I’ve recently discovered (via Sashura) Olga Kagan’s new blog The Fun of Language and the Language of Fun, which has only been in existence for a week; the Welcome post says “This blog will be devoted to various exciting topics that are related to language, and I am planning to begin with two more specific topics – animal communication and humor.” I’m not all that interested in animal communication, but I do enjoy humor, and yesterday’s post, Homonymy in Russian Jokes about Stierlitz, is very funny indeed if you know Russian. If you don’t, she explains the jokes for you, but as she says, “when a joke based on homonymy is translated and then explained, the result is not funny at all.” But in general, her posts don’t require knowledge of other languages; Polysemy in Winnie-the-Pooh and Other Stories, the follow-up to the homonymy post, is a good example. In any case, welcome to the blogosphere, Olga!


  1. “Diamonds for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” (via) is so perfect a title for the first novel in a series about “the Soviet James Bond” that I half-suspect that some Wikipedia editor was just having a laugh.

  2. Those without Russian (like me) might find this a little easier going:
    According to rumor, putting Seventeen Moments of Spring on television was the idea of Yuri Andropov of all people, trying to make the intelligence folk look a little less brutal.
    Moreover, it’s to be found on Youtube with English subtitles.
    As to novel, it was translated into English and can be had, but at a price.
    For the real thing – Russian Spies in Germany, I mean – look to Richard Sorge (who is the subject of a Japanese movie – the fellow got around. Trailer available here: )

  3. not bad! thank you for your kindly shring!

  4. thank you for your kindly shring!
    The shring only looks kindly, be very afraid.

  5. Thank you!

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