Around the web – July 2020

Here’s your monthly round-up of articles and stories about language and translation for July 2020.

Sparkling and dazzling!

  • Offensive language: “If obscenities are used they should be spelled out in full,” says The Economist. On a more lighthearted note, the magazine also published a guide to the lingo of dating during a pandemic.
  • The racist origins of 7 common phrases. While they are rarely used in their original contexts today, knowing their racist origins casts expressions such as these in a different light.

Do you know the origins of “cakewalk”?

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

  • July 4 and July 14 are national holidays in the USA and France respectively, and both occasions would normally be celebrated with firework displays. What do you know about the language of pyrotechnics?
  • 7 wacky words that originated in the USA.
  • A new writing system, the Ńdébé Script has been created to address the tonal distinctions and peculiarities of Nigerian languages. You can find out more about it here. (Incidentally, about 70% of the world’s languages incorporate tonal distinctions).

Meet the Ńdébé Script

With or without sprinkles?

Further reading: