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How army rankings translate to civilian middle management

Crikey readers have their say on terror threat levels, the real meaning of “moomba” and other issues of the day.

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King hit or coward’s punch: the language of violence and why it matters

Assault victim Daniel Christie’s family has argued the term “king hit” should be changed to “coward’s punch”. Crikey intern Broede Carmody looks at the arguments for and against the change.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Footyglots: Aussie Rules goes multilingual

This weekend’s AFL grand final will have commentary in 11 different languages, thanks to Footify — an unlikely campaign funded by NAB.

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James Button on the death of the campaign speech

As the election campaign winds up, former political speechwriter James Button speaks to Crikey on the death of the campaign speech, the dangers of language, and why politicians steer clear of poetry.

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Crikey Blogs | FEDERAL|

Misogyny: a conspiracy theory

If you compare Macquarie Dictionary’s reasoning for changing the definition of misogyny to the reporting that followed, you can literally see political spin happening at the smallest level, says Aidan Wilson.

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Crikey Blogs | FEDERAL|

Macquarie, misogyny and men who hate women

Julia Gillard has been criticised for changing the definition of misogynist to suit her attack on Tony Abbott. Now, Macquarie Dictionary have updated their entry for “misogyny”. Coincidence? Will Steed and Aidan Wilson investigate.

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Indigenous, Aboriginal or Aborigine? It’s not black and white

Indigenous Australian, Aborigine, Aboriginal, blacks — unpicking the terminology around how Australia’s first people are reported in the media means navigating a minefield packed with political explosives.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Want to learn an Aboriginal language from Western Arnhem Land?

Through the Bininj Gunwok Language Project, you can now subscribe to an email list and receive regular bits of vocab, grammatical info and more, in order to teach more people about ne of the nation’s strongest indigenous languages, writes Greg Dickson.

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Psychology Today | BOOKS|

10 words for relationships that don’t translate into English

How do you describe the euphoria in early love or the feeling of running your hands through someone’s hair? It sounds cheesy, but Pamela Haag shows just where English fails when it comes to describing relationships.

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Can the media call indigenous Australians ‘blacks’?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, aborigines, Indigenous Australians: it can be difficult for media organisations to know what terms are appropriate when writing stories about Australia’s first inhabitants.

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Uranium’s uncertain future

Crikey readers have their say.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

An archbishop, an imam and a linguist walk into a tax office…

There’s been some recent discussion on a linguist mailing list about how to fill out an eTax form, writes linguist Piers Kelly.

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Crikey Blogs | EUROPE|

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freak

There has been much recent criticism of the analysis of the Norway massacre, particularly of the premature reporting of the atrocity as an Islamist terrorist attack. But “terrorist” is only a recent term, writes Piers Kelly.

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Crikey Blogs | EUROPE|

Breivik? It’s not a Muslim name

Shakira Hussein waits to hear the name of the perpetrator of each atrocity, bracing herself against the inevitable backlash if it should be a Muslim name. But, says Hussein, we need to break this mood of instinctive defensiveness.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

The salubrious use of the word ‘salubrious’

Despite what you may think, the word ‘salubrious’ means healthy, not dodgy. But has this contrary ironic use of the term actually reversed its meaning? asks Piers Kelly.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

A f#@%ing stupid law

It’s unbelievable that Victoria still has legislation against offensive behaviour and ‘obscene’ language. Six months imprisonment for thrice singing an obscene ballad? Jesus fucking christ! says Aidan Wilson.

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Salon | LINKS|

Why do we keep calling Osama ‘Obama’?

It’s a trap that journalists — and the Crikey office is not immune — have been falling into all week: accidentally saying “Obama” not “Osama”. Linguists explain why it happens and it’s not just that they sound similar.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

No pimping this ride

Language nerds test the smut filter at the Roads and Traffic Authority, by attempting to purchase number plates that use dirty foreign words. What swear words make it through?

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

No pimping this ride

An extraordinary story appeared yesterday morning concerning a minor dispute between the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, and the owner of the personalised numberplate ‘Kiki’, writes Piers Kelly.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Pardon my French

Over the seven years of elementary school, 40 hours of French instruction per year add up to 280 hours. Yet, unfortunately these lessons are a waste, with the children gaining very little knowledge of another language. Ingrid Piller explains why

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Rex Hunt’s Translation Adventures

Rex Hunt’s Fishing Adventures always seemed like a fairly simple show. That is until Jay Martin was forced to translate it into Polish. How does “she’ll be off like a prawn in the sun” sound in Polish anyway?

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Hearts and darts

As you peruse ‘The Love Book’ in today’s tabloid newspapers, have a look at the romantic — and odd — Valentine’s Day language used back in Australian newspapers some 172 years ago, writes Piers Kelly.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Pavlovian response

It’s official. The great Aussie meringue dessert we know as a Pavlova, actually originated in New Zealand. But passions aside, none of this is really news. That’s been in the New Zealand Oxford dictionary for 13 years already, notes Piers Kelly.

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Crikey Blogs | JOURNALISM|

Delving into Fairfax’s “deep verticals”

A recent Fairfax email from Don Churchill discussed the development of “deep verticals”. Deep what? Piers Kelly delves into the archaic term. And it’s not all good news for Fairfax staff.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Why Melburnians speak funny

A curious transformation is happening to Victoria’s vowels, and it’s not going unnoticed. For a while now, many Victorians have been confusing “el” sounds with “al” sounds, so that celery sounds like salary, pellet like palate and telly like tally, explains Crikey’s Fully Sic. language blog.

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