"Like a bitch"?

The reaction to the video of Donald Trump's 2005 discussion with Billy Bush has focused primarily on its rape-culture aspects, including passages like this one:

Trump: I got to use some tictacs just in case I start kissing her
_______you know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful-
_______I just start kissing them

_______it's like a magnet just kiss
_______I don't even wait
_______and when you're a star they let you do it
_______you can do anything
Bush: whatever you want
Trump: grab em by the pussy
Bush: {laughs}
Trump: I can do anything

But I want to focus on one of Trump's phrases that's gotten less attention:

Trump: I moved on her like a bitch

When I first heard that, I thought Trump was using "'like a bitch" as a general-purpose intensifier applied to his own actions. But then I realized that canine similes are one of his favorite ways of dehumanizing others, and so he must have meant this one to apply to Nancy O'Dell, the woman that he "moved on" in this particular case.

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A non-apology for the ages

David Fahrenthold, "Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005", The Washington Post 10/7/2016:

Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.

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Gibberish Tibetan

Sign on an inn in Shangri-La, Yunnan, China:

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Nevada: "odd" or "add"?

"Trump Tells Nevadans How to Pronounce 'Nevada' … Incorrectly", ABCNews 10/5/2016:

Donald Trump raised some eyebrows in the Silver State Wednesday night when he told Nevadans how to pronounce their state's name — differently than they do.  

"Heroin overdoses are surging and meth overdoses in Nevada, Nuh-VAH-da," he told the crowd in Reno. "And you know what I said? I said when I came out here I said nobody says it the other day, has to be Nuh-VAH-da.  

"And if you don't say it correctly and it didn’t happen to me but it happened to a friend of mine he was killed."  

Generally, the state's name is pronounced Nuh-VAD-uh.


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Dialectal interference in Shanghai

Here's a photo of a warehouse on Chongming Island, at the northern edge of Shanghai, which deals in various agricultural products, as listed on the two signs:


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Open Access Handbooks in Linguistics!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrung my hands on Facebook over the proliferation of commercial publishers' Handbooks of Linguistics. These are usually priced out of individuals' budgets, being sold mostly to university libraries, and the thousands of hours of work poured into them by dedicated linguists are often lost behind a paywall, inaccessible to many of the people who would most like to read them.

That post prompted a flood of urgent discussion; it seemed like this was a thought that was being simultaneously had around the world. (Indeed, Kai von Fintel had posted the identical thought about six months prior; probably that butterfly was the ultimate cause of the veritable hurricane  that erupted on my feed.)

Long story short, a few weeks later we now have a proto-editorial board and are on to the next steps of identifying a venue and a business model for the series. Please check out our announcement below the fold, and follow along on our blog for updates as the series develops!

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A Sanskrit tattoo in Hong Kong

This is Yau Wai-ching 游蕙禎 (b. 1991), a member of the localist political group Youngspiration and a newly elected member of Hong Kong's Legco (Legislative Council):

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iPhone in China

Q:  How do you say "iPhone 7" and "iPhone 7 Plus" in Chinese?

A:  "iPhone 7" and "iPhone 7 Plus".

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Negative concord at the New Republic?

Jess Row, "What Are White Writers For?", The New Republic 9/30/2016:

It was around this time that I first realized something nonwhite writers learn almost by default: for a fiction writer to deny that fiction is in some way political—in the sense of existing in an inherently politicized world—is not only an act of bad faith but a kind of artistic failure. How can we not, as writers, grasp that our own political existence, our own subjectivity, our citizenship, our racial and cultural identities, and the arguments of our time, are not material for our art, that these things are in some sense not all part of one ongoing conversation?
 [emphasis added]

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Rudy off the island (constraint)?

Nick Rossoll, "Giuliani Says Trump Better For US ‘Than a Woman'", ABC News 10/2/2016:

Speaking of reports that Donald Trump claimed a $916 million loss on his 1995 income taxes, Giuliani said: “Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman, and the only thing she’s ever produced is a lot of work for the FBI checking out her emails?”

Rudy Giuliani has gotten a fair amount of flack for this comment, partly for describing losing $916 million as "economic genius", and partly for (apparently) saying that "a man … is a lot better for the United States than a woman". But John Cowan thinks that the second criticism is unfair, and Rudy is only guilty of stumbling into a syntactic "island violation" and getting out of it in an awkward way.

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Today's PHD Comics::

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Trumpchant in B flat

The opening phrase of Donald Trump's speech in Mannheim PA, 10/1/2016, was sung on a single well-controlled pitch:

The fundamental frequency of this monotone chant is about 238 Hz, to which the closest tempered pitch class, at concert A=440, would be the B flat below middle C at 233 Hz. And the next phrase is about a semitone lower, at about 218 Hz, pretty close to A 220:

I haven't heard this type of chanting before from Mr. Trump, or indeed from any other political figure. (But see "Trump's prosody", 8/8/2016, for a different sort of sing-song delivery…)

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Transcription of "Barack Obama", "Hillary Clinton", and "Donald Trump" in the Sinosphere

How do you write Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump's names in Chinese?

As it turns out, the answer may vary depending on whether the person you ask is from mainland China (ZH-CN), Hong Kong (ZH-HK), Macau (ZH-MO), Malaysia/Singapore (ZH-SG), or Taiwan (ZH-TW).

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