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    1. Language learning thread: Share your tips, progress and questions

      As discussed and suggested here. What are you learning? How is it going? Share your progress, tips and tricks. Ask other learners questions. Writing in non-English languages is welcome in this...

      As discussed and suggested here.

      What are you learning? How is it going? Share your progress, tips and tricks. Ask other learners questions.

      Writing in non-English languages is welcome in this thread if you want to practice, but please at least include a Google Translate or Deepl translation in a foldable paragraph, using <details>[your translation]</details>

      17 votes
    2. What are your linguistic idiosyncrasies?

      In a previous topic, people discussed their pet peeves, but that's not what this post is about. The idea is not to list (or rant about...) the ways in which others use language incorrectly or...

      In a previous topic, people discussed their pet peeves, but that's not what this post is about. The idea is not to list (or rant about...) the ways in which others use language incorrectly or annoyingly, but rather to talk about our own habits and preferences both in writing and in speech.

      Things like:

      • How do you like to talk (complex, simple, formal, informal, brief, lengthy...), and what do you like or dislike listening to?
      • Do you have certain words or phrasing patterns that you either love or avoid at all costs?
      • Do you have a tendency to be overly formal? Conversely, are you often too informal, or use too much slang?
      • Do you have an inner dialogue?
        • If so, how does it sound?
      • Do you think exclusively in your mother tongue? If not, which situations bring up specific languages in your head?
      • How do you adapt your patterns to different contexts (formal, informal, social, professional, etc)?
        • Does that come easy for you?
      • Do you prefer to be addressed by specific pronouns which people often get wrong?
      • Do you clearly differentiate between serious and jokeful registers?
        • Do you use phrasing and tone of voice to differentiate between the two? Does it work?
      • Do you sometimes talk too much or too little?
      • Do you make a lot of faux pas?

      So, what are your linguistic idiosyncrasies? In what ways is your use of language particular, odd, or peculiar? Let's begin!

      15 votes
    3. The BBC's Welsh crime drama Hidden is back for its third-and-final series this week

      I thought I'd take the time to post about a series I've been looking forward to for over a year now. Hidden is a fantastic crime drama set in Wales, and a third series was announced early last...

      I thought I'd take the time to post about a series I've been looking forward to for over a year now.

      Hidden is a fantastic crime drama set in Wales, and a third series was announced early last year. The Welsh version, Craith, aired late last year. This week, the bi-lingual version airs on BBC One Wales and BBC Four. In my opinion it's the perfect crime drama: set in the mountains of North Wales, with a great soundtrack and unconventional storyline. Some shows focus only on the investigation and the victim, who probably just admits to the crime at the end. Not so here.

      Sian Reese-Willams, who plays DCI Cadi John, explained what the series is about back in 2018:

      It’s not a classic detective drama in that it deals with the whodunit and the police catching the bad man. It’s much more of a personal drama. It takes time to delve into the lives of everybody that gets caught up in the crime - the detectives, the victims, the family of the victims and even the bad guy. You’re trying to understand him.

      It really plays with the idea of nature versus nature and almost tries to twist you into sympathising against your better judgement; it’s exciting and thought provoking. The characters are really interesting and it covers a lot of human emotion.

      Here's another interview ahead of the second series.

      Series two picks up around nine months after series one ends. We find Cadi trying to deal with the grief of losing her father, while trying to keep her head in her work.

      It’s a difficult time for her - just as one begins to come through the initial shock of losing someone and start to try and deal with it, that’s the time that everyone around you starts to forget and move on. She’s also faced with dealing with the estranged daughter of the victim of the case, and the parallels she sees between the two of them are difficult for her to navigate professionally.

      The first two series are on iPlayer now, and if you speak Welsh (or like subtitles) the third series is already on S4C Clic under the title Craith. Hidden is on BBC One Wales this Wednesday at 9pm, and BBC Four this Saturday at the same time.

      2 votes
    4. What are the best practices for a bilingual website?

      Some time ago I asked about domain names, so consider this a follow up question. I'll most likely use Hugo and Github Pages for my blog/personal website, but I'm open to suggestions. As always, I...

      Some time ago I asked about domain names, so consider this a follow up question. I'll most likely use Hugo and Github Pages for my blog/personal website, but I'm open to suggestions.

      As always, I must preface with a disclaimer: I'm neither a programmer nor an IT person, but I am curious and have the ability to follow instructions.

      Some articles will be in both languages (English is one of them), but not all. Some things will only make sense for a particular audience.

      I understand that there are bilingual themes for Hugo, I even tried one and it worked reasonably well (I wasn't able to translate the UI, though...). But, apart from that, I'd like to know if a bilingual blog is even a good idea in the first place. How will search engines treat my blog? Can that be confusing for users (specially because I have no idea how to serve them the appropriate version of the website)? Should I just have two blogs instead?

      Thanks!

      7 votes
    5. The problem with mind-reading

      I have been wanting to write about this for some time. This happens, in some shape or form, whenever someone reads others on the internet. Especially on sensitive subjects. Many readers are...

