I’m in a mad deadline rush, but I wanted to point you towards a fascinating post at Far Outliers quoting English on the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands, by Daniel Long:

It is a little known linguistic fact that among a group of Western Pacific islands English is maintained as a community language of the indigenous population. These are the Bonin Islands. Today, these islands (also called Ogasawara Islands) are part of Japan and their population, Japanese citizens, but the English language has survived there, as both a tool of communication and a marker of their unique identity…

In the 170-year linguistic history of the Bonin Islands, the dominant language has shifted from English (from 1830) to Japanese (1876), back to English (1946), and back again to Japanese (1968).

Also, MMcM has made another of his much-awaited posts (warding off any complaints about the two-month delay with “Some of the spare time allocated for posting here got used last month for gazpacho and shark over at LH”). This one is Kookoo, the name of a Persian “thick filled omelet, cut into squares, along the lines of Italian frittata or Spanish (not Mexican) tortilla“; much of the post is devoted to an analysis of the history of words for ‘spinach’ in MMcM’s patented style, with extensive quotations from works in various languages and lots of tasty etymology. And as usual after exposure to the Polyglot Vegetarian, I’m hungry, and I’m wishing there was a Persian restaurant in town.


  1. Jess Bonin says

    i think its awesome that my last name is an island

  2. Inasmuch as the name of the Bonin Islands means ‘no-person’ (indicating they had been uninhabited), they constitute one more piece of evidence that no man is an island (apart from one Man in the Irish Sea).

  3. xiaolongnu says

    No man is an island, but Eugene is a city in Oregon.

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