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  • Showing only topics with the tag "language". Back to normal view
    1. Which language do you think is best?

      I don’t think best necessarily needs to mean most useful. For example though English, Mandarin, and Spanish are widely spoken they all have their problems, for example the reliance of Chinese on...

      I don’t think best necessarily needs to mean most useful. For example though English, Mandarin, and Spanish are widely spoken they all have their problems, for example the reliance of Chinese on non-phonetic logograms or English’s complete mess when it comes to spelling and vocabulary.

      I’ve been learning some Dutch these past few days and have been enjoying it quite a bit. It’s got a lot of the Germanic roots I’m familiar with without the junk and inconsistencies that seem pervasive in English.

      Korean also seems like a potentially interesting “objectively good” language to learn since I believe the writing system was invented relatively recently (1950s?) and is phonetic.

      All that being said, that’s pretty much all I know about linguistics so I’d love to hear peoples input on language and what they enjoy.

      13 votes
    2. What features would you add to languages?

      If you had the option to add new features to your primary language, what would they be? Is there something from a foreign language you'd like to import to your primary language? A couple examples:...

      If you had the option to add new features to your primary language, what would they be? Is there something from a foreign language you'd like to import to your primary language?

      A couple examples:

      • A prefix to indicate intensity or degree. BBS/early hacker jargon had terms like "k-rad" to mean 1000x (2^10?) as radical as "rad" without the prefix.
        That Montessori preschool was t-cool but why would they think calling it "Hobbledehoy" was a good idea?
      • Making an indication of how confident you are in an a statement obligate and easy. I hedge all the time because I think it's important to convey, but it's clunky. We do a bit of that non-verbally but that doesn't translate to text, and has the other complications of non-verbal cues.
        It would be nice if there was an established vocabulary to quickly convey things like "experienced first-hand, repeatedly", "99% certain", "I've heard but never looked into", etc. From there it would be nice if this was as required as the gender, in gendered languages.
      11 votes
    3. Accentuation on tags? ("á", "ã", "é", "í", etc)

      I was trying to add andré bazin as a tag on an article about the film theorist André Bazin, but the box became red and prevented me from submiting. So I had to use the incorrect andre bazin. I...

      I was trying to add andré bazin as a tag on an article about the film theorist André Bazin, but the box became red and prevented me from submiting. So I had to use the incorrect andre bazin.

      I suppose there's a very rational technical reason for not using accentuation on tags -- even so, I believe it would be useful to suport those characters, since many languages use them.

      11 votes
    4. Are there any gender-neutral or non-binary honorifics?

      I've been thinking a good bit about gender-neutral language lately, and I've been making an effort to eliminate unnecessarily gendered language from my day-to-day speech. However, there are a few...

      I've been thinking a good bit about gender-neutral language lately, and I've been making an effort to eliminate unnecessarily gendered language from my day-to-day speech. However, there are a few sticking points for me that I am having a hard time with finding my way around. One of the most difficult for me, having been brought up in the deep south and still living there, are honorifics like "sir" and "ma'am". I use these when addressing pretty much anyone, and it's a habit I'm having a hard time breaking. It's got me thinking about whether there are any good alternatives that would feel respectful of the person I'm addressing while not sticking out too much. If that's not an option (and I suspect it would be asking too much) then what are your ideal alternatives, either neologisms, borrowed from other languages, or just repurposed words that are in current use?

      Examples of usage that I would love to replace:
      "Yes, sir/No, ma'am"
      "Excuse me, sir/ma'am"
      "Mr./Mrs./Ms." (I use this less often but still catch myself at times. I also think this one has the best alternative currently in use, with Mx. catching on in some places)

      Also, if this question is missing the mark or disrespectful in any way, please let me know. I'm still learning!

      21 votes
    5. Replacing ableist and mental health exclusive language (crazy, insane, whack, ...)

      Vernacular mental health terms are used in everyday language as a nonspecific indicator of extreme value judgement or deviation from an expectation or norm. Examples of words include 'crazy',...

