Tags: linguistics

*gen - tiffany

Linguistics Yay!

This fall I'm taking the second class for ESOL certification, and the focus is on sociolinguistics. One of my favorite topics! We've been talking about the origins of English, the wide variety of regional and national dialects, and how those can be applied to instruction for students who don't have English as their native language. I just finished typing up my response to this week's readings, and I thought some of you might be interested in the sites we had to visit. Oh, and most of these are geared toward American English, but the basic concepts could certainly be applied worldwide and to other languages!

1. Introduction to Sociolinguistics: This can be pretty dry, but it's a good overview of language and dialect. I appreciated the section on "right and wrong views", particularly as applied to regional differences. How often do you hear someone say they've toned down their accent in order to be more accepted at work or by society at large. Collapse )

2. AlphaDictionary: Fun site! For the class, we had to take the Advanced Rebel-Yankee Test. I scored 70% Dixie, but those results aren't very authentic because I changed a few answers once the score popped up. We also took the Slang Generation Test, which I didn't like at all. My score was the 60s, which doesn’t make much sense if I was born in 1974. In fact, I noticed that very few of the answer choices were marked as the 80s; however, the answers did fit what we said when I was growing up. Either the language did not change much at that time, or the person who created the quiz did not accurately attribute them.

3. L33T-speak: Yes, we had to read the Wiki article and try to write something in that so-called language; although the instructor used that name for it, I just call it "text-speak". I realized that though I can read it, I find typing that way nearly impossible. I had to go to Twitter and run a few hashtag searches just to find some examples. Collapse )

4. Do You Speak American?: We've watched several episodes in our classes, and the website is also quite interesting. I like that it tackles what I said earlier about TV making us sound alike. I don't have much time right now to get into the site itself, but you should definitely go over there and poke around.
*gen - tiffany

"that not-so-fresh feeling"

The other day I read a post on which words we'd like to get rid of. I'd throw in "retard" used as an insult, but that debate gives me a headache. So, I'm going to nominate "douche".

After its heyday in the late '70s, the word's derogatory meaning pretty much went away until the past few years. I'm old enough to remember those commercials with mothers and daughters walking on the beach, and how until hygiene habits changed, douching was what some women did when they wanted to "feel clean down there". So, the idea of using a feminine product to describe a guy who's acting obnoxious just bugs me. I prefer "jackass".

(Obligatory disclaimer: Those who love the word should certainly go on using it! "Douche" just annoys *me*.)
*gen - tiffany

... in which I babble in the form of a numbered list.

1. After dropping off two boxes of clothes donations at the women's shelter today, I felt the siren call of IKEA two blocks away. I am powerless to resist its song, even though I really don't need more stuff. I am also powerless against my addiction to reusable shopping bags, and IKEA has the absolute best shopping bags ever. Collapse )

2. On a related note, I also got some of their new hair conditioner just for the hell of it. The front of the bottle is making me laugh. Collapse )

3. In addition to linguistics, I am totally geeking out over this huge architecture picspam. Just like poor Gaeta, I spent most of my childhood designing floorplans for truly awesome buildings, though none of them were shaped like food. I wanted to be an architect until I realized that all my buildings would fall down because I hate engineering. I just love looking at architecture, even if I know very little about it.

4. I'm also giggling at the guy who is being a wee bit wanky about who gets to listen to his exclusive Sufjan Stevens song.

5. Yarny friends: don't forget that Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day! Looks like I'm meeting some friends at Park Tavern at noonish.

6. Recently I decided to stop bitching about it taking over the world and finally join Twitter. (Not posting my screenname here because I have some RL friends there.) This afternoon I asked a friend there if she wanted to do the Knit in Public thing at a nearby bar, and within an hour that bar's Twitter acct had started following me. I'm not upset or creeped out -- hey, it was a public post, though I've since made my feed private -- but it's still a bit funny and disconcerting!

7. Thanks to the news that Katee Sackhoff is joining the cast of 24, last night I dreamed that the equally-as-awesome Franka Potente was also joining the cast. Starbuck and Lola together? Excellent. Then I woke up. :(

8. I've posted a couple of ficlets for oxoniensis's massive Porn Battle, and I'm toying with a couple more that might not get done before the deadline. Scrolling through them is mind-boggling just for the sheer breadth of all the different fandoms, including some I've never heard of. I grinned when I saw that someone has written for Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, my favorite play, but I can't quite see Thomasina and Septimus getting naked. ;)

ETA: Just turned on Globe Trekker, which is doing one of their best-of clipshows. One guy made me do a double-take. I looked closer, and... yup, it's pre-fame Bradley Cooper with really floppy bleached blond hair. HEE!
*gen - tiffany

Irritating words

I've been reading a fun thread on Ravelry about words and phrases that drive you nuts, and I thought I'd make a list of my own.

1. "Lurve" -- Ugh! I don't care if everyone else uses it.

2. "Slumber" -- Makes me think of preteen girls having sleepover parties.

3. "Preggers" and "DH" -- Way too cutesy for me. (And yes, I know many people find "DH" a useful abbreviation for "dear husband".)

