Legal moves snarl English-only proposal

November 24, 2008

NASHVILLE, TN–A judge could decide early next week whether to block a vote on an amendment that would force all Metro Nashville government business to be done in English. Davidson County voters are set to consider the charter amendment full story
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English trumps Chinese as top business language in Hong Kong

November 19, 2008

HONG KONG, CHINA–Eleven years after it ceased to be a British colony, English remains the most important language to master in Hong Kong’s business and professional world, according to a survey released Friday. Written English was rated the most full story
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AMATEUR LINGUISTICS

November 12, 2008

LANGUAGE HATAndrey Zaliznyak, a Russian historical linguist, gave a talk last month “On professional and amateur linguistics” that can be read (in Russian) here (found via Anatoly). I recommend it to anyone who can read Russian; for those who can’t, I’ll translate an excerpt of general applicability: full story
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BANNING LATIN

November 3, 2008

LANGUAGE HAT–My initial thought was that this Telegraph story must be a joke, but since it quoted a bunch of real people and the date wasn’t the first of April, I reluctantly concluded it must be factual: Local authorities have ordered employees to stop using the words and phrases on documents and when communicating with members of the public and to rely on wordier alternatives full story
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Reconsidering Authority in Wikipedia World

October 28, 2008

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION–Simson Garfinkel takes a look at authority and sourcing in Wikipedia world with an article in the latest edition of Technology Review. He focuses on Wikipedia’s requirement to cite published sources in adding information to Wikipedia articles. Yes, with a mob-written encyclopedia, a requirement for citing published, vetted sources makes sense, he full story
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Top List of the hardest languages to learn

October 24, 2008

LEXIOPHILES–There are some controversial questions which to some extent may never be satisfactorily answered. For instance, why is the train always late when we are on time and on time when we arrive too late? One important question, which falls under this category, is the following: What is the hardest language to learn? When I went to school we had to choose full story


Bad language

October 23, 2008

LANGUAGE LOG–I recently objected to Louis Menand’s assertion that “[P]rofessional linguists almost universally, do not believe that any naturally occurring changes in the language can be bad” (“Menand on linguistic morality“, 10/22/2008).  And I was quickly taken to task in the comments by Steve Dodson, who is the erudite and broad-minded author of the Language Hat blog. full story