Sunday, March 10, 2013

Note on The Mysterious Tintype of Oz


This book, The Mysterious Tintype of Oz has ISBN  9781301449255 
It is currently available in various e-book formats.
For example it can be found at Barnes & Noble at
     http://bit.ly/16koVBu   

On the new Oz series ‘The Hidden Chronicles of Oz’
 see: 
http://hiddenoz.blogspot.com/
http://tintypeofoz.blogspot.com/
http://balloontooz.blogspot.com/
http://acadonea.blogspot.com/



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wild Headline Ambiguity

Wild Headline Ambiguity

Around the turn of the century, Jeff Henning sent out a list of ambiguous headlines. He and I spent some time afterwards analyzing the various reasons for confusion.

The list is dated, but the linguistic problems with the English language remain. Most of these errors could be made in no language other than English.

Here is part of that list. These are actual headlines, innocently printed without a clue as to possible misinterpretation.


>>Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
>>Include your Children when Baking Cookies
>>Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
>>Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
>>Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
>>Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
>>Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
>>Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
>>Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
>>Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
>>Stud Tires Out
>>Farmer Bill Dies in House
>>Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
>>Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
>>Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
>>Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again
>>British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
>>Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
>>Eye Drops off Shelf
>>Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
>>Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
>>Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66
>>Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax
>>Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
>>Miners Refuse to Work after Death
>>Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
>>Stolen Painting Found by Tree
>>Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter
>>Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
>>Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
>>If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
>>Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
>>Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
>>Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
>>New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
>>Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
>>Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
>>Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
>>Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire
>>British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply
>>Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
>>Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees
>>New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
>>Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing
>>Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing Air
>>Prosecutor Releases Probe into Undersheriff
>>Old School Pillars are Replaced by Alumni
>>Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board
>>Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
>>Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction
>>You Can Put Pickles Up Yourself


Perhaps you can add some more recent examples.

Leo

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Balloon to Oz


Balloon to Oz, copyright 2012, soon to be published,
but first chapters are currently available for FREE,
at the end of the published Mysterious Tintype of Oz.

Use the same coupon to get this preview of the story
of the 17-year-old boy who sails off to Oz, later to
become ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.’

Use the same coupon at

Mysterious Tintype of Oz


The Acadon language is presented in the Hidden Chronicles of Oz.

While Acadon is designed for use in our humdrum world called Alpimar, it is also to be found among the elves of Erdavon, the magic world in which the Land of Oz exists.

Mysterious Tintype of Oz,
published February 2013





It will be listed at other e-book dealers as well.
                                  -- Price is $4.99
BUT UNTIL MARCH 19 YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE IF YOU USE THIS COUPON at SMASHWORDS
click
Enter: AA63E (not case sensitive)
100% off first month of issue
issued 2013-02-19; effective immediately; expiration date 2013-03-19 

Acadon in a Fantasy Context



The Acadon language is presented in the 
Hidden Chronicles of Oz


While Acadon is designed for use in our humdrum world called Alpimar, it is also to be found among the elves of Erdavon, the magic world in which the Land of Oz exists.

Two books of the Hidden Chronicles of Oz are on your way.


Mysterious Tintype of Oz,
published February 2013
Will be listed at other e-book dealers as well.
-- Price is $4.99
BUT UNTIL MARCH 19 YOU CAN DOWNLOADED IT FOR FREE IF YOU USE THIS COUPON at SMASHWORDS
click
Enter: AA63E (not case sensitive)
100% off during the first month of issue
issued 2013-02-19; effective immediately; expiration date 2013-03-19 




........

Balloon to Oz

Balloon to Oz, copyright 2012, soon to be published,
but first chapters are currently available for FREE,
at the end of the published Mysterious Tintype of Oz.

Use the same coupon to get this preview of the story
of the 17-year-old boy who sails off to Oz, later to
become ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.’

Use the coupon at



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Seven Basic Principles of Acadon

The Seven Basic Principles of Acadon:

Those involved in the design and presentation of Acadon have kept these basic principles in mind.

1) Acadon is itself -- unique and integral.

Acadon is not ‘experimental English,’ or ‘latter-day Latin,’ or ‘a kinder Klingon’ or ‘a new Esperanto.” It is only Acadon. If it seems different or even odd on first glance, so be it. Acadon marches to its own drummer.

2) Acadon is based on what Acadon can do.

Acadon seeks to universalize access to data and improve cross-cultural communication, and all design decisions must be performance-centered in that context. Acadon users do not exhort, only describe capabilities. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

3) Apply Occam's razor, but don't cut yourself on it.

All other things being equal, Acadon favors simplicity; yet it also promotes richness and complexity of expression -- if and when they serve established goals.

4) Chop through all Gordian knots.

If a problem has no theoretical solution, avoid its practical effects where possible. To minimize the effect of noisy channels and dissimilar linguistic habits, for example, Acadon simply avoids potentially confusing sounds at a word-by-word level.

5) Take all of the world's population into consideration.

