Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav


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How can you distinguish between ‘two’, ‘to’, or ‘too’?

Apart from the context (which is the biggest clue), there is slight, but detectable difference in length:

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The importance of rhythm (or why Trump won the elections)

This is a very topical question, which I happened to touch upon in a recent post of my Hebrew blog, as it concerns the importance of rhythm in language .

Trump clearly twigged many years ago that the characteristic meter of English speech is the trochee (an element comprising a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one)—as in the words mother, father, daughter, other, Anglo-Saxon, etc.—and that native English speakers subconsciously prefer it, and short Anglo-Saxon English words, to the meters and long words of other origin. He’s been exploiting this to pitch sales and close deals ever since.

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