From Reuters: An Italian court has ruled that a couple could not name their son “Friday” and ordered that he instead be called Gregory after the saint whose feast day he was born on…”We named him Friday because we like the sound of the name. Even if it would have been a girl, we would more…

Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit

Here’s a new book that sounds like a great stocking stuffer, from LanguageHat. I’m putting it on my wishlist. Photo by babasteve


Let’s see….my linguistic excuse for posting this clip is, um, er, ah . . . oh! It’s in Thai with subtitles, and … oh, heck, just watch it.

Correction of the Day

This one makes my heart sing. It’s from the London Guardian: We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30.

w00t did you say?

You may have heard that the folks at Merriam-Webster choose “w00t” as their “Word of the Year” for 2007. Grant, of course, has the real scoop on w00t here.

Paging Santa

Holiday book recommendations from Boston Globe language columnist Jan Freeman. These two in particular are on my own to-read list: “How Language Works” (Avery, $17.95), by the formidable British linguist David Crystal, more than lives up to its ambitious subtitle: “How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die.” It’s a wide-ranging introduction more…

Rising to the Occasion

So sorry I didn’t see until now this gem from the BBC from a couple of weeks ago: Croatia rose to the occasion in their crucial Euro 2008 defeat of England – after an apparent X-rated gaffe by an English opera singer at Wembley. Tony Henry belted out a version of the Croat anthem before more…

The Swiss Army Knife of Words

A beer commercial demonstrates the flexibility of the word “dude.”

Hot Shirts and Hit Sheds

A look at the psychology of spoonerisms, which of course can mean the difference between straddling a well-boiled icicle and a well-oiled bicycle.

My What????

You know, I may already be regretting this Gallery of Regrettable Punctuation thing. I mean, I headed off to the desert yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t help stopping to take a photo of this sign, which is somewhere between Ramona and Palm Desert.