Topic: Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

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πŸ”— E-Prime: English without the verb 'to be'

πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Languages πŸ”— Constructed languages πŸ”— English Language

E-Prime (short for English-Prime or English Prime, sometimes denoted Γ‰ or Eβ€²) is a version of the English language that excludes all forms of the verb to be, including all conjugations, contractions and archaic forms.

Some scholars advocate using E-Prime as a device to clarify thinking and strengthen writing. A number of other scholars have criticized E-Prime's utility.

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πŸ”— Garden path sentence

πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

A garden-path sentence is a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a way that a reader's most likely interpretation will be incorrect; the reader is lured into a parse that turns out to be a dead end or yields a clearly unintended meaning. "Garden path" refers to the saying "to be led down [or up] the garden path", meaning to be deceived, tricked, or seduced. In A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Fowler describes such sentences as unwittingly laying a "false scent".

Such a sentence leads the reader toward a seemingly familiar meaning that is actually not the one intended. It is a special type of sentence that creates a momentarily ambiguous interpretation because it contains a word or phrase that can be interpreted in multiple ways, causing the reader to begin to believe that a phrase will mean one thing when in reality it means something else. When read, the sentence seems ungrammatical, makes almost no sense, and often requires rereading so that its meaning may be fully understood after careful parsing.

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πŸ”— English as She Is Spoke

πŸ”— Books πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Translation studies

O novo guia da conversação em portuguez e inglez, commonly known by the name English as She Is Spoke, is a 19th-century book written by Pedro Carolino, with some editions crediting JosΓ© da Fonseca as a co-author. It was intended as a Portuguese–English conversational guide or phrase book; however, as the "English" translations provided are usually inaccurate or incoherent, it is regarded as a classic source of unintentional humour in translation.

The humour is largely a result of Carolino's indiscriminate use of literal translation; this causes many idiomatic expressions to be translated ineptly. For example, Carolino translates the Portuguese phrase chover a cΓ’ntaros as "raining in jars", when an analogous English idiom is available in the form of "raining buckets".

It is widely believed that Carolino could not speak English, and that a French–English dictionary was used to translate an earlier Portuguese–French phrase book, O novo guia da conversação em francΓͺs e portuguΓͺs, written by JosΓ© da Fonseca. Carolino likely added Fonseca's name to the book without his permission in an attempt to give it some credibility. The Portuguese–French phrase book is apparently a competent work, without the defects that characterize English as She Is Spoke.

The title English as She Is Spoke was given to the book in its 1883 republication; this phrase does not actually appear in the original phrasebook, nor does the word "spoke."

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πŸ”— 54% of adults in the United States have prose literacy below the 6th-grade level

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Education

A 2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics determined that mid to high literacy in the United States is 79% with 21% of American adults categorized as having "low level English literacy," including 4.1% classified as "functionally illiterate" and an additional 4% that could not participate. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of adults in the United States have prose literacy below the 6th-grade level.

In many nations, the ability to read a simple sentence suffices as literacy, and was the previous standard for the U.S. The definition of literacy has changed greatly; the term is presently defined as the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential.

The United States Department of Education assesses literacy in the general population through its National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). The NAAL survey defines three types of literacy:

  • prose literacy: the knowledge and skills needed to search, comprehend, and use continuous texts. Examples include editorials, news stories, brochures, and instructional materials.
  • document literacy: the knowledge and skills needed to search, comprehend, and use non-continuous texts in various formats. Examples include job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables, and drug and food labels.
  • quantitative literacy: the knowledge and skills required to identify and perform computations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed materials. Examples include balancing a checkbook, figuring out tips, completing an order form, or determining an amount.

Modern jobs often demand a high level of literacy, and its lack in adults and adolescents has been studied extensively.

According to a 1992 survey, about 40 million adults had Level 1 literary competency, the lowest level, comprising understanding only basic written instructions. A number of reports and studies are published annually to monitor the nation's status, and initiatives to improve literacy rates are funded by government and external sources.

πŸ”— Soundex – a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound

πŸ”— Computer science πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

Soundex is a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound, as pronounced in English. The goal is for homophones to be encoded to the same representation so that they can be matched despite minor differences in spelling. The algorithm mainly encodes consonants; a vowel will not be encoded unless it is the first letter. Soundex is the most widely known of all phonetic algorithms (in part because it is a standard feature of popular database software such as DB2, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Ingres, MS SQL Server and Oracle.) Improvements to Soundex are the basis for many modern phonetic algorithms.

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πŸ”— Shavian alphabet

πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Writing systems

The Shavian alphabet (also known as the Shaw alphabet) is an alphabet conceived as a way to provide simple, phonetic orthography for the English language to replace the difficulties of conventional spelling. It was posthumously funded by and named after Irish playwright Bernard Shaw. Shaw set three main criteria for the new alphabet: it should be (1) at least 40 letters; (2) as "phonetic" as possible (that is, letters should have a 1:1 correspondence to phonemes); and (3) distinct from the Latin alphabet to avoid the impression that the new spellings were simply "misspellings".

