‘Similar to’ in starting a sentence

Over the last 10 years or so, I have seen more and more sentences starting with the phrase Similar to. These sentences often say something like: Similar to A, B does X. Here is a slightly abbreviated version of a recent example I saw in The Times [of London]. Similar to much of myalgic encephalomyelitis…… Continue reading ‘Similar to’ in starting a sentence

Ultracrepidarianism

I learnt this splendid word in an article about the eccentric English politician Jacob Rees-Mogg, who cultivates the air of an outdated aristocrat who has barely reached the 19th century, let alone the 21st. It means the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultracrepidarianism The man himself would be…… Continue reading Ultracrepidarianism

Doing work and playing roles in Italian

Several constructions in Italian use the verb fare (‘do’, ‘make’). Two of these constructions look very similar on the surface but syntactically they behave in very different ways. A short book Fare: Elementi di sintassi, by Nunzio La Fauci and Ignazio M Mirto (2003) analyses them. Here are 2 examples: (1) Adamo fa il medicoAdam…… Continue reading Doing work and playing roles in Italian

Luxembourg’s submerged language comes to the surface

Thanks to my former colleague Alan Fisk. He has kindly allowed me to post this article he wrote for a magazine in about 1993. In the streets of the city of Luxembourg, all the signs and public notices are in French. Buy a newspaper, and it will be mainly in German. Here and there, messages…… Continue reading Luxembourg’s submerged language comes to the surface

Happy birthday, Language Miscellany!

I launched Language Miscellany at end of April 2021. In that first year, I produced over 170 posts. That number is slightly inflated by 39 daily posts chronicling my Scandinavian Challenge last year. https://languagemiscellany.com/2021/09/scandinavian-challenge-how-did-it-go/ Navigating the site The easiest way to navigate the site is to use the tags. I tag each post. You can…… Continue reading Happy birthday, Language Miscellany!

Search and destroy

We’ve all had that feeling that we’ve gone too far with search-and-replace when editing a document quickly. A contributor to Language Log found a great example, blending overhastiness with naked defence of your own commercial interests. For the Nook edition of War and Peace, the sub-editor decided, quite understandably, that they shouldn’t plug Nook’s competitor,…… Continue reading Search and destroy

Odia, a classical language in India

According to a quiz I read recently, the 6th language to be designated in India as a ‘classical language’ is Odia. I had never heard of Odia, so I wanted to find out more. The Language Odia belongs, with Bengali and Assamese to the Madaghan sub-family of Indo-Aryan (Klaiman, 1990). Indo-Aryan is itself part of…… Continue reading Odia, a classical language in India