The project that has been maturing for a while is finally going public: this blog is getting a makeover, with new name and a new layout.

The old design was seriously going on my nerves — it was time for a change. For the new one, I started from the idea of privileging legibility, with a simple one-column design and a lot of whitespace. The result is what you’re looking at.

This one should also behave better in Internet Explorer, though unsurprisingly it looks prettier in modern, standards-compliant browsers (Firefox or Opera, Safari etc.).

There are a number of small improvements: my lists of linguabloggers (cyberlings) and dictionaries on pages of their own, a better archive, a first implementation of bilingual titles, the tag cloud, summaries for monolingual posts in the feeds (RSS2.0 [en]RSS2.0 [fr]) … and as a special treat, David Romano’s plugin for entering phonetic characters in comments, after an idea by Eric Bakovic. Yeah, as if this blog had so many commenters who absolutely need to use IPA — but who could resist such a fantastic thing! I fiddled with the embedding a bit, and will probably go on experimenting with how to best use it.

If there are any problems with the new site, please do point them out.

Should you prefer the old look to the new one, it is still there, and you can switch back and forth between them (old layoutnew layout ).

As for the new name, my thanks go to Kozlika, the godmother (or good fairy, take your pick) of the French blogosphere and an all-around great person, who went through a list of terms and wordplays with me and came up with the right one. “Serendipity” was a bit of a leftover from when I started out dipping a toe into this blogging thing, not really knowing where I wanted to take it. This is a blog about language, written and spoken, about writing and linguistics as far as my capacities go, and the name should allude to this. It also needs to work both in English and in French. There’s diacritic in there, a bit of critique, and discrimination, too, in the sense of telling things apart and thus seeing more distinctly.

Most importantly, more regular posting is hereby resuming, if nothing major prevents it.

Update, a few hours later: Oops, sorry, I didn’t really actually do the switch-over when I published this. Now it should be fine.

I am in the process of upgrading to the latest version of WordPress. Given that this blog runs on code that I have edited and expanded in some spots, this might lead to some disruption: in the mildest case, links may not work and post may look funny (in particular the alternate language versions), in the worst you may not see this message at all. Be warned.

Nouns and verbs on #wordpress

Les habitués du salon IRC #wordpress aiment bien parler langue et langage. La conversation reprise ici est en anglais, mais le salon est en général ouvert aux autres langues, et bon nombre des participants en parlent plusieurs.

In our ongoing series Language topics on the #wordpress IRC channel, we present the latest instalment. This morning’s discussions mainly dealt with nouns and verbs, and the purity of English.

The participants were spread out between Lausanne and Tokyo, and most but not all of them are native speakers of English (at least two are bilingual from childhood, and several more have acquired a near-native level in a foreign language). Both sexes were represented.

“Phenny”, who pitches in at the end of the excerpt, is not a human being, but a bot, capable of consulting a variety of dictionaries and carrying out Google searches.

This is a bit long, so please read on below the fold.

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With Morgan Doocy — who, unlike me, actually knows how to code in PHP — I am working on a plugin to make WordPress comprehensively suitable for multilingual blogging. Of course, we have a lot of ideas what we expect from a mulitlingual blogging tool (you may have noticed that this blog is already bilingual-and-a-half). […]

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