The art of Japanese punctuation

The art of Japanese punctuation

One might think that punctuation only serves to improve, clarify or enhance a sentence. While this is true, punctuation is also vital to meaning. Without punctuation, a sentence is nothing more than a confusing string of words. This is true of all languages, including...
A history of linguistic exchange between English and French

A history of linguistic exchange between English and French

France and England have a very rich but also very tumultuous shared history. The timeline is punctuated by wars and allegiances. Linguistically, of course, this frequent contact between the two countries has had an impact on both English and French…but not necessarily...
The use of periphrasis to designate languages

The use of periphrasis to designate languages

It is common knowledge that the French like to play with their language, and the French are particularly fond of using synonyms to embellish a text or avoid repetition. But when it comes to the names of languages, beyond ‘English’ or ‘the English language’ there are...
Words from other worlds

Words from other worlds

French is an extraordinary language. Notoriously complicated from a grammatical or syntactic point of view (not to mention the spelling!), it nonetheless offers an extremely rich and varied lexicon that can create various styles of expression, both orally and in...

The Ampersand

Three staccato syllables make up this curious word, which despite its outlandish inflections describes a character that is deeply familiar to us all: the & sign. The ultimate unifying symbol that denotes the coordinating conjunction ‘and’, the ampersand is...