4. "Literally" -- I originally mentioned this the other night. Turns out that Websters now says it can be used for emphasis. Whatever the case, it's far overused.

5. "Retarded" -- Though this one appears to be deviating from the original meaning, it still bothers me.

Any annoying words that you want to add to the list? :)

P.S. Check out the medieval torture device fabulous knitting tool that my sister and parents gave me for my birthday! Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

"What else are you going to do, read a book?"

I haven't yet decided whether I'll watch the BSG cast on Letterman tonight. Oh, I'll TiVo it, but that sort of thing just makes me *cringe*, and not in a fun, ironic way. Especially since they're doing it in character. Yes, I have no sense of humor. But I'll probably cave in anyway, and it'll be hilarious. Right? Anyway, Mo Ryan has posted an advance copy of the top ten list. I must admit it's pretty damn funny.

Okay, a couple more fandom things, then I promise to talk about ... other stuff. Wow!

-- IO9 has a new, very long S4 trailer.
-- dryope posted photos of the cast at the SciFi upfronts. (Jamie + Tricia = Too damn pretty.)
-- EntWkly did an episode guide for season one.
-- And Wired reports that the premiere will stream online starting at noon on 4/4. Dammit, just when I'm at work. (At least that makes it easier for me to wait until marenfic gets here for our premiere party!)

Whew. Now for the NON-fandom stuff!
-- At last night's Paley panel for Chuck, Sepinwall asked about the hidden meaning behind the Wienerlicious uniform. (I need more Chuck icons.)
-- Via blue_larkspur: A picspam of beautiful women over 40.
-- Via luna_k: A fascinating article on disappearing cultural relics like land lines and cassette tapes. (I was proud of my students today for getting my reference to Claire Huxtable.)
-- Slave to the Boob Tube: "I tried to keep my baby from watching TV. Then I realized, maybe I'm the one who's addicted."
-- In honor of Anthony Minghella's passing, Slate waxes rhapsodic on his movie Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Okay, I have to put this one separately, due to the cut-tag. Mental Floss picspams marshmallow Peeps used in modern art and lists the finalists for The Best Pun IN THE WORLD!! Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

The next group has never even BEAN in a cockpit!

Hmph. I'd wanted to take the laptop and go sit on a patio with a latte, in hopes I could work on the current fic -- ain't getting anything done here. But the fun indie coffeehouse has live music tonight, which would be too distracting. I usually stick with Starbucks because the paid wifi (I'm too cheap to pay for it) means I can concentrate, but I just heard thunderstorms outside. I do have my own covered patio right outside my front door, but I don't have lattes here. Alas and alack.

This video has been making the rounds today. Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC is *not* pleased that her producers have insisted that Paris Hilton is the morning's top story, so she has a mini-meltdown onscreen. She attempts to burn the copy script, then shreds it. She pushes the teleprompter aside. She wants to know why the hell they're covering Paris instead of, oh, Iraq? A bit unprofessional, perhaps, but very cathartic.

On a completely different note, I've been thinking about regional pronunciations. I got into a discussion on TWOP's Bionic thread about Brits doing American accents. My little test is "bean": Americans say it as "ben/bin", whereas the rest of the world tends to say "bean" (and yeah, I'm sure someone will reply to this and insist that they say "bean" in Arizona!) But yeah, it's one of my favorite little games when watching a show. Jamie Bamber's American accent is almost always flawless, but one of my all-time favorite lines of the show is his slip in AoC: "The next group has never even BEAN in a cockpit!" That always makes me giggle. Yes, I'm a dork. Taylor Kitsch on FNL usually does a good job with the Texas accent -- and I know my Texas ones -- but once or twice the British Columbia native says "aboot". Not exactly common in West Texas. ;)

So, just for fun, I thought I'd do a little poll. This one is geared mostly toward Americans, but feel free to chime in if you're from elsewhere! And if you've noticed other regional differences in pronunciation -- not slang -- then let me know! Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

I'm close to/with this post.

Whew. Much to say about BSG, especially the hilarious spoilers fracas on TWOP today, but I'll defer that to another post. I will say here, though, that I laughed long and hard at one of the talkbacks on the Pop Candy post-ep. Collapse )

Also, I found an interesting tidbit from a TV Week article on the cable upfronts: in DVR homes, only 1 in 4 viewers of BSG watch the program live when it is telecast. I'm sure the same holds true for many fandom-heavy shows. Wonder if the Nielsens will ever *really* catch up? Probably not. I can understand the problem -- ratings are the key to advertising rates, yet few fans with TiVo watch the commercials -- but I still hate to see shows suffer because of time-shifting. Hmm.

On another note... something's been bugging me: when describing relationships, I've always said, "I'm really close to my friends." Lately, though, I've seen many people say, "I'm close with my friends." It really stands out to me because I'd never even considered the different wording, yet it appears to be quite common. From what I can tell, both versions are grammatically correct and basically interchangeable. So, I'm curious...

Which version do you use?

