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Where did numbers get their names?

Where did numbers get their names? I'm asking particularly of English, but I'm guessing the answer goes back pretty far linguistically.
posted by squaregear on Jan 16, 2012 - 19 answers

It is what it is

When people say, "It is what it is", what do they mean? What does that mean? [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind on Jan 16, 2012 - 58 answers

I'm going down to AskMeFi to get some answers

When do you say 'going down to X' and when do you say 'going up to X' in the context of geography? Do you have a system? For example do you say going up when you going North? For example we are going up to Sydney from Melbourne. Or do you use the rough height of the places? [more inside]
posted by sien on Jan 13, 2012 - 63 answers

Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth

What words have you made up that you use regularly? [more inside]
posted by holdkris99 on Jan 13, 2012 - 209 answers

How well does Rosetta Stone's speech recognition instant feedback work?

People who have used Rosetta Stone: how well does the software's speech recognition instant feedback work? [more inside]
posted by kosmonaut on Jan 12, 2012 - 8 answers

Aunt In-Law Once Removed?

What do you call your brother-in-law's mom? [more inside]
posted by janelikes on Jan 10, 2012 - 36 answers

Lost in Transiliteration

Help my package not get lost in transliteration! How do I address (Roman or Cyrillic) a package to Moscow? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Jan 8, 2012 - 7 answers

Where can I find an evening Chinese class or teacher/mentor in Los Angeles?

Where can I find an evening Chinese class or teacher/mentor in Los Angeles? [more inside]
posted by xtine on Jan 6, 2012 - 4 answers

How would a Cockney pronounce "Battlestar Galactica"?

How would a Cockney pronounce "Battlestar Galactica"?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jan 4, 2012 - 21 answers

German courses in Germany for children?

I'm hoping to visit German or Austria in the summer of 2011 and would like my two children, aged five and eight, to enrol in a language course while we're there. The Internet isn't turning up much, at least on English language searches. Any ideas/recommendations for schools/locations would be gratefully received.
posted by Holly on Jan 4, 2012 - 3 answers

How Do I Cram for a German Placement Test?

How do I shake off the rust and review four years of German language and grammar in a short time period? [more inside]
posted by Atarah on Dec 29, 2011 - 6 answers

The opposite of homonym? But not really?

Is there a word describing 2 words that sound the same but mean the opposite? And are there any more? [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Dec 28, 2011 - 12 answers

It's FUBAR, sir! Stay frosty, private!

FUBAR, SNAFU, any others? Do other languages have acronyms that have become embedded words within their vernacular? [more inside]
posted by rich on Dec 21, 2011 - 61 answers

In nose range?

I want to indicate that something is close enough to smell, but I want to do so in a way that matches these examples: "in sight" for close enough to see, "in reach" for close enough to touch, and "in earshot" for close enough to hear. I keep thinking there must be a simple and obvious way to phrase it, but right now I'm drawing a blank.
posted by amyms on Dec 20, 2011 - 29 answers

How do I pimp my resume in English ?

I'm french-speaking, possible new job needs my resume in English. Please help me pimp my resume. [more inside]
posted by Baud on Dec 13, 2011 - 6 answers

Help Me Graph Abstract Points in Space with Just Distances

MathFilter: Help me calculate the location of points with lots and lots of distances. [more inside]
posted by petiteviolette on Dec 12, 2011 - 31 answers

French language songs in Spotify

Calling all francophile music lovers: recommendations for modern french language songs. [more inside]
posted by inbetweener on Dec 11, 2011 - 53 answers

You say ukuleleist; I say ukulelist.

Question for the language types: which is correct, ukuleleist, or ukulelist? [more inside]
posted by chez shoes on Dec 8, 2011 - 19 answers

Did my German ancestors really need to know that much English?

Do immigrants need a higher level of proficiency in English to get along in the world today than our ancestors did when they immigrated? [more inside]
posted by christinetheslp on Dec 7, 2011 - 19 answers

Je ne sais pas comment le dire en Kreyol.

If I were at a stop on a tour, or at a museum, what is the right word in Kreyol (Haitian Creole)? [more inside]
posted by droplet on Dec 7, 2011 - 2 answers

Looking for reading list suggestions for automatic topic/concept matching

Looking for reading list suggestions and search terms for fuzzy concept matching: given a list of topics, some of which might be defined by synonyms, how do you match to more exact concepts? I'm guessing that this is a natural language processing (NLP) or semantic web question but I might be wrong. [more inside]
posted by handee on Dec 6, 2011 - 1 answer

New one-main-person business website: "I" or "We"?

After nearly a year of being unemployed and looking for that perfect job, I've decided instead to start my own business. It is set up as a sole proprietorship, but I will be collaborating with a bunch of fellow freelancers as their services become necessary (video editors, etc). On my website (which is set up as the name of my company), I have been using "we" to describe the work. "We have ten years of experience" "We have a specific passion for telling stories", etc. I'm not trying to fool anyone (my "about us" page basically says "this company is SoftLord, and also other awesome freelance partners"), but I'm having a difficult time figuring out the proper language to use. I've been going back and forth on this with fellow solopreneurs (yeah, I know) and there hasn't been any consensus. Is this disingenuous? Should I be using "I" instead? Snowflake inside. [more inside]
posted by softlord on Dec 4, 2011 - 25 answers

High Speed Dubbing

When dubbing English language TV shows/movies, does the same actor voice the same actor's roles? Or does, say, Tom Cruise have a different German voice in each movie? [more inside]
posted by mippy on Dec 3, 2011 - 17 answers

Was I hacked?

