GRIMM’S LAW—A WEIRD CHANGE IN LANGUAGE? Kids, Grimm’s Law is wonderful. It is useful; if you are trying to learn German it tells you how to remember lots of German words. It’s elegant; it works on so many words that it seems magical. Grimm’s Law is named after one of the Grimms that gave us Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Among other things, it says that words that in most Indo-European languages that begin with p, t, and k begin in Germanic languages with f, th, and h respectively. Pater in Latin becomes father in English (and vater, pronounced fater, in German); tres in Latin becomes three in English; and canis in Latin becomes hound in English. John McWhorter say that the changes described by Grimm’s Law are “weird.” It’s common for an Indo-European language to change the way Sicilian Italian has changed—unstressed vowels dropping off and “p” sounds becoming “b” sounds. He argues that it’s “weird” for a “p” sound to change to “f”—he can’t imagine “a generation starting to say “fopcorn” instead of “popcorn” or “thop” instead of “top.” He says that these changes “are not things your typical Indo-European language pulls.” And he has a theory as to how the changes happened.
- ULYSSES S. GRANT—-A CIVIL RIGHTS PRESIDENT. (2)
- DANIEL MURPHY’S GREAT HITTING CONTINUES. (2)
- WELLS FARGO—OVER 1.5 MILLION UNAUTHORIZED ACCOUNTS. (1)
- Nick: Meanwhile, it appears that all the employees terminated here were at as low a level as possible. Hard to...
- PEOPLE IN PANDA SUITS SOAKED IN PANDA URINE. (1)
- Nick: This reminds me of when Tanner, who worked at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans for a time, was explaining to me...
- THE PRECISE WORDS FOR DIFFERENT KINDS OF BOGS. (1)
- Dick Weisfelder: We just spent some time just off shore from Lewis in the Hebridies. An unseasonal winter-like storm...
- ‘WHAT IS A PLACEBO FOR DENTAL FLOSS?” (2)
- THE ROOMBA AND THE POOP. (1)
- Dick Weisfelder: A robot lawn mower, working on the random walk principle, mows our lawn in Sweden, even while we are...
- A LIMERICK ABOUT COMMUNISM BY AN HISTORIAN OF COMMUNISM. (1)
- Anonymous: Ha ha ha ,,, but seriously ,,, Wat destruction these evil doers left behind – comparable only to d...
- THE EFFECTS OF PLACEBOS ON PARTICULAR DISEASES. (2)
- Elmer: Why can’t statistical techniques be used to estimate a placebo “function” dependent on...