OMG, Vikings did it too!

Oct 4, 2010 by

Many of the people concerned about the changes in the English language (allegedly) due to computers and other modern technologies feel especially worried about the proliferation of three-letter acronyms like LOL (“laughing out...

read more


Jun 29, 2010 by

In yesterday’s postings, I mentioned the so-called phonographic writing systems, including the alphabetic ones such as the English writing system. The idea is that in a phonographic writing system a symbol (“graph”)...

read more

Language vs. orthography

Jun 28, 2010 by

In his comment to my postings about drawing a boundary between language and dialect, Alexander Francis correctly pointed out that another factor that affects people’s perception of whether they share the same language or speak...

read more

Swedish or Norwegian?

May 27, 2010 by

By the way, an easy way to distinguish Swedish from Norwegian — in writing — is by looking for one give-away letter: the one that spells out the mid front rounded vowel. [To pronounce it, try to say the vowel in bed and...

read more

Back from vacation

May 20, 2010 by

I am finally back from vacation and hope to resume regular postings next week. I’ve been to Sweden and Norway and enjoyed the trip a great deal! And had no problems from the difficult-to-pronounce Icelandic vulcano. Speaking of...

read more


Apr 20, 2010 by

This cartoon, discussed also in yesterday’s posting, suggests that one direction in which English is going is “dropping the vowels”. Here I rush to assure the reader that this is probably not going to happen....

read more