September 2005

Guest blogger: The languages of Guernsey

September 30, 2005

By Xavier Kreiss My mother is a Guernseywoman, and I've known and loved Guernsey all my life. The Channel Islands have always held a particular attraction for me - I'm a half-British Frenchman, which probably explains the affinity between myself...

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Posted by céline on September 30, 2005
Culture, Language

A mysterious engraving

September 28, 2005

A reader wrote to me asking for help. Some time ago, he found a 15th century finger ring, which turned out to be a treasure and is now in the British Museum. There is a double inscription on the ring...

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Posted by céline on September 28, 2005
Technical corner

Nushu

September 23, 2005

Nushu, the world's only language to be created and used solely by women, was finally declared extinct last year. But try telling that to the women still using it. Click here to read this Guardian article by Jon Watts....

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Posted by céline on September 23, 2005
Culture

The Oxford English Dictionary

September 22, 2005

How are dictionaries created? How do people collect all these words and make sure they don't forget any? These are the types of questions that led me to read Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything (also, it was a birthday...

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Posted by céline on September 22, 2005
Language

Chowder

September 19, 2005

French fishermen, who cooked thick soup made of fish and vegetables in chaudières or cauldrons (from Latin caldaria, cooking pot, from caldus, warm), brought their recipe to North American, where it took the name of the cooking implement and became...

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Posted by céline on September 19, 2005
Words

Punctuation IS everything

September 15, 2005

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Posted by céline on September 15, 2005
Technical corner

Guess where!

September 14, 2005

This morning, I gave a client my foot size so he can make sure there will be safety boots for me to wear during my interpreting job next week. What sort of place are we visiting? Answers in the comments...

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Posted by céline on September 14, 2005
Interpreting

Silhouette

September 12, 2005

1. A silhouette is the outline of a dark shape with a bright light or pale background behind it. 2. The silhouette of something is the outline that it has, which often helps you to recognize it. (Collins Cobuild) From...

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Posted by céline on September 12, 2005
Words

So close, yet so far

September 8, 2005

Yesterday I received this email, sent from the "contact céline" page on this website. "Dear Celine I work in the International Development Department at the University of X. We are undertaking an evaluation of aid, and we are looking for...

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Cricket terminology

September 7, 2005

Now I know that cricket has suddenly become fashionable because of this year’s Ashes, but I feel compelled to justify myself by pointing out that I’ve loved the game for at least two years! It bewildered me for years until...

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Posted by céline on September 7, 2005
Words

Refugee

September 5, 2005

The Guardian reports that within the context of the disaster caused by hurricane Katrina, the term "refugee" was condemned by civil rights groups: "I think it's an offensive term," said Bruce Gordon, the president of the National Association for the...

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Posted by céline on September 5, 2005
Words