Civic organizations around the United States so routinely collect money to donate dictionaries to schoolchildren that I haven't previously recognized any individual efforts in this column...but I really must highlight the fundraising tactics of Pueblo Rotary Club 43, as reported by the Pueblo Colorado Chieftain: The Wild Wild West Festival's Rubber Duck Stampede, or rubber duck racing.
Here's a fascinating article by Sam Roberts from last month's New York Times, reporting on the Endangered Language Alliance and their work to preserve tongues like Mamuju and Garifuna. There's also a video.
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I just LOVE this headline. It's from Phys.Org and if you check out the story you will find an incredibly detailed report on Dr. Stephen Hughes and his efforts to correct the inaccurate definition of "siphon" in OED and various other dictionaries. It's illustrated with two videos (all your questions about siphons will be resolved--they use gravity). I know folks at OED are used to lay-people pouncing on their errors with howls of triumph, or performing a victory dance when they find an instance of antedating. But isn't it fun!?
The illustration, by the way, is deliberating misleading.
The National Humanities Center offers 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities during the academic year, September 2011 through May 2012. Details on the fellowship competition are available here.
For information about the Center and a list of Fellows for 2010-11, visit the center's website.
...is merely one of the wonderful phrases cited in yesterday's New York Times article, entitled "Shanghai Is Trying to Untangle the Mangled English of Chinglish." Author Andrew Jacobs cites translation software as one of the principal culprits in the creation of such memorable concepts as "fried enemas" and "Dongda Anus Hospital." But as the Shanghai Commission for the Management of Language Use pursues its Augean task, some wistful souls lament the passing of bewildering but evocative phrases.
The entire article is available here; to read the Times online, registration is required, but free.
How could I resist this headline? Plus, the article from the San Jose Mercury News asks DSNA member Grant Barrett and other linguists to weigh in on the cultural implications of recent discussions on Capitol Hill, in which Senator Carl Levin repeatedly asked whether Goldman Sachs had promoted a "sh-tty deal." The disemvoweling is courtesy of the Mercury News; lexicographers, of course, are not delicate. (The photo is of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain.")