10 November 2014

New words, English 3.0, hyperbole and more

The title may be a little lame, but the links are worth exploring:
  • Learning new words activates the same brain regions as sex and drugs
    Quote: "No wonder there are so many bookworms and scrabble addicts out there."
    Comment: So this is what keeps translators going hour after hour.
  • The internet is actually making language better, not worse.
    Quote: "English 3.0 reveals that every time there's a technological innovation, 'it expands the expressive richness of the language in a way that wasn’t there before.' "
    Comment: Agree entirely.
  • It pays to keep up with the arms race of exaggeration by Sam Leith.
    Quotes: "It is not that anyone believes the hyperbole – it is simply that in an arms race of exaggeration, you cannot afford to fall behind." "Hyperbole is the baseline."
    Comment 1: This sensation (one cannot afford to fall behind) corresponds precisely to what I feel when tempted to add an adjective or adverb in certain contexts. It amounts, I suppose, to a form of peer pressure.
    Comment 2: The baseline that Sam Leith refers to may also explain another sensation that I often experience when drafting translations of technical journalism. I refer to what might be called baseline rhythms and patterns. Regular readers of, say, defence journalism get used to a certain sprinkling and density of adjectives and adverbs.
    I'll have to come back to this. It's a bigger topic that one might assume at first glance.

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