linguistics is really hard

anonymous asked:

CHALLENGE: post the most ''embarrassing'', ''self-indulgent'' thing you've made in the past moth! (that's not smut, if you're embarrassed about that!) (but it could be smut) (pleasebemucklespleasebemuckles)


WELL OKAY I NEVER RUN SHORT OF EMBARRASSING SELF-INDULGENT STUFF.      SO.  I was thinking about Motorcity and Disney movies and I saw Atlantis on Hulu or Netflix or something and I was like……………………


I’m going to go lie on the floor how dare you make me do this GOD


Despite having studied Latin and Greek for years, I always find linguistic terminology, which is mostly derived from Classical languages, really hard to understand. Bizarrely, seeing the Korean version, which is derived from Chinese, actually helps understand the English!

I totally agree, often in these types of fields that are filled with complicated terminology the hanja-derived Korean words make more sense than the Latin and Greek-derived English words. A word like 어원 is so much clearer than a word like etymology. Koreans know that 어 refers to language and 원 refers to origin, but very very few English speakers would know the Greek  étumon (or even if they did, they might not know that  étumon is the root of ‘etymology’).

anonymous asked:

Sam, when you are making/reblogging a pun, the reaction is mostly couched in negative (if teasing) terms, with insults, groans etc. I'm noticing this often in similar internet contexts. I'm wondering if this is a cultural difference with the mainly US internet users, or mere personal preference. Because I looove wordplay and puns, and my reaction is usually a long laugh whenever I "get" a pun (not always the case, English not being my 1st language). Do you/your followers have an explanation?

IDK if it’s a US thing, but I know that culturally puns are often considered a low form of humor; wordplay just isn’t considered that clever, even though a really good wordplay takes a punominal amount of work. 

I mean, I laugh too, I’m with you on that one. But the negative reaction is a form of laughter, generally, it’s an acknowledgement of an accomplishment. The smarter the pun, the worse it’s considered to be, so a truly clever pun nets the most negative reaction possible. 

I mean, I’m not a linguist or a cultural theorist, like, explaining humor is really hard to do without a lot of training. But I think the playful negative reaction is a way of acknowledging that someone’s done something really smart without portraying oneself as someone who finds a socialized “low form” of entertainment amusing.