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πŸ”— Spaced Repetition

πŸ”— Medicine πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Education

Spaced repetition is an evidence-based learning technique that is usually performed with flashcards. Newly introduced and more difficult flashcards are shown more frequently while older and less difficult flashcards are shown less frequently in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect. The use of spaced repetition has been shown to increase rate of learning.

Although the principle is useful in many contexts, spaced repetition is commonly applied in contexts in which a learner must acquire many items and retain them indefinitely in memory. It is, therefore, well suited for the problem of vocabulary acquisition in the course of second-language learning. A number of spaced repetition software programs have been developed to aid the learning process. Alternative names for spaced repetition include spaced rehearsal, expanding rehearsal, graduated intervals, repetition spacing, repetition scheduling, spaced retrieval and expanded retrieval.

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πŸ”— Deseret Alphabet

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Writing systems πŸ”— United States/Utah πŸ”— English Language πŸ”— Latter Day Saint movement

The Deseret alphabet ( (listen); Deseret: 𐐔𐐯𐑅𐐨𐑉𐐯𐐻 or 𐐔𐐯𐑆𐐲𐑉𐐯𐐻) is a phonemic English-language spelling reform developed between 1847 and 1854 by the board of regents of the University of Deseret under the leadership of Brigham Young, the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). George D. Watt is reported to have been the most actively involved in the development of the script,:β€Š159β€Š as well as being its first serious user.:β€Š12β€Š

The Deseret alphabet was an outgrowth of the idealism and utopianism of Young and the early LDS Church. Young and the Mormon pioneers believed "all aspects of life" were in need of reform for the imminent millenniumand the Deseret alphabet was just one of many ways they sought to bring about a complete "transformation in society",:β€Š142β€Š in anticipation of the Second Coming of Jesus. Young wrote of the reform that "it would represent every sound used in the construction of any known language; and, in fact, a step and partial return to a pure language which has been promised unto us in the latter days," the Adamic language spoken before the Tower of Babel.

In public statements, Young claimed the alphabet would replace the traditional Latin alphabet with an alternative, more phonetically accurate alphabet for the English language. This would offer immigrants an opportunity to learn to read and write English, he said, the orthography of which is often less phonetically consistent than those of many other languages.:β€Š65–66β€Š Similar neographies have been attempted, the most well-known of which for English is the Shavian alphabet.

Young also prescribed the learning of Deseret to the school system, stating "It will be the means of introducing uniformity in our orthography, and the years that are now required to learn to read and spell can be devoted to other studies."

During the alphabet's heyday between 1854 and 1869, scriptural passages in newspapers, selected church records, a $5 gold coin, and occasional street signs and correspondence used the new letters. In 1868-9, after much difficulty creating suitable fonts, four books were printed: two school primers, the full Book of Mormon, and a portion of it titled the Book of Nephi.

Despite heavy and costly promotion by the early LDS Church, the alphabet never enjoyed prolonged widespread use and has been regarded by historians as a failure. However, in recent years, aided by digital typography, the Deseret Alphabet has been revived as a cultural heirloom.

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πŸ”— Usenet – A worldwide distributed discussion system

πŸ”— Internet πŸ”— Internet culture πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

Usenet () is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up network architecture. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979, and it was established in 1980. Users read and post messages (called articles or posts, and collectively termed news) to one or more categories, known as newsgroups. Usenet resembles a bulletin board system (BBS) in many respects and is the precursor to Internet forums that are widely used today. Discussions are threaded, as with web forums and BBSs, though posts are stored on the server sequentially. The name comes from the term "users network".

A major difference between a BBS or web forum and Usenet is the absence of a central server and dedicated administrator. Usenet is distributed among a large, constantly changing conglomeration of servers that store and forward messages to one another via "newsΒ feeds". Individual users may read messages from and post messages to a local server, which may be operated by anyone.

Usenet is culturally and historically significant in the networked world, having given rise to, or popularized, many widely recognized concepts and terms such as "FAQ", "flame", sockpuppet, and "spam". In the 1990s, before access to the Internet became commonly affordable, Usenet connections via Fidonet's dial-up BBS networks made long-distance or worldwide discussions and other communication widespread, not needing a server, just (local) telephone service.

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πŸ”— James while John had had had ... had had had a better effect on the teacher

πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

"James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher" is an English sentence used to demonstrate lexical ambiguity and the necessity of punctuation, which serves as a substitute for the intonation,stress, and pauses found in speech. In human information processing research, the sentence has been used to show how readers depend on punctuation to give sentences meaning, especially in the context of scanning across lines of text. The sentence is sometimes presented as a puzzle, where the solver must add the punctuation.

It refers to two students, James and John, required by an English test to describe a man who had suffered from a cold in the past. John writes "The man had a cold", which the teacher marks incorrect, while James writes the correct "The man had had a cold". Since James's answer was right, it had had a better effect on the teacher.

The sentence is much easier to understand with added punctuation and emphasis:

James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.

In each of the five "had had" word pairs in the above sentence, the first of the pair is in the past perfect form. The italicized instances denote emphasis of intonation, focusing on the differences in the students' answers, then finally identifying the correct one.