English Grammar Day

I went along yesterday to an event at University College London (UCL) called English Grammar Day. This was the first time I have been, though it has been held for the last 10 years. The event seems to be aimed mainly at school teachers and academics. I give below summaries of the 6 talks, which…… Continue reading English Grammar Day

Measuring how much languages differ

Is it possible to quantity how one language differs from another language? In 2015, two academic researchers tried to do that by creating what they called a ‘Language Friction Index’ (LFI). They describe the index in their paper Language friction and partner selection in cross-border R&D alliance formation, Amol M Joshi and Nandini Lahiri, Journal…… Continue reading Measuring how much languages differ

Number one big fella him bilong Misis Kwin

I posted this piece in May 2021. It drew large numbers of comments from spambots, so I have deleted the original and am reposting it. After the recent death of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, newspapers and magazines devoted acres of newsprint to his life. Some mentioned the name he was known by in the…… Continue reading Number one big fella him bilong Misis Kwin

Want a tongs for eat it

I like browsing in phrasebooks. My favourite find was in the Lonely Planet South Pacific Phrasebook. Its very short section on Pitkern includes the following entry. When something’s unpalatable …Want a break for eat it (lit. only a bird would eat it)Want a tongs for eat it Comments: I can make sense of the first…… Continue reading Want a tongs for eat it