Tag Archives: language



So this is quite depressing (but also unsurprising): “Gendered Language in Teaching Reviews” is an interactive chart made by Ben Schmidt that allows you to see how frequently certain words are used on RateMyProfessor.com to describe male and female teachers. It also breaks it down by field.

A few:

Words that did not have that consistent gender split: lazy, stupid, boring, engaging, quiet, bad professor, good professor, harsh.


This is interesting. Check it out if you like linguistics at all.

A Thought I Had Today:

We use the same prefix “im-” for both impossible and impossibility, but why do we use “un-” for unstable but “in-” for instability?

I did a bit of internetting to see if I could find a reasonably believable answer. Turns out the word “unstable” dates back to the 13th century and borrows from Old English and Old French, both Germanic languages. Germanic languages use the “un-” prefix.

“Instability,” on the other hand, is slightly newer and dates back to the 15th century. It borrows from Latin; Latin uses the “in-” (or “im-”) prefix.

Both “impossible” and “impossibility” borrow from Latin, hence the same “im-” prefix.

The more you know!


Are there certain sounds and/or combinations of letters in the English language that you find unappealing, regardless of the words they’re in?

For example, I don’t like the long “o” sound (like in boat or moat or goat), but only if it’s spelled with “oa”. Tote and smote and wrote are fine.
Same with “s”. I only like that sound when it’s spelled with the “s”, like pass or summer or loose. I don’t like pace or rice or ceiling.
Words that end in “b” drive me nuts (job, crib, drab). Even if the “b” is silent (like in limb).
I’ve never really liked “w” in general.
Not a big fan of the long “e” sound, either, especially if it’s spelled with “ea”. Lease, east, peanut. Beer, Weedle, and peer are fine.

So what do I like?

I like the “k” and hard “c” sound. Coin, click, coffin.
I like “ch” and “tch”. Batch, cheddar, kitchen.
The “h” sound isn’t bad, either. Hoop, honor, rehire.
I like “v”, but only at the beginning of words. Vacancy, victorious, vanity. Not glove or rave or reverberate.

I dunno.

Hey, remember back when my blogs were good?

Me neither.

I may have mentioned this video on here before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never posted it or really talked about it. And I re-discovered it the other day, so here you go.

This nifty little song is called Prisecolinensinenciousol. Written by Italian Adriano Celentano, the song’s lyrics are total gibberish designed to sound like American English.

Catchy, ain’t it? I remember one spring when Nick and I would talk to each other in fake French we actually convinced some dude at Hastings that we were really speaking French. We’re bad people, oui?

This is perhaps the most hilarious thing I’ve read in awhile

Oh man. This is fantastic.

“The Swedish Chef does not speak any known language, and the fact that his nonsense words are so widely interpreted as Swedish-sounding is bewildering and annoying to Swedes.”

“Riad, one of 18 members of the prestigious Swedish Academy, which determines who wins the Nobel Prize in literature, wrote an article in the Swedish language magazine Spraktidningen titled “Börk Börk Börk. Ehula Hule de Chokolad Muus.””

““There are three things that people talk to Swedes about pretty uniformly: the Swedish Chef, Abba, and Ikea.””

Hahahaha. Gotta love the Swedes.


The online class is helping with the sentence structure and whatnot. However, since the only words we’ve learned how to say are “pencil,” “book,” “magazine,” “box,” “yes,” “and,” and “this is a,” I figured I’d see if I could expand my vocabulary a little using the random article search in Greek Wiki. These are now the words I know:

  • Metal
  • Gallium
  • Titanium
  • Glass
  • Biology
  • Genetics
  • Bibliography
  • History
  • Technology
  • Litre
  • Size (not even close to anything in English)


I’m learning Greek!

Because I realized that I just got a college degree without knowing how to count to ten in another language (except for Spanish…but that doesn’t count because that’s all they taught us).
Also, Greek is badass.

I almost flew off the handle last night until I realized I didn’t have wings…

Ahh, Sean, where would I be without you?

Well, I’d be looking up rarely used words online at 2:00 in the morning all alone, that’s where.

 This was fun. It was inspired by our Psych of Emotion class, in which our teacher claimed there was no exact English word for the German word Schadenfreude. It turns out there is—it’s epicaricacy. We found it on this online dictionary full of a bunch of rarely used words.

So here are some interesting ones in my opinion, plus some fun snippets of our conversation.

 Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: this is a goldmine for confusing people
*hsus says: hell yes
*hsus says: bookmarked

 Xenodocheiorology: love of hotels and inns

 Acritochromacy: colorblindness

 Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Tittup
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: To prance
*hsus says: haha
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: I’m so using that in everyday conversation
*hsus says: good luck
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: “Tittup over there and get me those papers!”
*hsus says: wow, you really need to be a teacher
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Haha
*hsus says: ‘cos for some reason that fits perfectly
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Final exam: “Tittup or F in the class. It’s up to you to figure out what that means”
*hsus says: haha
*hsus says: that’s cruel
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: But oh so funny

 Adoxography: good writing on a trivial subject

 Adscititious: superfluous

 *hsus says: “oh, we’re covering this?”
*hsus says: “why, do you think we shouldn’t?”
*hsus says: “well, I’m just saying it’s a bit…adscititious is all”
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Haha
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: “But…but we’re not talking about acid at all”

 Sacerdotophrenia: clerical stage fright 

 Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Haha, schediasm
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Impromptu work
*hsus says: nice
*hsus says: that also describes my pscyh papers
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Same here
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: And essentially every other paper I’ve written/will write
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Freud paper? OH SHIT
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Doctorate thesis? OH SHIT

Obdormition: when a limb “goes to sleep”

Steatopygous: pertaining to or characterized by a large buttocks

 Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Parasigmatism
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Inability to pronounce the sound “s”
*hsus says: awesome
Leibniz Rocks My Socks says: Which would suck to tell someone you have, seeing as it has two “s”s in it
*hsus says: “I have para-…para-…fuck it”

 Perissotomist: a knife-happy surgeon