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The Original IbaDaiRon Blog » Linguistically speaking

Archive for the 'Linguistically speaking' Category

What year is it again?

Friday, April 20th, 2007

No…not another “I can’t believe this is the 21st century” post…something much simpler!
How do you say/read “2007″?
a) “Two thousand and seven”
b) “Twenty-oh-seven”
I’ve been reminding my students that the second is a perfectly acceptable alternative to the first.
Two reasons for doing this:
1) The second is one syllable shorter. (6:5)
2) The second avoids the ‘th’ sound, which […]

Bated anticipation?

Friday, April 13th, 2007

We’ve all used or at least heard used the expression “with bated breath” meaning “in great suspense; very anxiously/excitedly”, right?
Whilst trolling about the Web this evening before shutting down and heading home, I came across a comment on a blog post containing the phrase in the title:
I, for one, wait in bated anticipation for the […]

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Methodological quandary

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I teach my students in my grammar classes that the English verb has six forms—the infinitive (Vinf), the general present (V+0), the third-person singular present (Vs), the past (Ved), present participle (Ving) and past participle (Ven). I point out that regular (weak) verbs have only four distinct forms (Vinf=V+0, Vs, Ved=Ven, and Ving) and that […]

Another Online “What…do you have?” Quiz…

Friday, December 1st, 2006

What American accent do you have?
(Via the jalttalk mailing list. N.B. The code they gave for posting the table elsewhere didn’t make the red bars come out right, so I took a screen pic and posted it above instead of the table. Oh well.)
One of the list members posted this:
Perhaps they wanted to keep the […]

Niggers, Honkies, Spics and Gooks

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I could probably count the number of Seinfeld episodes I’ve seen on one hand; I was over here in Japan well before the series started airing in ‘89. I’ve found the shows I’ve seen pretty funny, although I can honestly say the “Kramer” character was not one of my favorites.
Yesterday morning the buzz on CNN […]


Monday, November 6th, 2006

Learn something new every day, right?
Here’s what I saw on the back of a van in front of me on the way to work this morning:

The text says, matanit’i mama ga notte ‘masu; “Maternity Mama Onboard”, in other words.
This was the first time for me to see both this particular version of the “Baby Onboard!” […]

Voorhees a jolly good fellow…Jason?

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Any paraskevadekatriaphobes out there?
(I love our “Hellenate” vocabulary!)

Why children kill their parents…

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Jobanni just emailed me about a thread on 2-Channel (I’ll try to find a link) about the stupid names people have been giving their children lately.
Evidently one teenage couple (since firearms are tightly controlled over here, how would you translate “shotgun wedding”, I wonder?) registered their baby’s name using the kanji 「純愛」(expected reading “Jun’ai” or […]

More Incomprehensible Movie Title Translations

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Two more head-scratcher/eye-rollers for the list.
I see from advertisements that the new(?) Bruce Willis flick 16 Blocks will be going under the title 『16ブロック』(Shikusut’în Burokku) here in Japan. “16 Block” in other words. Once more sending out the message that indicating number on nouns is as optional in English as it is virtually non-existent in […]


Monday, August 28th, 2006

I just saw this for the first time. (So sue me. I don’t get around much!)
What a singularly ugly word.
“Bloggage” would have made more sense, orthographically, IMO. I guess the ‘i’ comes from “blogging”.
Whatever. Anyone else seen any “bloggidge” on this?

Battle in Heaven? (An AD Post)

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Whoa. Granny Luce, Secondary Celestial Light of the AD Universe, shows her stern side.
The Carezani’s experiment has nothing to do with a modified
experiment by Cavendish.

I think that you need to study AD much more deeply.
Interesting. D does a fairly good job of damage control in his reply…but one must wonder if this is indicative that […]

Calling All English-Speakers In-country and Abroad!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Something came up in this morning’s graduate English Conversation class that threw me and left me at a loss for words.
Specific words. Having to do with a certain trade.
One of the young women’s father is a tatami-ya. But not the kind that makes tatami mats. The kind that goes to people’s houses and measures the […]

Sometimes I can’t help myself

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

For example.
Sorry, Mr Kenny! It’s really OK. Really.
gives arigatô gozaimasu. arigatô is the phonologically reduced form of the adverbial form of the adjective arigatai, used to describe an object or situation for which one is “thankful or feel[s] gratitude”, derived from the connective stem of the verb ari “to be, exist” with the derivative morpheme […]

The Future of Language and Country

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

In my graduate English Conversation class this morning, one of the students brought up the topic of the proposal which has been floating around for a few years that English be made Japan’s second official language.
One of the students voiced the opinion that such a move would be meaningless, that English proficiency is a skill […]


Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Something else that’s been making the Ole Sphinx tweetch lately is the Fuji Film commerical with Yoko Ono.
Not because it features Yoko. I don’t have a problem with Yoko. (I don’t lay the blame for the Beatles break-up at her feet, for example.) In fact, I rather sort of like her more than not. I […]