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February 2011

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 27, 2011 No Comment
Amar Chitra Katha & The Politics of Race?

The “father of Indian comics,” Anant Pai, creator of the fabled Amar Chitra Katha (अमर चित्र कथा) comic books that generations of Indian children were reared on, passed away last Thursday. In my dusty library in India, I had stacks and stacks of ACK comics. In fact, some of my most memorable childhood moments [...]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 20, 2011 13 Comments
“[Is] English [Really] Spoken Here[?]” NYT Fail

Mr. Manu Joseph, writing “India Faces a Linguistic Truth: English Spoken Here” in a “Letter From India” in the New York Times, makes some incredible claims about the status of English in India, with random bits of “evidence” that wouldn’t pass muster with, I’d wager, most Indians familiar with its linguistic [...]

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Written By: Jonathan Haddad on February 18, 2011 2 Comments
Is Common Good?

The language education community here at Berkeley rejoiced to learn this past Tuesday, February 15th, “that more than half a million dollars will be allotted to numerous foreign language courses beginning in 2011-12[.]”

Having thrown my lot in with French, I especially found reason to take heart at the announcement that [...]

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Written By: kernrg on February 12, 2011 4 Comments
Online lingo: Is there a grammar of affective particles?

In instant messaging and texting, my students detect a clear distinction between the use of lol (laugh out loud) and a smiley : ) either standing on a line of its own (i.e., as a whole utterance) or at the end of an utterance, as in:

You’re a real stud muffin! lol
You’re a real [...]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 6, 2011 No Comment
Times of India: Just Kidding?

This was the “SMS Joke of the Day” in the Times Of India yesterday:

“Charlie Sheen is really coming to Lilo’s [Lindsay Lohan's] defense. In fact, he’s set up a website asking the media to leave her alone. The site is doing good, it’s almost received as many hits [...]

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Written By: daveski on February 4, 2011 4 Comments
“Thank you, Mr. Safeway Shopper”, or, The Joy of a Categorical Identity

For a long time, I’ve had a thing against the way that Safeway has its cashiers personalize customers’ encounters at check-out time. Or, maybe I shouldn’t just call them “customers”, because, after all, we are card-carrying members, only able to get the real price on dozens of items if we sign over our names and [...]

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