All posts by Steve the vagabond

Hi, I created Silly Linguistics. If you like life on the silly side, you have found just the right place

Mental illness

I wanted to take a break from the language to write about something that affects my life and the lives of many people around the world.

When someone breaks their leg, no one says “Walk it off, it will get better eventually. Suck it up, it’s just a bit of leg pain”

So why do people do this for mental illness? There seems to be this weird idea out there that the brain is somehow different. I suppose it makes sense. The brain is the seat of the soul, emotions and personality. It’s what makes us human.

But it is an organ just like any other. And it can get worn out.

Your leg can get injured. Your arm can get injured. All organs can suffer damage. And the brain is unfortunately exactly the same in this regard.

If you are stressed for too long, in a bad situation, no hope for things getting better, your brain can get overworked and tired. Eventually things stop working. You lose your appetite, and the once vibrant colours in your life turn to grey. You might eventually even forget who you are.

I think because our minds are such a central part of our lives, there is a lot of superstition and misinformation about it because it is scary to look for the actual truth. We want to believe that we can last forever.

We want to believe we can trail every path and conquer every mountain. Maybe we can, but not if we do it the wrong way, and definitely not if you are already stressed and worn out.

If your leg is break, you take the weight off it. If you are tired, sad and worn out, give your mind a break. The stigma around mental illness is lessening as we understand it better.

I hope that anyone who may be suffering out there sees this message and realises it’s not their fault. If they had a medical problem with some other part of their body, they would get it sorted out. But there is so much hanging around our ideas of the mind.

If you are suffering, please get some help from a professional. You are not a failure for reaching out. Actually, it is a sign of strength. Facing the truth can be hard, but it will get better in the end.

I lived my own delusion for too long, and I can’t believe the places my life is going now that I have broken through to reality.

I hope everyone who reads this has a great day, and please let everyone you know that is suffering that there is no shame in getting help

Steve the vagabond (but my friends call me Rolf)

Frisian, the closest relative to English

Frisian is the language outside of the British Isles that is the closest relative of English

It is my kat
It is my cat

It is in griene doar
It is a green door

Ik haw brea
I have bread

Ik hear dy
I hear you

Wat is jo namme
What is your name

English diverged a lot after the Norman invasion and Frisian has been influenced by Dutch, but even a thousand years later, we can still see both are very much Germanic and are very similar in some sentences

The origin of the word “blood”

The word “blood” comes from Old English “blod” which comes from Proto Germanic *blodam and both of those mean “blood”. However, *blodam is descended from Proto Indo European *bhlo-to- which means “to swell, gush, spurt”. The word “blood” is descended from a completely different word that other Indo European languages.

“blood” in Latin is “sanguis” which gave us French “sang” and Italian “sangue”. This word comes from Proto Indo European *h₁sh₂-én- (by the way, h₁ and h₂ represent two consonant produced in the general area of the larynx but linguists are not certain where exactly, so they are simply written as h₁ and h₂). It is cognate with Sanskrit “असृज् “‎ (asrj) and Ancient Greek “ἔαρ” ‎(éar).

In very common words such as numbers, there is a huge amount of similarity
Note: t and d are pronounced in the same place in the mouth, only voicing is different. Sometimes only voicing changes between two different stages of a languages evolution

English – two
Afrikaans – twee
Swedish – två
German – zwei

Portuguese – dois
Spanish – dos
Catalan – dos
French – deux

Breton – daou
Irish Gaelic – dó
Scottish Gaelic – dà

Russian – dva
Polish – dwa
Bulgarian – dva

Autocorrect: A Love/Hate Story

By Patience Kelly

Ah autocorrect, turning our swears into fluffy animals, and our fluffy animals into, well, other words for years. It turns good spellers into bad ones, and makes bad ones look like they are all but illiterate. It’s meant for ease of typing, obviously, to fix things like capital letters, and the most common mistakes people make on a keyboard, once people started using it, they realized the hilarity that could ensue, replacing “yes” with “hell yeah” or their own names with some other silly combination of words.

And of course, we all know of the great debate between whether the age of social media is killing our language, and communication, when the most likely answer, is that it exists in a realm of its own; being its own language. Hell, the internet is basically an entirely different culture, so of course it created its own language, but I digress.

According to some linguists, autocorrect is saving the English language, with fixes like apostrophe’s and changing tho to though, but reading through the article, I can’t help but to feel like autocorrect is in some way a language purist. Although, it has gotten used to capitalizing my name (Patience) and coz instead of cuz or because, it still refuses to let me use little letters for ok, and most of the time I find myself individually typing each word or phrase instead of swiping or using autocorrect.

Per the same article, new versions, and ideas for T9 (texting technology) include things like correct verb conjugation, which to me raises even more questions, will things like this in other languages be as fluid and true in a grammatical sense, making it conceivably easier to learn language through texting and other techno-savy means? Will having that safety net make it easier to be a bad speller, and a bad conjugator? And will the ‘language purists” of both the real world and software land be harsher on technology lingo or will they ever let it go and let the internet, and texting talk, communicate, interact, and socialize the way it wants to?

Maybe we’ll get the answers we’re looking for soon, but for now we will have to rest in the fact that in Word, our I before e except after c mistakes will always be fixed, and texting with our phones will always be hilarious.

The Art of Silence

By Patience Kelly

Non-Verbal Communication and Linguistics

Non-Verbal communication can be defined as communication through wordless clues and can include things like; clothing, uses of time like waiting and pausing, touch in communication, body language like foot tapping, nodding, shrugging, waving and other body movement, things like limping and running, facial expressions, eye movements, smell, voice quality, silence, mumbling, speed, tone, volume, posture, position of body, and uses of space.

Languages such as American sign language have been around since the 17th century. Native Americans used signed language systems before 1492, in the 1500 the Turkish Ottoman court were using signed communication. In Ancient Rome, many men were known for their art of public speaking, and followed strict rules of gesture and even which hands to use in public speaking. The crowd understood the meanings of these gestures, and the messages were respected by all.

In the 1980’s a group of deaf children in Nicaragua came together and created their own form of sign language, completed with syntax, and linguists were allowed to see the birth of a language for the first time.

Non-verbal communication accounts for as much as two thirds of all communication, and is arguably the most important part of any conversation. The nuances of silence, or how a look between people who have known each other for years can communicate hours of spoken conversation. Even things like handwriting and page layout can make a statement about how a person communicates, and who they are as a person.