      I have been wanting to write about this for some time. This happens, in some shape or form, whenever someone reads others on the internet. Especially on sensitive subjects. Many readers are linguistic sleuths. Every fraction of language will be forcefully interpreted and analyzed in order to reveal some hidden truth (which is always assumed to be negative), the user's actual position, his or her sinister agenda. On the one hand, that is a consequence of the very real fact that many individuals do have sinister agendas, and many organizations do employ backhanded tactics to manipulate public opinion. I get that. At the same time, this makes it very hard to communicate sometimes.

      This affects the neurodiverse disproportionally and is a common complaint in places like /r/aspergers and /r/autism, among others. Some of us are not highly efficient machines of context evaluation and reproduction of linguistic patterns. Some of us actually do mean precisely what we say. No subtext, no irony, no desire to influence through excuse means.

      There are also people for whom English is not the first language, as well as those of varying age, cultures, and circumstances. While it is understandable that English-speaking communities naturally center on the US, the assumption that everyone lives within that context produces all kinds of misunderstandings. This makes me less likely to truly engage with some communities because every once in a while I'm hit in the crossfire. Sometimes I inadvertently use words, expressions, or phrasing patterns which North Americans associate with a certain position they disapprove of, and their "mind-reading" is led askew.

      This is not specific to any linguistic community. It happens everywhere. We're all kinda messed up. But it would be nice to be able to comment on complicated issues without feeling like Edward Norton in his first day at the Fight Club.

      I don't mean to imply that everyone should just abstain from hermeneutics in regular discourse. But maybe be a little more charitable, give it another chance when someone strikes you the wrong way.

      Sometimes people mean exactly what they write.

      (A lot of the above is directly transferable to offline interactions)

      11 votes
    6. What words would you want to see 'reclaimed'?

      Reclaiming a word means stripping it of it's negative baggage and giving it either a neutral or positive meaning. The most common example is the word Queer going from a slur to a descriptive term...

      Reclaiming a word means stripping it of it's negative baggage and giving it either a neutral or positive meaning. The most common example is the word Queer going from a slur to a descriptive term for non cis-het people.

      My personal pick would be returning the term "incel" to it's original meaning of "involuntary/involuntarily celibate" or someone who wants a relationship but doesn't have one, because the word is currently associated with the few tens of thousands of extremists who occasionally commit terrorist attacks, consider the redistribution of women reasonable and created the black-pill, but the amount of men (and realistically also women) who would consider themselves as wanting a relationship but not having one is much higher than a hundred thousand violent extremists, and if they could all describe themselves as incels, I think that would help steer the conversation about wanting a partner and not having one away from the extremists and to the much more numerous pool of mostly young people, seemingly mostly men who just want a partner and can't have one and usually mostly just feel bad about it to varying intensities. It wouldn't completely detach the term from cringe online right tropes as a lot of the dudes who can be described as incels often tend to fuel the kind of "women aren't real"/"Girls don't exist on the internet" culture that makes complaining about dating so 'lame'. (As in, the default reply is "just do basic self-improvement it'll put you ahead of most people lol".)

      Another term I would reclaim if I could is the Red-pill/Blue-pill dichotomy with becoming red-pilled either being a joke about some vaguely red pill used to transition or as a shorthand for adopting leftist beliefs, mainly because the creators of The Matrix were Trans women who intended the movie to have a strong Trans subtext, and red is usually a leftist color instead of a conservative one, so becoming red-pilled meaning becoming a leftist is more intuitive in most places.

      13 votes
    7. Longstanding discourse w/ my SO about the phrase "a couple of..."

      #couple Defined as: noun: couple; plural noun: couples 1. two individuals of the same sort considered together. "a couple of girls were playing marbles" a pair of partners in a dance or game....

      #couple
      Defined as:

      noun:
      couple; plural noun: couples

      1.
      two individuals of the same sort considered together.
      "a couple of girls were playing marbles"

      a pair of partners in a dance or game.

      MECHANICS

      a pair of equal and parallel forces acting in opposite directions, and tending to cause rotation about an axis perpendicular to the plane containing them.

      2.
      two people who are married, engaged, or otherwise closely associated romantically or sexually.
      "in three weeks the couple fell in love and became engaged"

      3. INFORMAL

      an indefinite small number.
      "he hoped she'd be better in a couple of days"


      verb: couple;

      3rd person present: couples

      past tense: coupled

      past participle: coupled

      gerund or present participle: coupling

      1.
      combine.

      "a sense of hope is coupled with a palpable sense of loss"

      join to form a pair.
      "the beetles may couple up to form a pair"

      2.
      mate or have sexual intercourse.
      "as middle-class youth grew more tolerant of sex, they started to couple more often"




      #Discourse of the use of the word/phrase in this particular case

      You

      "how many would you like?"

      Them

      "just a couple."


      When someone requests 'a couple of...' I respond with something similar to: 'How many do you want specifically?', which leads to the discourse of, 'A couple is two, a few is >2, several is <x' and so on.

      I agree with the first two clearly stated definitions of 'couple', but in the informal use of a couple (eg. a depiction of a quantity) is not specifically two...nor is 'a few' three. How many specifically is several..?

      I understand the semantics within the conversation. But, the expectation of understanding that two, and only two, is implied in the use of the phrase 'a couple' in a request; is ambiguously stating what one party desires. I'm the asshole now, just tell me how many you want.

      And now...your thoughts, please.

      12 votes