling over "poomp" (a sound effect when Garlfield kicks Odie) for days, and it's not because it sounds like 'poop'. When I say 'poomp', it feels/sounds like a bubble is escaping from my mouth. Of course, that's not the whole reason it amuses me; it's just delightful. Also, Peeby, a place name in Britain. Just say it--Peeby!

Which words amuse you most? Can you explain why?
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Rosetta Stone v2 more advanced?

 Is Rosetta Stone version 2 more advanced than its counterpart, version 3? I noticed that at the end of Level I of any language in v2, I would be able to give directions to people (i.e., turn left, turn right, cross the street, etc), while that's probably only achieved in Level 2 of v3. Are the two versions equally advanced , since version 3 introduced 3-level languages, or is the second version more advanced?

The internet and its influence on the English language

Hello. I'm a student of English and Dutch Philology in Berlin. My mothertongue is German.
At the moment I'm in the process of writing a research paper about English on the internet. And I'd like to do some kind of primary research, going to the sources.

Do you think the internet influences the English language? And if so, in a good way or in a bad way?
Does it interfere with your use of English?
Like do you try to incorporate netspeak such as lol or pwn into your speech?

Thanks for participating.
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Ways your language has changed in your lifetime

That post about feminine pronouns for objects got me thinking.

When I was a kid, I was taught that ships and countries were feminine, but when my history teacher did this in high school, it struck me as noticeably archaic. Gendered words like "policeman" and "fireman" were also the norm, but now "police officer" and "firefighter" sound more natural.

And in first grade, that thing you used to rub out pencil marks was a rubber. But these days it's definitely an eraser, and "rubber" makes me think of condoms. I think a friend called me on this in high school, when I asked to borrow her eraser and she replied "It's a rubber. We are not American." Nah mate, it's an eraser. Sorry. Likewise, parking lot, garbage, elevator, sweater, marker - not words I used when I was young, but I don't think twice about using them now.

I went to about 50 different primary schools (okay, so it was more like 4) in the 90s, and that thing where you sit in a circle and update the class on your life was always "news", but some kids I've talked to lately have indicated it's now "show and tell" at their school. Pfeh.

I also see people here in Australia use American spellings more and more. Not words like "colour" or "favourite" (I think we all had those spellings drilled pretty firmly into our heads as children), but donut, estrogen, encyclopedia, and so on. Personally, I welcome these changes, since I like tradition and all, but you still gotta admit the American way makes more sense. On a similar note, when I was a kid "alright" was absolutely wrong, and now it borders on acceptable.

So I started this post hoping to list some fascinating examples of how Australian English has evolved, but so far it seems to mostly be a list of American encroachments. Heh. Well, how has your language changed from how you remember it? I'd be especially interested to hear from speakers of non-English languages - have you felt the American influence too?~