Retweets (2)

As I announced a couple of weeks ago, I will occasionally repost some of my tweets on this blog. So here’s the second batch.

24 March (see picture)
consumersRT @ciklopea: Some useful statistics from #galasevilla <– The other 13% love to send themselves a surprise package.
Okay, I retweeted @ciklopea’s message mostly because my own conclusion made me chuckle. But the more I think about it, the more sense my sceptical thought seems to make. I mean, who would buy a product or service on a website whose language they can’t understand? How would they even be sure what buttons to click and how to answer questions?

14 April
One of the advantages of learning the Arabic alphabet is that it makes Cyrillic and Greek look easy.
I mean it. I’ve been attempting to learn the Arabic script, and though I’m making headway, I find it surprisingly tough going. Partly, no doubt, this is just because it is extremely different from European scripts, and I knew only one character (alef) before I began. But I suspect the script has some inherently difficult features too, such as several shapes for the same character, small differences between different characters and small height compared to breadth, which makes it look snaky and somehow small. Also, the absence of short vowels in Arabic writing is frustrating, because even once you can read all there is to read, you don’t have access to the entire words.
I will try to learn the Korean alphabet later this year. My bet is that I will find that easier. If not, I’ll eat my words about Arabic. And let me add that I’m a big fan of Arabic calligraphy (much more so, frankly, than of Chinese calligraphy), so it’s not as if I dislike its looks.

28 March
How languages and dialects are being turned into commodities. Pity if you miss this amazing article: http://goo.gl/5z9FRq
Nothing to add. Read it!

26 March
Who changes language? Woman. http://goo.gl/2I5Smv
The wording of this tweet was an allusion to a famous rant from English literature. Who does this bad thing? Woman. Who does that bad thing? Woman. Who does the other bad thing and many more? Woman. Pity I can’t remember who wrote it. Probably Shakespeare, but unsteeped as I am in the English classics, I can’t remember. (Please, do let me know if you do.)
Anyway, the link leads to an Observer opinion article by the ever readworthy linguist John McWhorter, titled Women are far more innovative than men in this crucial part of life.

16 March
In Seoul, a Hangeul (Korean alphabet) Museum opened last October. I like this video review by Hyunwoo Sun: http://goo.gl/fRa3y8
I’ve no idea how many Koreans speak English, but the fact that Hyunwoo Sun does is great, because to me, it opens up a country that I know very little about.

14 March
Linguistic cheese map of Europe: http://goo.gl/uC7I4
What you can’t see here is that Southern Italy is cheese territory (well, cheso or something like that), not formaggio land.

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