      Vernacular mental health terms are used in everyday language as a nonspecific indicator of extreme value judgement or deviation from an expectation or norm. Examples of words include 'crazy', 'cray', 'insane', 'whack', 'mental', and 'retarded'. I think we can criticise the language on numerous grounds:

      1. It normalises poor mental health as something extreme or atypical
      2. Where the language is used to connote a negative value judgement (example 3) it reinforces the association that "poor mental health" = "bad"
      3. It can be triggering to people with mental health issues because of the way they are or their condition is perceived or because of experiences they have had
      4. It can be imprecise, in the sense that there are often more contextually appropriate words to describe the specific quality being discussed

      Examples:

      1. "This new track from Lone is insane!" -- positive use cf. 'extremely good'
      2. "I can't believe Tesla bought all that BTC, that's insane!" -- neutral use, no value or ethical judgement, observing deviation from typical or expected behaviour cf. 'unexpected'
      3. "Trump is fucking insane" -- negative use cf. 'extremely bad'

      Some alternatives:

      1. 'wild' -- I use this particularly for positive and neutral connotations
      2. 'ridiculous' -- for the negative connotation
      3. Something more specific to the context, e.g. "Trump is fucking evil", or "This new track is banging", or "I had a hectic morning" instead of "I had a crazy morning"

      Questions:

      1. Why has 'retarded' faced so much backlash and fallen out of acceptable usage, but other terms like 'crazy' have not?
      2. Are the criticisms valid and do they apply to all of the examples? Are there more grounds to criticise this language on that I have not listed?
      3. Are there other ways the language is used which is not covered in the examples?
      4. What alternatives do you use?
      5. Is use of crazy/insane/mental/... common in non-English languages? If not, what is used instead?

      Thanks for your input! 🙏

      36 votes
    6. What does "performative" mean?

      Judith Butler has some influential pieces that talk about performative or performativity. I see online lots of people seem to think there's no difference between "performance" and "performative"....

      Judith Butler has some influential pieces that talk about performative or performativity.

      I see online lots of people seem to think there's no difference between "performance" and "performative".

      So, in philosophy, what do theyean when they say performative?

      7 votes
    7. Have you ever found a word from a 'fictionary' to be actually good at describing something?

      A fictionary is a social-experiment-dictionary where people come up with new words to describe the (mostly) emotions people feel where current ones fail. Someone here said they had a dead...

      A fictionary is a social-experiment-dictionary where people come up with new words to describe the (mostly) emotions people feel where current ones fail.

      Someone here said they had a dead reckoning after her mother died the same way her grandma did (from cancer at her 50s) and realizing she (I think) might die the same way.

      I've personally used anemoia (nostalgia for a time you weren't around for) as a way to describe me whenever I wish I was 15-35 years older or associate the time period of the 80s to mid 2000s with optimism, near total lack of mental health issues, techno-utopianism and "the end of history".

      8 votes
    8. How do you convey emotions in text?

      It's something I've struggled for a long time to do in text conversations. People will often think I'm mad when talking in a way that I think is perfectly normal or that I'm a brick wall while...

      It's something I've struggled for a long time to do in text conversations. People will often think I'm mad when talking in a way that I think is perfectly normal or that I'm a brick wall while discussing disagreements and well, that can't be fun. I often have to reassure certain people that it's not the case.

      Sometimes I try to show how I'm feeling through emotions or more "fluffy" language but I feel like that's too excessive and feels kinda fake to me?

      It's also something I've more recently struggled with because I'm trying to write personally on my blog and I'm not exactly sure how to convey my feelings other than stating it like a robot like "This makes me mad" or "That's depressing" or "It makes me feel great".

      It feels off to me and maybe it's just a me problem but I think that's also because I write the same way I speak and so, it just sounds strange.

      I don't know, this post is rambly and I've been wanting to write something like this in the last few days but I just have to push enter at some point.

      10 votes
    9. Anyone willing to teach me ASL?

      I'm a sucker for languages and lately I've been wanting to learn a sign language (not specificallly ASL as I put in the title, I'm open to learning any local flavour). And well, with COVID and...

      I'm a sucker for languages and lately I've been wanting to learn a sign language (not specificallly ASL as I put in the title, I'm open to learning any local flavour).

      And well, with COVID and everything, I figure this may be a good opportunity to do this with someone else and have someone to talk to. So, is there anyone on Tildes who would be willing to have regular informal video chats, where we talk and you try to teach me as we go? (And of course I can accommodate by text if needed)

      No hard commitment, this can just be something we try once and if it's boring for either of us we don't have to continue :) But I'm hoping it'll be fun enough to be a regular thing!

      PS. I can teach you French in return if you are interested!

      10 votes