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How emoji are born: Questions of characters | The Japan Times
That is because deciding whether a bug-eyed turd should express a wider range of emotions is not the frivolous undertaking it might appear to be. Picking the newest additions to our roster of cartoonish glyphs, from deciding on their appearance to negotiating rules that allow vampires but bar Robert Pattinson’s or Dracula’s likeness, actually has consequences for modern communication.

O RLY?
emoji  communication  language 
january 2018 by whip_lash
These 32 Symbols Are Found In Caves Across Europe, But What Do They Mean? | DigVentures
The fact that the same 32 symbols are repeated across sites that span 30,000 years and an entire content is nothing less than mindblowing. But what do they actually mean?

The oldest written texts appear well over 5,000 years ago, and these symbols appear some 25,000 years earlier than that, but they don’t quite seem to form a written language – there are neither enough characters to represent all their spoken words, nor do they repeat often enough to be some sort of alphabet.

Nevertheless, they clearly meant something to whoever created them and von Petzinger concludes that whatever that meaning was, these symbols changed the course of human communication; no longer confined to spoken words, or gestural movements, 25,000 years ago human communication finally became graphic too.
europe  language  writing  archaeology 
january 2018 by whip_lash
BBC - Culture - How Americanisms are killing the English language
We’ve already reached the point where most of us can no longer tell whether a word is an Americanism or not. By 2120, he suggests, American English will have absorbed the British version entirely. As he puts it, “The child will have eaten its mother, but only because the mother insisted”.

SUCK IT LIMEYS.
english  language 
december 2017 by whip_lash
From inboxing to thought showers: how business bullshit took over | News | The Guardian
To be a good citizen, you need to be a productive citizen. There is only one problem, of course: there is less than ever that actually needs to be produced. As Graeber pointed out, the answer has come in the form of what he calls “bullshit jobs”. These are jobs in which people experience their work as “utterly meaningless, contributing nothing to the world”. In a YouGov poll conducted in 2015, 37% of respondents in the UK said their job made no meaningful contribution to the world. But people working in bullshit jobs need to do something. And that something is usually the production, distribution and consumption of bullshit.
business  culture  language 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The Subtle Art of English Ethnic Slurs – Lingua Franca - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Irishman? Why not he, or O’Leary, or the CEO, all shorter than the Irishman?
language 
october 2017 by whip_lash
English Pronunciation « Spelling – Teaching Spelling – Spelling Rules
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.
english  language 
december 2011 by whip_lash
GOD-LOVING LINGUISTS | More Intelligent Life
Would SIL International ever consider ceding Ethnologue, so that it could become a linguistic enterprise without a religious agenda? This has been discussed, says Lewis, but mostly outside the organisation. The problem is, Ethnologue was built and is maintained with the help of a large number of volunteers and with money provided by Christian organisations. “As I look at the academic world, I don’t see any other institution that could support something of this magnitude over this period of time,” he says. Languages evolve and die, but over long stretches of time, making the monitoring process a protracted one.
christianity  science  language 
november 2010 by whip_lash
Observations: Music and speech share a code for communicating sadness in the minor third
In the study, Meagan Curtis of Tufts University's Music Cognition Lab recorded undergraduate actors reading two-syllable lines—like "let's go" and "come here"—with different emotional intonations: anger, happiness, pleasantness and sadness (listen to the recordings here). She then used a computer program to analyze the recorded speech and determine how the pitch changed between syllables. Since the minor third is defined as a specific measurable distance between pitches (a ratio of frequencies), Curtis was able to identify when the actors' speech relied on the minor third. What she found is that the actors consistently used the minor third to express sadness.
language  music  science  speech 
october 2010 by whip_lash
Does Your Language Shape How You Think? - NYTimes.com
Indeed, speakers of geographic languages seem to have an almost-superhuman sense of orientation. Regardless of visibility conditions, regardless of whether they are in thick forest or on an open plain, whether outside or indoors or even in caves, whether stationary or moving, they have a spot-on sense of direction. They don’t look at the sun and pause for a moment of calculation before they say, “There’s an ant just north of your foot.” They simply feel where north, south, west and east are, just as people with perfect pitch feel what each note is without having to calculate intervals. There is a wealth of stories about what to us may seem like incredible feats of orientation but for speakers of geographic languages are just a matter of course. One report relates how a speaker of Tzeltal from southern Mexico was blindfolded and spun around more than 20 times in a darkened house. Still blindfolded and dizzy, he pointed without hesitation at the geographic directions.
language  psychology 
august 2010 by whip_lash
World Affairs Journal - The Cosmopolitan Tongue: The Universality of English
What makes the potential death of a language all the more emotionally charged is the belief that if a language dies, a cultural worldview will die with it. But this idea is fragile. Certainly language is a key aspect of what distinguishes one group from another. However, a language itself does not correspond to the particulars of a culture but to a faceless process that creates new languages as the result of geographical separation
language  culture  globalization  sociology 
november 2009 by whip_lash
UNIX / Linux Bourne / Bash Shell Scripting Tutorial [ steve-parker.org ]
A Bourne Shell Programming/Scripting Tutorial for learning about using the Unix shell.
automation  language  linux 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Shrek not so droll in Quebec
"The donkey is the main character we don't understand here in Quebec,"...He's using Parisian slang that we just don't get."
language  business  idiocracy  canada 
june 2007 by whip_lash

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