Archive for February, 2009


YouTube may be a competitor to Wikipedia as one of the most massively multilingual sites on the web.

Many people who comment there don’t seem to care that English is the lingua franca of the web. They just write in Russian, Portuguese, Indonesian, Catalan and Croatian and it creates a soup of languages. And that is a Very Good Thing. It makes languages seen and promotes tolerance. Variety and tolerance are mighty good.


I saw a Hebrew speaker typing the word “mistypiping” in an email. She meant to type “mistyping”. Unintended contextual humor.

I told her that “typo” is the usual English word. “Mistyping” exists: it appears in Merriam-Webster’s list of words with the mis- prefix and Oxford English Dictionary says that it exists since 1977. But it is obviously rare.

She eventually wrote “typo”, but wasn’t too happy about it. She said that it’s the first time that she sees the word “typo”, and it would be much harder for her to understand it if she received it in an email.

If you love Esperanto, you must be really happy now to be reading this, as this is exactly how Esperanto works, or at least supposed to work: as few roots as possible and as much regularity in prefixes and suffixes as possible.


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