Around the Web: Fútebol, Untranslatables, Bookbinding, etc.

football, Brazil, soccer

Books About Language

Where did Yiddish come from? We may never know.

Before there was texting, there was shorthand. Here’s a handy article on how to write 225 words per minute with a pen.

Why do writers use fake names?

In February, Princeton University Press published the English edition of Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, edited by Barbara Cassin, a French philologist. As this review reminds us, “Defying the threat of unintelligibility, words emigrate quite happily from language to language.” This dictionary compiles over 400 concepts that haven’t emigrated smoothly, including the Portuguese saudade.

Related: does our native tongue shape how we think? John McWhorter’s controversial new book The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language says no.

Also: What can old paintings teach us about bookbinding? The British Library has the answer.


A roundup of novels for every remaining team in the World Cup.

Why are some Brazilians are upset with Spanish speakers who speak Portuguese with an accent?

And why do Americans call soccer “soccer”?


  1. Glenda -  July 17, 2014 - 11:16 pm

    I need a word that is synonym for unnecessary that would have been used by poor People in georgia in 1950

    • Jade den essien -  July 28, 2014 - 6:08 am

      Uncalled for

      • buttbutinthebut -  November 19, 2014 - 12:43 pm

        What’s the joke, I don’t get it.


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