Harry Potter




~the first name you see is the Harry Potter witch or wizard you’ll marry~

I’ve been staring at this for a while, and I don’t see any names other than Oliver Wood.


Luna Lovegood! ❤ I’m okay with this. 

but yes the first thing I actually saw was “Hyrle B. Barclif”


What steps does our brain go through when we encounter language, and how can we measure what those steps are? In this week’s episode, we talk about event-related brain potentials (ERPs): the small electrical changes that we can see when the brain responds to stimuli. We also go over some of the basic steps in processing language that ERPs can show us, for sounds, meaning, and syntax.

We love brains, and we hope you do, too! Looking forward to hearing what people have to say about this one. ^_^

A man like Dumbledore is no place for a cake to be worn.


So, Tarantallegra is a direct reference to Harry Potter and the ‘dancing feet’? The word always struck me as weird, but I never happened to look it up before.

The etymology of the word is apparently tarantula and allegra, and it was purportedly used to cure spider bites by making someone dance until they sweated out the poison. The song is about letting music control you, so, unless the word appears somewhere else in history and isn’t as made up as it claims to be, this is just the most outspoken possible reference to HP in popular culture that I have seen so far XD

I will never stop loving this dance, btw. It’s an all-time fav. One of my three wishes would be to be able to break out moves like this anytime, anywhere.

Nice to meet you—


/dances out of the room

To my knowledge, the original word was “Tarantella” – a dance that originated in Sicily, I believe, and was fast and crazy and indeed rumored to make you sweat out the tarantula poison! Adding “allegra” to the end of that was an innovation of Rowling’s (making it one of the few Harry Potter spells not based on Latin!), but it’s entirely possible the beautifully nerdy Xia Junsu was making reference to all of the above.

Magic linguistics



If you have a native language with a very complex phonology, and you take polyjuice potion and switch bodies with someone with a native language with a very simple phonology, what would then happen with the speech?

If most information lies in an abstract system in the brain there would be no…

Wow, this is a fascinating question! I wonder if anyone has looked into it. I’d be inclined to say that knowing how you should do something is definitely important, but that the muscle memory matters, so you would still end up with an accent. But there’s room for debate on this one!

Well, as someone with two native languages who fell out of the habit of speaking one of them for about a decade before coming back to using it regularly, I can attest that muscle memory definitely lags a bit when you’re out of practice, but then comes back. SO, my guess is, at first you’d have trouble making the sounds – you might stumble a little, as your articulators struggle to catch up with your mind – but with practice, you could probably train your speech up to par pretty quick. 

Just hide in a room talking to yourself for an hour and you’re good to go!

Magic linguistics