September 12th, 2009

(no subject)

How are different forms of corporate newspeak popular in American corporations?
For example, my neighbor works for a very big American company and they have a special language to use in the office, instead of "you are honest and responsible" they say "you are Xey" (X is the name of company), instead of "gay employee of the company" they say "gayXer", "new employee" -> "nXer", "Xween" instead of "Halloween celebrated in the company office" etc
Which are other forms of corporate newspeak popular in corporations? Does it happen only in USA or other countries also?

(no subject)

Hi, I've got a stupid question about English.
I often see people say "I wish I were..." or "If I were you".
Why are they using "were" there? Which is better in this situation, "was" or "were"? Word corrects "were" to "was", but Google seems to think both are correct, and people use "were" more often.
tori maynard

A question about French dates...

In my listening booklet for my French course, there is a section of people talking about their birth dates. Here is a rough example of what is said:

i. 27/2/1967 -- le vingt-sept  / f'évrier / mille-neuf cent soixante-sept.
ii. 2/11/1991 -- le deux / novembre / dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-onze.
iii. 1/12/1987 -- le premiere / decembre / mille-neuf cent quatre-vingt-sept.
iv. 25/7/1994 -- le vingt-cinq / julliet / mille-neuf cent quatre-vingt-quatorze.
v. 15/9/1988 -- le quinze / septembre / dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-huit.
vi. 19/5/1990 -- le dix-neuf / mai / mille-neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix.
vii. 19/5/1995 -- le trente / avril / dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-quinze.
viii. 5/3/1984 -- le cinq / mars / dix-neuf cent quatre-vingts quatre.
ix. 28/8/1972 -- le vingt-huit / août / mille-neuf cent soixante douze.
x. 12/6/1996 -- le douze / juin / dix-neuf cent quatre-vingt-seize.

My question is, why is it sometimes 'mille-neuf' and other times 'dix-neuf'? Is there something obvious here that I simply can't see? I'm so confused!
  • rareb

Getting a feel for Portugese

Hi there!

I've just booked a short trip to Lisbon, departure in a few weeks. And as I hate going to a country without having at least a little feel for its language, I was wondering where I could learn some really basic portugese.

What I essentially want is to be able to hear the language, in order to get to know the specificities of the pronounciation.
My mother-tongue is (Swiss-)German and I speak French fluently. I've also learned Latin at School, which generally makes me understand the basics of Roman languages quite easilly. When I was in Italy, I was able to understand more or less what people were asking me, but I couldn't answer...

However, when I was younger, I used to work at a highway restaurant over summer, I had portugese co-workers and at first, I didn't have a clue it even was a Roman language. It always sounded eastern-european to me. (This was probably because there had been a lot of co-workers from ex-Yugoslavia, too)

I'm not the fastest learner of foreign languages. The important thing is really to get a little familiarity with the language, so I won't feel completely lost there. I probably won't try and talk to people.
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(no subject)

could you explain, please
why in English language many sorts of fish have many different names
for example
zander = pike perch,
roughies = slime head = red fish
while sorts of meats have only name (I do not consider subtypes like veal, beef)
pixelated moi
  • tisoi

Today's Dear Abby

This was today (Saturday)'s Dear Abby column:

DEAR ABBY: I recently baby-sat with my 4-year-old grandson for almost a week. During that time I noticed he was using the word "ain't." My daughter, a college graduate, lives about an hour away in a more rural area. She became very defensive when I mentioned it, and told me it is accepted in the South and he will continue to use that word.

I am concerned about the limiting effect I feel this may have on my grandson's future life and opportunities. What are your thoughts on this issue, and how should I behave? -- GRAMMAR GRANDMA IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR GRANDMA: Parents who fail to teach their children proper grammar are doing their children no favor. Obviously, your grandson is mimicking the kind of speech he's hearing around him -- and probably at home.

How should you behave? Continue to model proper English grammar when he's with you, encourage him to use it and remind him when he forgets.
Better make sure your grandson's not droppin' his G's, granny. He'll end up in the pen for sure. ;-P

japanese language and the brain

Hi everyone,

if anyone has more info on this subject, I'd love to be enlightened =)

So, I believe that our LEFT brain is what is responsible for language processing, because the means by which we USE language, are primarily intellectual and practical, hence the 'logical' left brain coming in to action.

Whereas, with the sounds of music, this is something that has more of an emotional effect on us, hence the more 'imaginative' RIGHT brain kicking in.

But, I heard that for Japanese language, people tend to utilize their RIGHT brain more than left, for processing this language. Do you all think this is true, or found evidence demonstrating this? I can understand this being the case for a TONAL language, since the right brain deals with prosody, and the tonal languages like Mandarin and Cantonese are quite melodic as a result.

Is this only the case with Japanese language, and all other languages are mainly utilized by our left brain?

I wanted to know, maybe it has something to do with the many different visual aspects of this language, as Japanese is unique in this way, right? I don't know of any other language that uses so many different visual scripts, of expressing the language!