October 6, 2009 at 7:58 am (Fun Stuff, Life, School) (, , , , )

I think that as soon as I graduate in August with my BA, I’m going to start working on my Masters.

I’ll have 6 to 18 months between when I graduate and when I can start working (everyone’s gotta hope that the agency doesn’t go into another 2 year hiring freeze, ok?), so not really enough time to find and start another worthwhile job, but enough time to get a good chunk, if not all of my Masters.

Right now I’m thinking of Language and Symbology as my area of study (that sounds mastersey, right?).

Permalink Leave a Comment


April 28, 2009 at 6:37 am (Fun Stuff) (, , )

Aside from the lakes and the frogs and the trees and the green fields, one of my favorite things about Minnesota is the language.

Just something about the long “oo” sounds are just so verbally comforting.  It makes me happy.

For anyone who has no idea what I’m talking about, listen to this (sorry, low volume recording)

Permalink 1 Comment

Cop Talk and other Languages

April 9, 2009 at 6:09 am (Fun Stuff, Life) (, , )

So, I was thinking today…… (and is you read my blog, well usually my other blog, with any regularity, you’ll notice my interest in language) What really counts as a language?

Well, Merriam Webster defines language as follows:

From Anglo-French langage, from lange, langue tongue, language, from Latin lingua

The words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community.

So, by that definition, in addition to the 116 “official” languages (according to wikipedia), there are thousands of languages used by all the sub-cultures of the world.  Then wikipedia went on to say something completely fascinating:

Every minute the number of languages change because either speakers of one uncommon language die, or a child who will learn to use language in a different way than his/her parents is born.

I mean, it makes sense that languages come and go, but the idea that languages evolve simply by a child learning to use language in a slightly different way is really interesting.

Anyway, with this idea that every subculture (see I did learn something in school) has its own language, I guess I would consider myself to be fluent in two languages and currently studying two others.  Obviously (at least I hope so) my native language is English.  Not the most interesting language, until you start getting into the different dialects.  This map shows the 26 (plus Alaska and Hawaii) generally accepted English dialects.

This website then goes into details of the slight variations of each dialect – from different pronunciations to different words.  This website also has a lot of interesting information about American English dialects.

Then, there is cop talk.  This is the language of a subculture.  But it is no way universal among all police department; different departments use different codes (the basis of this language), and therefore have slightly different languages.  This language is mostly English, but there are enough codes and phrases mixed in that it can be difficult for people unfamiliar with the language to understand.  For example if you’re familiar with cop talk, something like “running code to a 962 where the driver is 692” may make perfect sense, but if you’re not, you may know that was “an emergency (lights and siren) response to a car accident with injuries where the driver may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Ich studiere auch Deutsches. Dieses ist mein zweites Semester. Ich habe Rosetta Stein benutzt, weil es nicht eine Kategorie gibt, die an meiner Schule angeboten wird. Ich werde wirklich ziemlich mit dem Programm beeindruckt. Vor kurzem erhielt ich Art von festem auf einer der Lektionen, weil, indem die Rechtschreibung auf Deutsch, nicht groß ist, und das Programm lässt Sie nicht fortfahren, bis Sie eine Lektion führen. Meine Hoffnung ist, nach Deutschland zu reisen und muss nicht hoffen, dass die Leute dort Englisch sprechen. (Ok, so my German isn’t that good yet, I am hoping the online translator is at least close in their translation… I’ll try to check it tomorrow…)

Permalink 3 Comments


January 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm (Fun Stuff) (, )

I love names. So naturally, I love the website  One of the features that I particularly like is the personal name list where you basically create a list of names.  My list includes about 40 names for pets, people, characters, or just interesting names.

Feminine Names:

Acacia  Pronounced: ə-KAY-shə From the name of a type of tree, ultimately deriving from Greek ακη (ake) “thorn, point”.

Alana Pronounced: ə-LAN-ə Feminine form of Alan

Alexandra (Αλεξανδρα Ancient Greek) Pronounced: ah-lek-SAHN-drah Feminine form of ALEXANDER. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera, and an alternate name of Cassandra. It was also borne by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix, but was renamed Alexandra upon joining the Russian Church.

Alexis Pronounced:  ə-LEK-sis From the Greek name Αλεξις, which meant “helper” or “defender. This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangably with the related name Αλεξιος or Alexius, borne by five Byzantine emperors. In the English-speaking world it is more commonly used as a feminine name.

Cadence Pronounced: KAY-dənts From an English word meaning “rhythm, flow”. It has been in use only since the 20th century.

Hayley Pronounced: HAY-lee From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English town (meaning “hay clearing” from Old English heg “hay” and leah “clearing”). It was popularized by the British child actress Hayley Mills (1946-), though the name did not become common until over a decade after she first became famous.

Madison Pronounced: MAD-i-sən From an English surname meaning “son of MAUD”. It was not commonly used as a feminine name until after the movie ‘Splash’ (1984), in which the main character adopted it as her name after seeing a street sign for Madison Avenue in New York City. A famous bearer of the surname was James Madison (1751-1836), one of the authors of the American constitution who later served as president.

