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March 2009

Written By: daveski on March 19, 2009 No Comment

おひさしぶりです。(ohisashiburi desu) = “Long time, no see.”

この前のポストを載せてから、もう一週間がすぎてしまいました。時間が経るのが本当にはやいもんですね。でもこの前にコメントを書いて下さったmichinoskiさんとykishiさんと、あと自分のブログからリンクしてくれたワードさんの言葉を見てずっと、「おひさしぶり」についてちょっと書きたいな、と思ってきました。

言葉は人と人をつなげてくれて、ながい間潜んでいた過去をよみがえらせてくれる、本当に不思議なものです。michinoskiさんだって、3、4年前から仲のいいcolleagueと友ですが、彼女の引っ越しや赤ちゃんの誕生によって話をこの1〜2年、しなくなってしまったんです。どちらとも話したくない訳でも全然ありませんが、自然に距離が開いてきて、そうなってしまったんです。

ワードさんも13年も前に一緒に金沢大学で留学していた頃から話をたまに聞いていましたが、私が今度、日本語で書きだしたのがきっかけのようで、フェースブックを通して連絡がとれました。昔からの友達の「声」を聞いて、彼が日本語の勉強に未だにがんばっているのを見て、感動しました。ハイ、ワード!お久しぶり!

「おひさしぶり」とともに「楽しみにする」についても書いた方がいいかも知れません。なぜならば、英語じゃなく、私にとって過去があるから親しみがあるこの日本語で考えて、想像して、字を書いていると、私にとって大事な人、でもなぜか連絡をとらないようになってしまった人のことを思い出します。すると、「なつかしいな」と思いながら、これから久しぶりに連絡をとるのが楽しみです。

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Written By: Youki on March 19, 2009 1 Comment

A series of four line long poems:

 

mesmerizing.

 

reminds me of “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 18, 2009 2 Comments

The British Broadcasting Corporation reports today that the Local Government Association in the UK has “banned” 200 words of jargon in council discourse.

What are some of the worst offenders?

Blue sky thinking
Can do culture
Coterminosity
Double devolution
Horizon scanning
Improvement levers
Pathfinder
Potentialities
Quantum
Revenue Streams
Subsidiarity
Symposium
Thinking outside of the box
Value-added

What would be YOUR pick for the 5 worst […]

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Written By: Youki on March 17, 2009 No Comment

Studying language and technology, it’s inevitable that the concept of memes will come up.  Whether it’s rickrolling, LOLcats, or “25 random things…“, memes are a ubiquitous part of internet culture.  So, I thought I’d start off this series with a great talk by Dan Dennett on “Ants, terrorism, and the awesome […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 16, 2009 3 Comments
I’m Having a Cow

At a Thai joint in the Asian Ghetto, I picked up a copy of the Daily Cal to read while I chowed down a plate of steaming yellow curry chicken and rice. The following piece on the extreme left-hand column on second page jumped out at me:

From the Daily […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 16, 2009 1 Comment
A Type of Table?

Behold the Periodic Table of Typefaces: very very cool.

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 15, 2009 2 Comments

Last night, I was interviewed in a radio segment for a show entitled “Four Elements,” to discuss the importance of “Fire” in Hinduism. The idea behind the show is to explore the importance of the four basic elements-earth, wind, fire, water-in different cultures. First off, Hindus recognize five elements: the four listed above, and sky. […]

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Written By: FITzy on March 15, 2009 1 Comment
woof woof!

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 15, 2009 No Comment

(Relatively) new word alert: I was reading a newspaper article about teens driving while texting, when I found a word that I’d never seen before: “intexticated“. I Googled it (of course!), and found that there were some 5,010 results with the exact occurrence of that word. My next stop was the Urban Dictionary, […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 15, 2009 No Comment
Happy Birthday to the WWW!

Twenty years ago this March, physicist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern), created a proposal that basically birthed the Internet.

Happy birthday to the Internet(s)!

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Written By: daveski on March 15, 2009 5 Comments

There’s no better time for reflection and thanks than early Sunday afternoon, looking out the window of Urban Blend (hat tip for the electricity that powered this post) close to Jack London Square in Oakland, a great spot for writing and general productivity, and where the barista (this used to be an auto […]

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Written By: daveski on March 14, 2009 No Comment

Here’s a guest post from Maya Smith in the beginning stages of her voyages across the globe. She’s in India now and as I’ve been pestering her to write about it for FIT she posted this to her blog “Big Bang 2009” and let me cross-post here…amazing stories from a fluent speaker of […]

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Written By: Youki on March 14, 2009 No Comment
Where Education and Assimilation Collide

In-depth New York Times article on English language instruction for foreign-born students.  A few excerpts:

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Walking the halls of Cecil D. Hylton High School outside Washington, it is hard to detect any trace of the divisions that once seemed fixtures in American society.

Two girls, a Muslim in a headscarf and a strawberry […]

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Written By: daveski on March 14, 2009 No Comment

TechCrunch reported yesterday that there was a language startup website that was among the winners in the European startup conference in Brussels, Plugg. Apparently the site Myngle, which connects individual teachers with people who want to learn languges on their own schedule (for a fee), got rave reviews. Other […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 12, 2009 No Comment
Newseum Rocks!

Check out the front page of daily newspapers from around the world at Newseum. Really cool Flash site!

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Written By: daveski on March 11, 2009 2 Comments

Word is just in that a minor in Applied Language Studies is going to be a reality as of this fall!! This is a welcome victory in a long-fought battle, spearheaded by Professors Claire Kramsch (German, Education) and Rick Kern (French) in a time of shrinking budgets and ongoing struggles to define why in the […]

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Written By: Youki on March 11, 2009 2 Comments

In the quest for learning more about, ahem, language and learning, here’s a New York Times article on intelligence.  The article was written by Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, two neuroscientists famous for their award-winning book, “Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive […]

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Written By: Youki on March 11, 2009 6 Comments

Do you dream in different languages?

It rarely happens to me, but last night I dreamt in Spanish.  Which is pretty interesting because I’d hardly consider myself fluent in Spanish, although I did grow up learning Spanish along with English (and a bit of Japanese).  I grew up in downtown Los Angeles — all my neighbors […]

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Written By: Youki on March 10, 2009 No Comment
Wordle – Word Clouds

Neat little site that converts text into visual word clouds.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle […]

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