The United Kingdom is known for having a large number of accents in a—compared to the United States—relatively small space. But then you add in Ireland and you have an entirely new level of linguistic diversity. Josh Katz, who several years ago made waves for his work on the differences in the States, completed some work for the New York Times on those differences between the UK and Ireland.
Why do I bring it up? Well, your author is going on holiday again, this time back to London. I will be maybe taking some day trips to places outside the capital and maybe I will confirm some of these findings. But if you want, you can take the quiz and see where you fall compared to Katz’s findings.
And it does pretty well. It identified me as being clearly not from the British Isles.
But depending upon how you answer a particular question, the article will show you how your answer compares. Let’s take my answer for scone. In that, I am more Irish.
Today’s post looks at an infographic from the South China Morning Post. The graphic in question looks at languages and how many speak them. Specifically, the graphic narrows the focus down to those native languages spoken by 50+ million people, of which there are 23 spoken by a combined 4.1 billion people out of the world’s 7.2 billion inhabitants.
Languages can be fascinating things. And not necessarily just in Klingon. Vox has a post using 23 maps and graphics to look at language. As usual with these sorts of things, some are good. Others not so much.
Credit for the highlighted piece goes to Minna Sundberg via Dylan Matthews.
An MIT report looks at, among other things, the words used in tweets based on whether they were tweeted at home or at work. And, well, Malcolm Tucker would be surely disappointed. Because somebody screwed up and switched the words home and work. Clearly they should be reversed.
Credit for the piece goes to the report’s authors Morgan R. Frank, Jake Ryland Williams, Lewis Mitchell, James P. Bagrow, Peter Sheridan Dodds, and Christopher M. Danforth.
Happy Friday, everybody. I cannot say about you, but I certainly love seeing dialects and regional variations of words, phrases, pronunciations mapped out. So thankfully we have some work by Alan McConchie to look at today, specifically versus the soda vs. pop debate. As the screenshot shows, I come from a solidly soda camp. But I was reminded recently at a wedding that the Midwest is, generally speaking, pop country. Midwesterners have to learn to straighten that out.
It’s Friday, so we should try to take things a bit lighter. For me that usually means knocking back a drink or two and a swear-y exultation about it being the end of the work week. But, it turns out, I’m just trying to emulate our captains of industry. Bloomberg has gone through company conference calls and tabulated the number of swear words used and charted the results. And for fun, you can read some of the excerpts.
Credit for the piece goes to David Ingold, Keith Collins, and Jeff Green.
One of the main arguments used by Vladimir Putin to support any possible intervention in Ukraine is the suppression of the rights of Russian language speakers. The Economist wisely decided to wholeheartedly endorse the underlying principle of Putin’s logic and redrew the world map accordingly. You should read the article.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s graphics department.
Today’s post comes via Business Insider. They linked to work by reddit user sp07 who mapped out words used for common objects across Europe and then looked at those words by their origin. But of all words, this is probably the most important.