ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I continue to be impressed with the Cherokee tradition of linguistic eptitude.  It's one of the few native languages to devise its own writing system, and now it comes in Braille too
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is, in essence, an elegy inspired by an article, "The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans," and therefore posted for free. It also fills the "Stockholm syndrome" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. It belongs to the Aquariana thread in the Polychrome Heroics series.

The name "Noc" is pronounced "NOH-see."

WARNING: This poem features many intense topics, some of which actually happened in our world. The warnings contain spoilers; highlight to read. These include human/cetacean challenges, past enslavement of a sapient cetacean from childhood to death, Stockholm syndrome, survivor guilt, rough telepathic contact, grudging response to apology, and other issues. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether to dive in.

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Zabernism

Jul. 17th, 2014 03:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Useful to know there is a word for this:

zabernism -- misuse of military authority; bullying
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came from the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Naomi Rivkis. It also fills the "toys and games" square on my 3-6-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Someone has proposed a learning disability for foreign languages.  

Actually, humans are born with their language window wide open.  It begins to close in early childhood.  At the onset of puberty, most people find learning a new language to be challenging.  By adulthood, almost everyone finds it difficult and it is downright impossible for many.  This is NORMAL.  Some people have a gift for languages and their window does not close.  Yay!  I'm one of them.  It makes me weird.  It doesn't make you mentally handicapped if you can't do it.  

If you want people to learn multiple languages fluently, all you have to do is raise them that way from the beginning, like civilized nations do.  America introduces foreign languages late so people will NOT be able to learn them well; that's not an accident, not a learning disability, it is linguistic imperialism.  Waiting until people are too old to learn a skill well, and then tormenting them for doing it poorly, is just sadistic.

The stupid, it burns like hydrogen. 

EDIT: People with learning disabilities may have issues which affect their native language and then make foreign languages much more difficult.  One of my readers thoughtfully linked this article about teaching foreign languages to LD students.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem came out of the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "traveling" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It was sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," and "Green Eggs and Hulk."  

Fandom: The Avengers, Hulk
Characters: Hulk, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanova, Tony Stark, Phil Coulson, Betty Ross.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Past abuse. Canon-typical violence. Bruce and Hulk have a relationship that is currently somewhere between self-harm and domestic abuse depending how you look at it.
Summary: Hulk muses about the sources of his inner strength.
Notes: Communication issues. Rejection. Courage. Team as family. Friendship. Acceptance. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Hulk needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.

Based on feedback for "Saudades," I'm posting the whole poem at once. It's not critical to the storyline, so you can skip it without losing track of anything major; it just gives an inside view of Hulk's experiences on the run and with the introduction of game night. This poem also fills the "language and translation" square in my 1-2-14 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo  fest.

See the next story, "Am I Not."

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Word meanings can shift over time.  Sometimes this is good, other times not so much.  I'm often bemused by "decimated" to mean "mostly or wholly destroyed."  It really means "1/10 destroyed."  LInk courtesy of my partner Doug.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was talking with a friend about asexual romantic relationships and realized -- oh look, English doesn't have a noun for "person in a close relationship that is romantic but not sexual."  

I'm seriously thinking "squash" would fit there, because "zucchini" is a general queerplatonic partner word, and "squish" refers to asexual crushes. I pretty much can't trip over a lexical gap without wanting to shovel something into it.

Holler Me

Apr. 6th, 2014 12:48 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Recently I said "Holler me if you need the dishrack put away," and for no particular reason other than I am a hobby-linguist, I got to thinking about the subtle distinctions of this term.

"Holler" means to call loudly, often across a house or yard.  It also tends to convey a higher level of urgency.  

"Holler me" is a combination of "tell me" and "summon me."  It includes a stipulation that if you notify me of a previously agreed upon condition, I will follow through with the promised response.  This is the same as "tell" but allows a higher volume and demand for attention.  You don't have to raise your voice if you don't need to, but you're allowed to, and it's taken as a summons not a scold.

"Holler for  me" means that I will come when you call, but when I get there, we'll have a discussion about what you want.  It only includes answering the summons, not meeting another request.

That kind of subtlety appears in many Southern dialects of English, where prepositions do work that Northern speakers don't notice.  (Northern dialects have their own bells and whistles, as does everyone's.)  Southerners are often told to omit prepositions in certain phrases, which is aggravating, because most people don't have the linguistic expertise to explain what the darn thing does.  But if you take it out, to a Southerner, there's a wobble there, like a chair with one leg a hair shorter; it's annoying and it can cause misunderstandings.  Of course, these subtle distinctions are lost anyhow on someone who speaks a different dialect, but it makes a difference to the speaker.

I grew up in the Midwest but have Southern relatives, so my accent is bifocal.  In Illinois, I sound mostly Midwestern.  On a visit to Tennessee, I have a Southern accent as thick as molasses -- and oddly enough, it is also keyed by time and topic.  Talking about certain parts of my childhood or activities such as fishing will turn it on.  Just in case you were curious.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

This poem came out of the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

This poem came out of the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] the_vulture.  It also fills the "silence" square in my 3-6-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] janetmiles.

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