Nadia Pronounced: NAHD-yə It began to be used in France in the 19th century. The name received a boost in popularity due to the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci (1961-).

Stella Pronounced: STEL-ə Means “star” in Latin. This name was created by the 16th-century poet Sir Philip Sidney for the subject of his collection of sonnets ‘Astrophel and Stella’. It was not commonly used as a given name until the 19th century. It appears in Tennessee Williams’ play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ (1947), belonging to the sister of Blanche DuBois and the wife of Stanley Kowalski.

Sydney Pronounced: SID-nee From a surname which was a variant of the surname SIDNEY. This is the name of the largest city in Australia, which was named for Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney in 1788. Since the 1990s this name has been mainly feminine.

Tamara Pronounced: tah-MAH-rah It was introduced to the English-speaking world by Russian performers such as Tamara Karsavina (1885-1978), Tamara Drasin (1905-1943), Tamara Geva (1907-1997) and Tamara Toumanova (1919-1996). It was also borne by the Polish cubist painter Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980). This name also coincides with a Sanskrit word meaning “spice”.

Tatiana Pronounced: tah-TYAH-nah Feminine form of the Roman name Tatianus, a derivative of the Roman name Tatius, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a 3rd-century saint who was martyred in Rome under the emperor Alexander Severus. She was especially venerated in Orthodox Christianity, and the name has been common in Russia and Eastern Europe. It was not regularly used in the English-speaking world until the 1980s.

Tatum Pronounced: TA-təm From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning “Tata’s homestead” in Old English.

Temperance Pronounced: TEM-prənts From the English word meaning “moderation” or “restraint”. This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.

Masculine Names:

Aleksey (Алексей Russian) Pronounced: ah-lyek-SYAY Russian form of ALEXIS. This was the name of a 17th-century czar of Russia.

Alexandros (Αλεξανδρος Ancient Greek) Ancient and modern Greek form of ALEXANDER

Aurelius Ancient Roman Roman family name which was derived from Latin aureus “golden, gilded”. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and philosophical writer. This was also the name of several early saints.

Bastian Pronounced: BAHS-tee-ahn Short form of SEBASTIAN

Caden KAY-dən Possibly from the Gaelic surname Mac Cadáin, which means “son of Cadán”. The name Cadán may be related to CATHÁN.

Clayton Pronounced: KLAY-tən From a surname which was originally from an Old English place name meaning “clay settlement”.

Cooper Pronounced: KOOP-ər From a surname meaning “barrel maker” in Middle English.

Cyrus Pronounced: SIE-rəs From Κυρος (Kyros), the Greek form of the Persian name Kûrush, which may mean “far sighted” or may be related to the Persian word khur “sun”. The name is sometimes associated with Greek κυριος (kyrios) “lord”. It was borne by several kings of Persia, including Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon. He is famous in the Old Testament for freeing the captive Jews and allowing them to return to Israel. As an English name, it first came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.

Griffin Pronounced: GRIF-in Latinized form of GRUFFYDD. This name can also be inspired by the English word griffin for the creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.

Jasper Pronounced: JAS-pər (English) Means “treasurer” in Persian. This name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi, or three kings) who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.

Kaspar German cognate of JASPER

Konstantinos (Κωνσταντινος Greek) Greek form of Constantinus (see CONSTANTINE).

Kyros Greek form of CYRUS

Logan Pronounced: LO-gən From a surname which was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning “little hollow” in Scottish Gaelic.

Marcus Pronounced: MAHR-kəs (English) Roman praenomen, or given name, which was probably derived from the name of the Roman god MARS. Famous Roman bearers of this name were Marcus Tullius Cicero (known simply as Cicero), a 1st-century BC statesman and orator, Marcus Antonius (known as Mark Antony), a 1st-century BC politician, and Marcus Aurelius, a notable 2nd-century emperor. This was also the name of a pope of the 4th century. This spelling has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world, though the traditional English form Mark has been more common.

Parker Pronounced: PAHR-kər From an English occupational surname which meant “keeper of the park”.

Payton Pronounced: PAY-tən Variant of PEYTON

Phoenix Pronounced: FEE-niks From the name of a beautiful immortal bird which appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek φοινιξ (phoinix) meaning “dark red”.

Raiden Variant transcription of RAIJIN

Sawyer Pronounced: SOI-ər From a surname meaning “sawer of wood” in Middle English. It was used by Mark Twain for the hero in his novel ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ (1876).

Sebastian Pronounced: se-BAHS-tee-ahn  From the Roman name Sebastianus which meant “from Sebaste” in Latin. Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos) “venerable” (a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian. Due to the saint’s popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

Trent Pronounced: TRENT From a surname which originally denoted someone who lived by the Trent River in England. Trent is also a city in Italy, though the etymology is unrelated.

Trenton Pronounced: TREN-tən From the name of a New Jersey city established in the 17th century by William Trent. It means “TRENT’s town”.

Permalink Leave a Comment