March 2004 Archives
UNESCO's Red Book on Endangered Languages paints a grim picture for many small languages:
In Europe, there 9 languages listed as nearly extinct, with 26 in serious danger and a further 38 in danger.
In North-East Asia, 2 are possibly extinct, 19 nearly extinct, 8 in serious danger and 13 more in danger.
The situation in Africa, South America and Asia and Pacific seems to be worse.
One supermarket in the UK changed the signs for its Express Till from 10 items or less to 10 items or fewer. For some reason it has decided to change back to the original wording. When they changed, I wondered whether it was in response to complaints from the public. Now I have no idea why they have changed back.
On the radio today, someone used the word meretricious with the intended meaning of 'deserving' or 'worthy'. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says that it means 'showily but falsely attractive' or 'of or befitting a prostitute'. I wonder what the speaker would think if he actually knew this.