reileen: (glee - Bomberman)
I have no particular desire to see James Cameron's Avatar, but this link features the creator of the Na'vi language sketching out the linguistic basics of it. I don't know half of the technical terms off the top of my head, but I am fascinated by the infixes that inflect verbs for speaker attitude. (Plus the fact that you can string together a whole line of vowels, lol!)

On that matter, here's a critical, contextual look at the racial themes of Avatar: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like Avatar? For a snarkier look at the movie, [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid praises the film for being "a step forward in science fiction film in that it is only forty years behind science fiction literature rather than the usual fifty years".
reileen: (TONIGHT WE BLOG IN HELL)
Making Light: The honor of your assistance is requested in a small matter of language

Gentle reader,

In the course of her duties today, this blogger was obliged to consider the vast range of input to be expected from the ladies and gentlemen who do her company the honor of using its software. In particular, she was occupied with the task of addressing the tendency of some users to express an excess of emotion, or to seek to produce an improper effect upon the unsuspecting reader, with the strength of their language.

In order to curb these unfortunate tendencies, and forestall the employment of coarse and unsuitable language, she was enjoined to produce a list of particularly crude and unsavory terms whose use would be most strictly prohibited. Nor would variants of the selected expressions be permitted; the software produced at her place of employment is of a sufficiently sophisticated nature to encompass the derivation of gerunds from the raw verbal forms &c. There will even be some discussion in the forthcoming weeks regarding the inclusion of the recently popularized “leet” forms produced by the systematic substitution of numeric characters for the letters to which they most closely bear a resemblance.

Due to the popularity of her employer’s product, this blogger’s task was further complicated by the requirement to produce appropriate lists in both the American and British dialects of the English language. Furthermore, because even within the several nations who have adopted the product there exist variations in the level of local sensitivity, it was deemed appropriate to produce two lists per dialect. The “core” assemblages contain those of the gravest offense, which are liable to shock and horrify even the most liberal-minded and worldly of readers. The “additional” lists are provided to broaden the range of prohibited speech in order to protect any more delicate-minded communities which may choose to uphold a stricter standard of decency. The selection of the list to adopt is of course entirely within the purview of the customer.


As always, Making Light's comments are prime reading material as well. Favorite new swear words include "slore" (slut + whore) and "gutterfucker" (a term that has the verbal impact of "motherfucker" but without the misogynist implications). I was boggling at some of the synonyms for semen, though.

Found in the comments is also the amazing Roget's Profanisaurus, where you can find - for real - some of the most creative uses of profane slang and euphemisms that I've ever seen. I mean, dude. I can't list all of the gems, but this one caught my eye:

cliterature n. One handed reading matter.

And then there's this:
cockoholic n. One who is addicted to cockohol.

Holy hell, I can feel my productivity slipping away already...

***

Yahoo!News: McCain unsure how many houses he owns

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

[. . .]

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

Best response I've seen yet: "Sheesh, people these days! We've got only one house, but we share it generously with the bank!"

***

Interesting thing I found while on a Googlehunt: When an unknown number called my cell phone for the second time in three days, I googled the number out of curiosity to see what would come up, and the first hit was Who Calls Me?. It's a site where you can post about a number, and others can chime in about their own experiences with being called from this number in order to determine who to send the stink bombs to is calling and why. The Interwebs is a fascinating place...

***

Redbook: Never Feel Tired Again

A link that's almost custom-made pour moi!

***

[livejournal.com profile] ozarque muses on the different "genres" involved in writing an instructive textbook for a conlang.

There are an assortment of different genres of traditional teaching grammars for foreign languages. There's the one that's strictly for tourists; it has a lesson about finding the bathroom, a lesson about buying a ticket, a lesson about going to a restaurant -- that kind of thing. There's the one that's mostly scripts -- it has a lesson where two people greet one another, a lesson where two people tell one another goodbye, a lesson where one person orders a meal and another takes the order, a lesson where one person asks another how to say something and the other person answers the question, and so on. There's the one that has a Nuclear Family as its cast of characters and takes them through their daily lives -- it has a lesson with the NF at breakfast, a lesson with the NF at dinner, a lesson with the NF going to the mall, a lesson with the NF celebrating a birthday, and so on. There's the one that describes the world -- it has a lesson about a country, and a lesson about weather, and a lesson about transportation, and so on. And there are more. Choosing your genre from this assortment is critical, the way choosing your genre for a novel is critical, because the choice immediately dumps a bunch of rules and constraints and tropes and stuff on you.


***

Yahoo!News: Wis. woman arrested, booked over library fines

GRAFTON, Wis. - A Grafton woman has been arrested and booked for failing to pay her library fines. Heidi Dalibor, 20, told the News Graphic in Cedarburg she ignored the library's calls and letters as well as a notice to appear in court.

[. . .]

The incident cost Dalibor about $30 for the overdue paperbacks "White Oleander" and "Angels and Demons" and her mother nearly $172 to get her out of custody.

Speaking as a perpetual tardy returner of library books: Dude, just pay the library fines.

***

-Reileen
sinesine, sinesine sa bata pa

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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