As many users as possible should find as much familiar about Acadon as possible. To minimize the learning load, Acadon seeks the most widespread vocabulary items. No linguistic culture should be excluded simply because of current economic or educational factors. These vocabulary decisions cannot be made by any pre-established "mathematical formula" based on proportional representation for population size or by pre-selecting a
set of "major languages" for special treatment.

6) Acadon users should make no claims for Acadon that are not concrete and realistic.

Acadon must not be presented, for example, as a panacea for the political or moral problems of the world. It is a tool to deal with the linguistic dimensions of current international communication problems.

7) Recognize that Acadon cannot be perfect -- all languages have wobble.

Perfection is not a goal of the project. Acadon does not perfectly mirror reality; no language can. It will be sufficient for Acadon to be far better than English (or Chinese or Russian or Spanish ...) in a variety of ways of considerable economic and other practical value to its users.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is English becoming the world language?

Many people today believe that English is already the world language, or is in the position of becoming that. This is particularly true of English-speakers who have not travelled much, or who have kept to the equivalent of Hilton Hotels in their travels.

Let’s look at the facts.

There are perhaps 375 million native speakers of English, about five and a half percent of the world’s population, and most of its dialects are mutually intelligible.

That is very impressive.

Only two or three languages have more native speakers. Depending on how you count, these are Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish. Mandarin (also called Standard Chinese) stands out as the language of about 14% of us all. The exact percentage depends on whether you count all its dialects.

This 14% count includes the various sub-dialects of Mandarin, not other Chinese forms such as Cantonese, Hakka, or Taiwanese. If these persons are added (and most now have Mandarin as their second language) the ‘Chinese speaking’ figure is even more impressive, close to 20% of humanity.

[ Incidentally, I have written a book on variety within China: The Chinese Mosaic, currently out of print. ]

However, most observers around the world will agree that Chinese in any present-day form is not likely to become the world language. While its figures are far more than twice those of English, its distribution is not nearly as widespread.

English is widespread.

While some 60% of native speakers of English are North Americans, well over 15% are in the UK and Ireland, about 5% in Australia or New Zealand, perhaps 2% in Africa (primarily in South Africa or Nigeria.) In Asia, there are quite a few native speakers of English in places like the Philippines or Guam, even in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Native speakers of Arabic, Portuguese, and Bengali all run close to 4% each of the world population, once again depending on how you count dialects (particularly those of Arabic.)

But to evaluate the role of English, we must address the secondary users of languages, those with English as a second or third language—provided it is at a level of valuable use.

Some of the census figures are very impressive. Almost half of the population of Pakistan claim English as a second language. More than half in Nigeria and the Philippines.

For India, the figure is only about 12% as a second language, but more as a third language. Given the size of India’s population, those using English in India are more numerous than those in the United States or any other country.

Large numbers have a degree of command of English in places like Egypt, Bangladesh, and Japan. Everyday usage is exceedingly high in places far and wide, like Malta in the Mediterranean or Suriname in South America. And so it goes.

So many diverse places.

This global spread for a language is unprecedented.

So many diverse uses as well.

English is the worldwide language of air-traffic control and is easily available in most international airports. It is the commonest language for the conduct of international business. More than two-thirds of the world's scientists can read in English to some degree in their field. It dominates fields as diverse as astronomy, the cinema, diplomacy, most sport, popular music, and advertising.

Here are what I consider the two key facts (the exact numbers are only the commonly accepted estimates):

1) More than eighty per cent of the world's electronically stored information is in the English language.

2) About a billion persons who do not have a command of English are studying it today, typically in secondary schools.

......................

So then, is English already the ‘world language’ . . ?

.....................

Ah ha!

There are, perhaps, ‘flies in the ointment,’ as the saying goes.

Some population projections show the percentage of English speakers likely to decline in the face of more and more speakers of Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic. Some economic studies show the expansion of China, Brazil, India, Germany, Japan, and perhaps Russia to loom larger than that of the English-speaking nations.

But the unpredictable future is not the only problem.

It is already the fact that those in one country with some knowledge of English may not find it of much use with those in other countries. Thus, a Nigerian speaker of English may not understand a Japanese speaker of English.

Much of the prestige of English today is a reflection of the world position of the U.S.A. at the end of the Second World War and then at the end of the Cold War. The pretentions of Russian as the ‘future socialist world language’ collapsed. Free market economics made English essential for international ‘biznes’—even in Russia.

However, the disfavor of many nations with the policies of the Bush administration reminded us that the U.S. may not always enjoy this level of prestige. The U.S. position in the world economy and in fields like pop music, advertising, science, technology, and the internet, may not always be as impressive as it has been. Focus on the values of British culture has already faded to a degree within the former Empire.

Moreover, there is evidence that many who claim to speak English (in the census statistics above) do not have any well-rounded competence in it.

Does a taxi driver in Bangkok speak English because he can use it to get his rides from the airport to their hotels?

We will address some of this in a future entry.