English factoids: what is Germanic-only English like?

linguisten:

polyglottery:

One of my favourite aspects about English is how it really is a combination of other language families, namely Germanic, Latin, French and, of course, smörgåsbord*-servings of others. This versatility makes English an extremely flexible, but also difficult, language to learn — especially if you don’t already speak a Germanic or Latin language. 

image

— Origins of English, form the English language article on Wikipedia

My favourite demonstration of the mixed nature of English is the article “Uncleftish Beholding”, where Poul Anderson wrote about the basics of atomic theory using only Germanic words. 

Since so many scientific and academic terms have Latin and Greek roots, the essay reads very differently… for instance, instead of “atomic theory”, the title is “uncleftish beholding”, where cleft is a Germanic word for “division”. 

Here’s an extract:

For most of its being, mankind did not know what things are made of, but could only guess. With the growth of worldken, we began to learn, and today we have a beholding of stuff and work that watching bears out, both in the workstead and in daily life.

Here are some of his replacements:

  • "Chemical elements" -> "firststuffs"
  • "Hydrogen" -> "waterstuff"
  • "Oxygen" -> "sourstuff**"
  • "Helium" -> "sunstuff"
  • "Molecule" -> “bulkbit”
  • "Compound" -> “binding”

*See what I did there?

**Germanic speakers will be familair with e.g. the terms “Sauerstoff” (German), “zuurstof” (Dutch) and “syre” (Danish), which all have connotations with sourness or sharpness. 

Sauerstoff is exactly the same type of word formation as its model Oxygen in Greek; same with Helium and Hydrogen, they both contain the Greek roots for ‘sun’ and ‘water’. 

libutron:

Fornasini’s Spiny Reed Frog
Afrixalus fornasini (Hyperoliidae) is an african frog characterized by its color pattern, dark with broad light silverish dorsolateral bands from tip of snout to anus. The bands meet posteriorly, not anteriorly. About half the specimens in northern populations have the entire dorsum silverish white. 
Specimen shown is a female, no stripe morph.
The distribution recorded for this species is from coastal Kenya southward through eastern and southern Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe to coastal KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. 
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©James Vonesh
Locality: Amani Natural Reserve, Usambara, Tanzania

libutron:

Fornasini’s Spiny Reed Frog

Afrixalus fornasini (Hyperoliidae) is an african frog characterized by its color pattern, dark with broad light silverish dorsolateral bands from tip of snout to anus. The bands meet posteriorly, not anteriorly. About half the specimens in northern populations have the entire dorsum silverish white. 

Specimen shown is a female, no stripe morph.

The distribution recorded for this species is from coastal Kenya southward through eastern and southern Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe to coastal KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©James Vonesh

Locality: Amani Natural Reserve, Usambara, Tanzania

Reblogged from inthecreek

In the epigraph to Drown, Junot Diaz uses a quote from a Cuban poet, Gustavo Pérez Firmat—“The fact that I am writing to you in English already falsifies what I wanted to tell you.” This is the dilemma of the immigrant writer. If I’d lived in Haiti my whole life, I’d be writing these things in Creole. But these stories I am writing now are coming through me as a person who, though I travel to Haiti often, has lived in the U.S. for more than three decades now.

Often when you’re an immigrant writing in English, people think it’s primarily a commercial choice. But for many of us, it’s a choice that rises out of the circumstances of our lives. These are the tools I have at my disposal, based on my experiences. It’s a constant debate, not just in my community but in other communities as well. Where do you belong? You’re kind of one of us, but you now write in a different language. You’re told you don’t belong to American literature or you’re told you don’t belong to Haitian literature. Maybe there’s a place on the hyphen, as Julia Alvarez so brilliantly wrote in one of her essays. That middle generation, the people whose parents brought them to other countries as small children, or even people who were born to immigrant parents, maybe they can have their own literature too.

grilledcheese4evr:

It’s because white cis women are the only women allowed enough nuance of personality to afford not to perform femininity to the high degree that women of color or trans women have to in order to be respected. That’s why it’s cute and Feminist! if white cis girls have hairy legs while Mexican girls are made fun of for having lip hair

fuckcolonialism:

buffy-sainte-marie:

Buffy Sainte-Marie on the set of Sesame Street

"Sesame Street originally contacted me to say the alphabet. I said, “Have you ever done any aboriginal programming?” I worked with them for the next five and a half years, brought them to different reservations. They never tried to stereotype me. I taught the Count how to count in Cree. Just a year into Sesame Street I found out I was pregnant. I was doing three shows a day with a baby on my hip, I asked them, “What about doing a segment on breastfeeding?” Big Bird is sitting in his nest and I’m breast-feeding Cody. Big Bird said, “That’s a funny way to feed a baby.” I said, “It’s not the only way but he gets everything he needs and I get to cuddle him.” We were being seen by 72 countries three times a day. What an opportunity to make the world better.””


there’s been a popular gifset about that breastfeeding scene making the rounds on tumblr, and that’s great, but let’s remember the integral role buffy played in it (and on sesame street in general!)

fuckcolonialism:

buffy-sainte-marie:

Buffy Sainte-Marie on the set of Sesame Street

"Sesame Street originally contacted me to say the alphabet. I said, “Have you ever done any aboriginal programming?” I worked with them for the next five and a half years, brought them to different reservations. They never tried to stereotype me. 

I taught the Count how to count in Cree. Just a year into Sesame Street I found out I was pregnant. I was doing three shows a day with a baby on my hip, I asked them, “What about doing a segment on breastfeeding?” Big Bird is sitting in his nest and I’m breast-feeding Cody. Big Bird said, “That’s a funny way to feed a baby.” I said, “It’s not the only way but he gets everything he needs and I get to cuddle him.” We were being seen by 72 countries three times a day. What an opportunity to make the world better.””

there’s been a popular gifset about that breastfeeding scene making the rounds on tumblr, and that’s great, but let’s remember the integral role buffy played in it (and on sesame street in general!)

Reblogged from brokeinspades

libutron:

So We Finally Meet the Fringed Leaf Frog | ©Ryan L. Lynch
An amazing portrait of a Fringed Leaf Frog, Cruziohyla craspedopus (Hylidae) photographed by Ryan Lynch after 12 years of working as a Biologist in Ecuador.
This is a fairly large frog reaching up to 80mm in males and 87mm in females, the coloration is outstanding, ranging from green through to blue and even purple, which is mottled with pale blue patches. The underside is bright yellow and the flanks are broken up with black lines. The inner leg matches the flanks but they are only visable when the frog is mobile. 
C. craspedopus is a very elusive frog, rarely seen by humans, living high up in the canopy, so more than most frogs.
[Source]

libutron:

So We Finally Meet the Fringed Leaf Frog | ©Ryan L. Lynch

An amazing portrait of a Fringed Leaf Frog, Cruziohyla craspedopus (Hylidae) photographed by Ryan Lynch after 12 years of working as a Biologist in Ecuador.

This is a fairly large frog reaching up to 80mm in males and 87mm in females, the coloration is outstanding, ranging from green through to blue and even purple, which is mottled with pale blue patches. The underside is bright yellow and the flanks are broken up with black lines. The inner leg matches the flanks but they are only visable when the frog is mobile. 

C. craspedopus is a very elusive frog, rarely seen by humans, living high up in the canopy, so more than most frogs.

[Source]

Reblogged from inthecreek