South Africans are infamous for giving bad directions, according people who are new to our beautiful country. They claim things like, “I was looking but I didn’t see any robots. I couldn’t find the turn off.” We take it for granted that ‘robot’ is exclusively used in South Africa as interchangeable with traffic light.
This rings true for different English-speaking countries, just look at the differences between American and British English. Cookies or biscuits? Candy or sweets? Jello or jelly? Ok, I’m going to stop listing these since I’m getting hungry. The point is, within the same language, there are many different words used for the same thing, and some of these depend on where you’re from. Linguists call theses regional dialects. Continue reading “Lekker/Lucker South African Speech”
On Friday, 7 April 2017, academic and human rights activist, Dr Stella Nyanzi, was arrested for “cyber bullying” Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni. This caused a stir on social media, with the hashtags #PairofButtocks and #FreeStellaNyanzi trending in Uganda shortly thereafter.
Continue reading “‘Baby Got Back’: Nyanzi arrested for calling Ugandan President a ‘pair of buttocks’”
I keep a linguistics notebook for everything interesting that I hear people say. I usually forget to write in it, but when I do, I end up documenting some of my favourite utterances. It ranges from typos while texting to strange pronunciations or spoonerisms. Often, these things make me giggle and get ridiculously excited, but no one around me feels that rush.
I’d like to share some of my findings with you, so that you might understand why I do this and what makes it so fun. Continue reading “Pull the Cat Out of the Bag”