August 4, 2011
by Graham

Nordic languages

The Germanic group of Indo-European languages split into three sub-groups – East, West and North Germanic. East Germanic, now extinct, included Gothic, in which the earliest  example of a Germanic language in writing – the extracts from the Bible translated … Continue reading

July 24, 2011
by Graham


The tragic and shocking news from Norway in the last days has brought the name of this formerly insignificant island in a lake not far from Oslo to the world’s attention. The name means “the outer island”, illustrating the Scandinavian … Continue reading

July 7, 2011
by Graham

Phonetic twaddle

I’ve just come across this, entitled “Learning Pronunciation with Dictionary IPA” and was appalled. Macquarie University is quite rightly acclaimed as the home of the standard Dictionary for Australian English, which you would think would entitle users of the language … Continue reading

June 12, 2011
by Graham
1 Comment

The unwisdom of prophecy

“Citoyens, le dix-neuvième siècle est grand, mais le vingtième siècle sera heureux. Alors plus rien de semblable à la vieille histoire; on n’aura plus à craindre, comme aujourd’hui, une conquête, une invasion, une usurpation, une rivalité de nations à main … Continue reading