Why did google.com change to google.ne on my laptop? [more inside]
posted by Linnee on Nov 25, 2011 - 6 answers

Touch Screen Communication Devices for Aphasia.

Experiences with, or recommendations for, a touch screen communication device for aphasia? [more inside]
posted by StickyCarpet on Nov 23, 2011 - 3 answers

Toddler being raised with two languages

My 2-year-old daughter is growing up in a two-language household. Any advice on ensuring a balanced retention of vocabulary? [more inside]
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Nov 22, 2011 - 19 answers

Words

What’s a sure-fire way of knowing the difference between “their” and there; I always end up getting confused between the two. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Nov 21, 2011 - 19 answers

Clearly, it's pronounced "kisskshhh of ex"

How do you pronounce the hyperbolic trigonometric functions? [more inside]
posted by King Bee on Nov 19, 2011 - 21 answers

Language, Literacy, let's call the whole thing off.

What are some language activities for ESL students when using chapter books. [more inside]
posted by kathrynm on Nov 18, 2011 - 2 answers

Improve my elocution!

How can I work on a more "natural" delivery (emphasis, pitch, etc.) when reading books aloud? [more inside]
posted by yersinia on Nov 16, 2011 - 9 answers

it was so beautiful it hurt

Do you know any fiction/nonfiction/poetry that has beautiful, aching language? [more inside]
posted by pleasebekind on Nov 13, 2011 - 66 answers

How to save money and enjoy a trip to Bremen, Germany?

Planning to attend a language course in Bremen, Germany early next year. Need extensive MeFi advice/help! [more inside]
posted by naskar on Nov 12, 2011 - 14 answers

Hope Me. What does it mean?

What does "Hope me" mean? [more inside]
posted by JayRwv on Nov 11, 2011 - 5 answers

Help me answer this support question in Japanese.

Help me answer this support question in Japanese. [more inside]
posted by artlung on Nov 11, 2011 - 8 answers

May the sun never set on new zealand

Can anyone give me a rough translation of the Haka in Latin? [more inside]
posted by evil_esto on Nov 4, 2011 - 13 answers

Ordering a list of languages

Language fans: is this the most logical way to order a list of languages? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Nov 2, 2011 - 22 answers

To be, or not to be: this is (part of) the question . . .

TL;DR in advance: English MA grad, wondering what to do with his life. A lot [more inside]
posted by exlotuseater on Nov 1, 2011 - 6 answers

".cPr" instead of ".com" - what gives?

The user's actual email address ends with ".com", but it is POST'ed to the application as ".cPr". This has happened with multiple users. Any ideas on what would cause that? [more inside]
posted by foggy out there now on Oct 26, 2011 - 14 answers

Help me understand El Duende.

Latin American people and/or people who have studied Latin American lore/mythology and/or art: I need to know all about the phrase "El duende", or "duende". [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume on Oct 25, 2011 - 9 answers

How can I best use ebooks (and ebook readers) to learn German and Spanish?

How can I best use ebooks (and ebook readers) to learn German and Spanish? I live in Canada. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Oct 24, 2011 - 8 answers

Thank you kindly

I have lived and worked with a lot of people from different places around the world. From one of these people I have picked up the habit of saying "Thank you kindly" instead of simply "Thank you". Is there a country or region where this is particularly common? [more inside]
posted by alby on Oct 15, 2011 - 21 answers

A better word for "work"?

Is there a better and more positive word to describe "work". [more inside]
posted by stenoboy on Oct 11, 2011 - 28 answers

I need a term for something that is an example of itself

Is there a term for when a word or piece of media or other undefined thing is an example of itself? [more inside]
posted by FritoKAL on Oct 11, 2011 - 15 answers

Why do people in German-dubbed Hollywood movies use the second-person plural so strangely?

Why do people in German dubs of American movies use the second-person plural form of the verb so strangely? They often use it in place of either the polite form or just the second-person singular, z.b. in the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Commodore says to Will Turner (just Will Turner), "Ihr seid kein Seemann." What? [more inside]
posted by colfax on Oct 9, 2011 - 8 answers

Grinds or Grounds?

Coffee grounds or coffee grinds? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Oct 7, 2011 - 49 answers

Help me learn Spanish!

How can I most effectively learn a language (specifically Spanish) while in a college Spanish class? [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l on Oct 5, 2011 - 20 answers

All-Korean podcasts for Korean-language learning?

Which entertaining Korean-language podcasts intended for native speakers can best help a Korean-learner improve his listening skills? [more inside]
posted by colinmarshall on Oct 4, 2011 - 3 answers

What are the best websites out there?

If I had never seen the internet before, where would you direct me in 2011? What are the best news, film, music, art, fashion, history, technology, gossip, sports websites and blogs out there? [more inside]
posted by maca on Oct 3, 2011 - 14 answers

Please Help Me with a Word

Is there a common English word or a technical term that names the process of taking a page or picture from the real world to the virtual? In other words, if I took a physical page and, with a scanner or camera, turned it into a file on my computer; what would you call that action?
posted by millerizer on Oct 2, 2011 - 21 answers

I've been caled a lot of things, but nothing I would call a name.

My younger brother is doing a Peace Corp stint in Senegal. His host family (with whom he's staying while he learns the language) has taken to calling him by the name of their son of the same age. While I'm sure this is a gesture of welcoming, I find it very odd. Is this customary? What's the convention and where does it come from. [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah on Oct 1, 2011 - 8 answers

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