Quick! What's the first noun that comes to your mind if you want to characterize a regional accent? This month the Loungeurs examine the evidence surrounding the use of words that denote various accents. We conclude that there is probably room for some semantic fine tuning.
This month we're investigating a chameleon-like feature of language called the loan translation, or if you prefer, the calque. No passport required, but be prepared to mingle with some French and Spanish ancestors.
This month the Language Loungeurs are in the Larder again, using the Visual
Thesaurus to address that age old dilemma: how can I bring seemly order to
all these disparate remnants of rigatoni, conchiglioni, and the like? Even a
plethora of pasta in your pantry can now be regimented using these state-of-the-art principles!
Words in the Visual Thesaurus occasionally come unglued from their bearings and wander, lost, into the Language Lounge, where the resident staff are always ready to provide whatever therapy is needed and guide the words back to where they belong. Recent casualties include throe, stealth, issue, and challenge.
Our British visitor last month left a copy of the Financial
in the Lounge. We were reading in it the other day and nearly choked
on our soy-milk-softened Postum: "Wine writing in English has, over the
past decade, become almost violently pragmatic." First of all, wine
: you mean it's a genre? Second of all: violently pragmatic
Don't bet the chewy backbone in your delicately vegetal Cabernet
Sauvignon on it.
If you've been wondering what that archway in the north wall of the Language Lounge leads to, now's the time to find out. It's the Language Larder, and this month we're going to hang in there for a while, sampling the lexical delicacies available via the Visual Thesaurus.
We're dusting off the piano in the Language Lounge this month and exploring
the world of musical directions. No matter if your keyboard skills are not
up to par: for this interlude the only keyboard you need to use is the QWERTY
one connected to your computer, and the Visual Thesaurus.