Words and language

I’ve always loved learning new words. I also enjoy dabbling in linguistics. So I’ve decided to add a new category of “Good reading”-type links to resources related to words, languages, linguistics, and the like.

Here are a couple of recent discoveries I’ve made:

Literal-Minded – a great blog about linguistics.

alphaDictionary – a huge site with links to dictionaries for roughly 300 languages, Dr. Goodword’s (formerly Dr. Language at YourDictionary.com) blog, articles on grammar/linguistics/words, specialty dictionaries (like the Historical Dictionary of American Slang, which defaults to “clean” definitions), and, just for Danny: The Advanced Southern Accent Test — and more!

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This post is brought to you by the letter ‘S’

This is from The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. I’ll get around to nominating something by Lem for the NOBC one of these days. Note that this was originally written in Polish and translated by Michael Kandel into English – I have yet to find out anything about the original Polish version of this poem and how much work Kandel put into translating it so exquisitely.

“Have it compose a poem–a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism and in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!!”
“And why not throw in a full exposition of the general theory of nonlinear automata while you’re at it?” growled Trurl. “You can’t give it such idiotic–”
But he didn’t finish. A melodious voice filled the hall with the following:

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed.
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.