English Language Laboratory


International Horn Sounds [chapmangamo]

Previously: International Phone Sounds

Quantifier Scope Jokes


From a recent tweet by James Martin: 

A woman gives birth in the UK every 48 seconds. She must be exhausted.

Which reminded me of a recent conversation I had about the surprisingly dangerous skills of deer: 

Every year, somebody’s dog gets killed by a deer. It’s always the same person. They never learn. You just shouldn’t have a Chihuahua in Churchill, Manitoba

Obviously, the original intention is for neither the same woman nor the same dog owner, and the humour comes from violating this expectation, but why are both readings available in the first place? 

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This post has been sitting in my draft pile for a while. It was initially just based on personal introspection. I had come to realise that one easy give away when I’m annoyed is that I’ll preface a request or suggestion with ‘dude’:

dude, can you please turn that music down

dude, we’re going…

Bother is such a British word. It sounds so funny when you say it over and over again.

Bother is such a British word. It sounds so funny when you say it over and over again.


Have you ever wondered how male bovine excrement became synonymous with boldfaced nonsense?

Most would say, “Well, because it smells,” but why bulls in particular? Perhaps bull pies are a particularly smelly brand of animal waste.

As it happens, bull, as a synonym for deceitful foolishness,…


oh verbs, ur so silly


oh verbs, ur so silly


This person wrote “publically” instead of publicly, which almost made me not want to repost this article, but alas here it is.

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
Toni Morrison (via liberatingreality)


Number ten is pure gold.


And, well…it’s hard to believe, but I know….five or six native Esperanto speakers. And I bet there are lots of them over the world.

This text is in english, but there you can find the original text in Esperanto…


Etymology Man


Etymology Man