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Babble 1

2 August, 2013

Here’s the first of an intermittent series called Babble, a grab-bag of different language dispatches from around the cyber-traps. You’ll notice I’ve tagged each one with a challenge too, just to give your Friday mind a bit of callisthenics.

  1. A sneak peek at next week’s Wordplay column, here’s a staggering polyglot index of colour idioms from around the world. Who can make the best anagram of any of our own colourful expressions (found at list’s end) to make a neat outcome? RED ALERT, say, is REEL, DART!

  2. The Week has compiled the top 11 trends in baby-naming, from the insidious Y to the ford-suffix. One trend is the use of city names. Who can dream up a comical city name that may predestine a child’s life? Lahore is one I’d sidestep.

  3. Again The Week, this is a brilliant analysis by linguist James Harbeck of the non-verbal sounds teenagers emit. The video is a must. Any gutturalism missing? Any other teen-speak in general to add? Epic and hating on: that’s a start.

  4. Lastly, a dignified doctorate on Language Log that explores the Aussie habit of taking a prezzie to a Chrissie barbie etc, otherwise known as hypocoristics, or pet naming. We have mates call Simmo and Mazza. We buy durries at the servo. Who can compile the Aussiest sentence, using these hypos, enough to completely stuff a ESL-patsy?

Welcome to Babble #1. Hope you like the post genre. Any suggested tweaks, or future babble fodder, are welcome.

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Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
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