Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Language Log

If you, like me, day-dreamed your way through High School English, then you’ll probably find the ‘Language Log’ website more than a little intimidating.

I hope you do.

I hope you do, because I don’t want to be alone in not understanding the difference between a fricative and an unvoiced-consonant.

Life is lonely enough.

Life is lonely enough without the realisation that those people who focused during English class – the nerds – have now gathered together. They have formed a ‘Word Nerd’ collective and they are laughing at people like me. They are laughing at me because I thought I knew about language until I visited their website.

Those word nerds were sitting in the dark, trying to stifle a giggle. They flicked on the light and started laughing and pointing as soon as I typed the URL for their website ( into my browser.

I froze like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. I tried to back away slowly, but it was too late: they sensed my weakness, my lack of linguistic knowledge, and they pounced.

Well, they didn’t actually pounce. We’re talking about me visiting a website here. But I was intimidated, and I think they knew it.

They may not have.

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