"Close TO"
"Close WITH"

Tonight I had occasion to go by that new shopping development at 75 and Howell Mill ... right next to the Northside Drive overpass where that bus overturned Friday and killed those students. Collapse )

And now for some long-overdue linkspam. This time I'm doubling up on some sources. Predictable? Yeah. But still good reading!

-- From Newsweek: Decoding the 39 ingredients in a Twinkie. *shudder* And Are Americans ignorant about religion? I scored an 89% on the handy (and very easy) quiz.

-- The NY Times talks about college campus sex magazines and Japanese tourists flocking to Alaska for the aurora borealis.

-- NPR has an interesting piece on the efforts to rebuild a Katrina-destroyed bridge in Mississippi. I've driven over that bridge several times, heading from Gautier to Pass Christian. I'm very glad to hear of the rebuilding.

-- Did you know that a recent act of Congress moved Daylight Savings Time up to the second Sunday in March? Set your clocks forward (ETA: oops!) this Sunday.

-- Slate asks What special benefits do you get for being Cherokee? Quite interesting.
*gen - tiffany

Broken oxen, Serenity, carpet, English, TiVo, DVD debt, and BSG.

1. Watching The Amazing Race 5 reruns on GSN has been WAY too much fun. Chip/Kim are still awesome, Brandon's still a dork, and Colin's slow meltdown into total batshit sociopathy is more entertaining than almost anything else on TV. And by my count, Tuesday night is the best episode EVER: "My ox is broken!" Squee!

2. When I reloaded MyYahoo earlier, I saw a Serenity banner ad. Awww. :)

3. Came home today to find my bedroom carpet soaked. Again. It's happened at least 8 or 9 times since I moved in five years ago, and with a different cause nearly every time. Yes, I'm pissed off. Maintenance wanted to send out the carpet cleaners tonight, which would entail ripping up the carpet, taking out the padding, and moving furniture. I definitely don't want to put up with that right now. Told them to send them tomorrow while I'm at work. Whenever this happens, I've never asked for compensation beyond having them steam-clean the floors. Tomorrow I'm going to the leasing office and demand rent concessions or *something*. This is getting ridiculous.

4. My students today were shocked -- SHOCKED -- when I told them that, according to many sociolinguists, English is the hardest language in the world to learn. See, we don't like to play by pesky rules, and whenever we do have them, we come up with a dozen exceptions. ;) I have quite a few ESOL kids who informed the others that, yeah, English is *hard*. So there!

5. While waiting for the carpet guys, I finished setting up my TiVo season passes for the new season. Collapse )

6. This sounds like a silly question, but when you pre-order through Amazon, do they charge your credit card now or when they ship? Next month I get to shell out $70 on Veronica Mars and Arrested Development box sets (ON THE SAME DAY!) and need to figure out when my debt will set in. As is, I'm having to budget way more than I'd like. Ordered BSG the other day -- it comes out next Tuesday -- and I had to give up on getting Lost and House because, hey, gotta pay bills. Guess I'll just have to wait until they hit the used DVD stores. Sigh.

7. Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

Linguistics, medication, school supplies, and LJ love.

In an attempt to distract myself from impending doom, I started doing a long post about linguistics and the pronunciation of the letter "T" in many words -- how Americans often slur it like a soft "D", rather than giving it a hard, slightly airy sound. (Yeah, I know there are proper terms, but it's been way too long since my linguistics courses in college. But trying to explain it here on LJ got too complicated and frustrating, so I gave up. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? ;)

Speaking of dreadful language... yesterday I actually saw a car with temporary plates that said, "Tag Aplyed For". I howled in pain right there on the road. Horrible grammar and spelling do that to me. I can deal with the occasional typo, but "aplyed"? AAAAUGH!

Just took my first Adderall since I ran out in June. Ah, bliss. Yeah, I know many kids are overmedicated, blah blah, but dammit, ADD meds help me. Tons. I can actually feel the diffrence. Collapse )

So, here's hoping the detox makes me feel more creative, because I've really, *really* missed that. I even wrote a few pages of my current Veronica Mars fic yesterday, which is a huge relief. BTW, I'm thinking I might back off the V/L romance part of it; it was never really a 'shippy fic to begin with, and while I adore the pairing on the show and in fic, I kinda like the idea of writing a story where romance isn't the focus.

I also got school supplies boxes today from xmskittyx, jenabeen1184 and vertigo66. Thanks SO much, y'all! Yesterday I typed up a list of a few more books for a friend -- if you're like to join in my "books for supplies" swap, here's the info. I'm thrilled that so many of y'all participated, and the school supplies will definitely come in handy with my students (and I'm glad that this time I was able to offer something tangible in return.) LJ is a marvelous place, isn't it?

Wow. I thought this would just be a place-marker post to keep my streak alive (with the exception of a handful of holidays and such, I've posted every day for nearly three years), but looks like I had more to say than I realized. I love LiveJournal. Oh, and for those of you who are into customization, LJ has a handful of new layouts. I'm particularly fond of Smooth Sailing. It's incredibly customizable, and though I need to tweak the colors, I'm happy with what I've set up. But then, I'm easy to please. :)