"It is an interesting sidelight that our language - created and codified by men - does not have one unflattering term to describe men who vent their anger at women. even such epithets as ‘bastard’ and ‘son of a bitch’ do not condemn the man but place the blame on a woman - his Mother!"
— Harrier Lerner (via dracofidus)
"In Rome a vagina is una fica, a term deriving from the fig, a great thing, a delightful gift, a ribboned fruit. Among young Romans, the expression fica is a way to convey something extraordinarily good, akin to “cool.” They even make it into a superlative—fichissimo, meaning that something is the “cuntest” and very good indeed. Una fica is not only a sexually attractive woman, it is anything worthy of possession or experience. Imagine an American guy saying: “Wow, that is so vagina!” You can’t."
— (via talisman)
(Source: boysenberrybenz, via grebnekkah)
Every language has its own version of um. French has euh, Korean eum, Finnish öö, Russian eh; even sign languages have signs for um. The fact that most languages have some kind of um suggests that it serves a natural and important language function.
So what is this important language function? Why do people say um? Not because they are nervous. Scholarly studies of the word reveal that the use of um does not correlate with anxiousness or any particular personality traits. Rather, um is used to signal an upcoming pause—usually uh for a short pause and um for a longer pause. The pause may be needed in order to find the right word, remember something temporarily forgotten, or repair a mistake. Um holds the floor for us while we do our mental work. It buys some time for thinking.
— Read the full text here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/50173/when-and-why-did-people-start-saying-um-when-they-talk#ixzz2R13HfDuP
—brought to you by mental_floss! (via mjlogue)
"Don’t fool yourself. English isn’t inherently superior, or easier to learn, or more sonically pleasing. Its international usage comes from forceful assimilation and legacy of colonialistic injection. It isn’t a deed that one should take pride in."
my uncle left this comment on his friend’s Facebook status, a white British man who was bragging about how easy it is to be a native English speaker when trekking to different nations. (via maarnayeri)
I used to think this too until I took a Spanish class. One of my classmates is multilingual - he grew up in India and English was his 3rd language, Spanish his 6th. He said that English was one of the easiest languages to learn and believed that’s one of the reasons it’s a universal language. It kind of blew me away, actually.
"Words are to be taken seriously. I try to take seriously acts of language. Words set things in motion. I’ve seen them doing it. Words set up atmospheres, electrical fields, charges. I’ve felt them doing it. Words conjure. I try not to be careless about what I utter, write, sing. I’m careful about what I give voice to."
Toni Cade Bambara (via the-dreamtiger)
TCB on her impeccable word game!
"Black English is the creation of the black diaspora. Blacks came to the United States chained to each other, but from different tribes: Neither could speak the other’s language. If two black people, at that bitter hour of the world’s history, had been able to speak to each other, the institution of chattel slavery could never have lasted as long as it did. Subsequently, the slave was given, under the eye, and the gun, of his master, Congo Square, and the Bible—or in other words, and under these conditions, the slave began the formation of the black church, and it is within this unprecedented tabernacle that black English began to be formed.This was not, merely, as in the European example, the adoption of a foreign tongue, but an alchemy that transformed ancient elements into a new language: A language comes into existence by means of brutal necessity, and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey."
James Baldwin - If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? (via chocol8luv