Updates from December, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • The Diacritics 4:18 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bad lip reading, dubs, fake english, funny, history of english, , , mcgurk effect, , videos   

    Lots of language videos 

    Stephen Fry rails against pedantic prescriptivists: “Sod them to Hades!”

    Bad Lip Reading, whose hilarious dubs bring to mind the McGurk Effect, reimagines the words of disgraced Republican candidate Herman Cain: “Mexican people don’t eat sugar, especially when it’s a mixture of lice and tiger DNA!”

    The Open University describes the history of English in a charming cartoon video.

    Finally, short film capturing the cadences and sounds of normal spoken English, but utterly nonsensical. Apparently intended to show how American English sounds to others. (Family Guy trades it back, making fun of how British English sounds to Americans.)

    • krish 1:05 am on December 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply


  • The Diacritics 12:01 am on September 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    One more linguistics joke 

    Some of you might already be familiar with this classic, but we thought it was pretty great:

    A descriptive linguist went to the doctor and said, “Doctor, I have a rash around my mouth. What is it?”
    The doctor inspected it and said, “You have perioral dermatitis.”
    The linguist looked annoyed and said, “That’s exactly what I just said.”

    Happy Monday!

  • The Diacritics 5:49 pm on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: comparative linguistics, joke, , philosophy of language, Sidney Morgenbesser   

    Linguistics joke 

    Classmate JJ Snidow told me this joke, but it was supposedly an actual exchange between Oxford Philosophy of Language Professor J.L. Austin and Columbia philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser (who was apparently the man?)

    “In English,” Professor Austin said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”

    A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

    Isn’t linguistics funny?

    • johnwcowan 6:04 pm on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The version I heard was simply “Yeah, yeah”, which IMHO is much more of a double positive.

    • Stan 7:41 am on September 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a good joke. Have you seen it in cartoon form?

    • Alex 1:28 pm on September 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t this one attributed to Sidney Morgenbesser?

    • Helena Constantine 9:41 pm on October 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, I would say that even in English a double negative becomes a positive only via learned hypercorrection.

    • Jristz 12:11 am on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      In spanish double negatve is strong negative, double poitive is strong positive and sarcasm switch both

      That is so helpful

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