Because cheese.

Since my Because Reasons post, I’ve been collecting examples. I’m sure a search would turn up more, but I’m enjoying collecting them in their native habitats. “well, okay, maybe not the dairy free part, because cheese” This was a sentence fragment from an online messageboard. “I had catastrophic coverage, but no maternity coverage (private insurance […]

The professional hazards of a linguist: Chomsky

One of the professional hazards of being a linguist is being asked what you think of Chomsky.* I never have a good answer because we didn’t actually study Chomsky in school. The linguistics department at Rice does what’s called ‘functional linguistics’, and Chomsky is ‘formal linguistics’. The names have to do with having different opinions […]

Someone’s ones

I noticed this morning that in a conversation yesterday I used the phrase “some ones that” when I could just as easily have some “some that” (or “ones that”): I bought new gloves some ones from REI that are lobster-claw I was curious to see if this is common. It’s at least common enough that […]

Back to happier news

Language Log extols Edinburgh Uni’s results in the UK’s RAE “But with these figures out, even these shy people will have to admit, if pressed, that if you want to study in the biggest language sciences community in the U.K., and the best one as judged by volume of work judged to be of world-leading […]

A poet of language science

I don’t often create posts that involve extensive quotations from other blogs, but I so enjoyed Prof. Pullum’s Language Log entry on vagueness and British weather that I feel compelled to quote it here: Those many idealistic souls who imagine that we would do better with a language that was free of vagueness and ambiguity, […]

Election 2008: two linguistic moments

This is my personal blog, not a topical blog, but I find myself unable to say anything terribly original or interesting about the election per se. Like many Californians, I am thrilled by Obama’s election, and terribly disappointed that it looks like Prop 8 may pass. However! They have not counted my ballot yet (vote-by-mail […]

A cooler title

I really enjoy being a bona fide professional linguist, with said title on my business card, but I have found a title that is, I think, even cooler, belonging to Jesse Sheidlower (whose surname I would dearly love to know how to pronounce). Jesse is, according to his byline on this Slate article about Sarah […]

Peeve cubed

I don’t plan to make a habit of this, but I would like to say that I think Language Log has thoroughly worn out its/their welcome on entries that solely constitute being peeved by people being peeved about (various things) about language. It’s still moderately interesting when they explore the history and usage of the […]

Getting off-topic

I thought I might be imagining it, but I don’t think so anymore: Language Log is getting less focused and less good than it used to be. Bill Poser today wrote an entry about how runners hear the start gun at different times because of the speed of sound in air. The ‘hook’ used to […]