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 […]

Topic-fronting with “I know from”

Reading Barbara’s lovely discussion about “how local to go”, I was blindsided by this amazing sentence: Cornmeal, we know from, but millet — to most Appalachians, that stuff is birdseed. The “we know from” construction is fairly familiar to me from informal speech and writing. It’s a favorite of Sars. A few examples from her: […]

Reality of language

I almost have a hard time believing this, except that there are so many Google results for the word: Is hited a word?? People ask Yahoo Answers a lot of strange questions, including many that would be best answered by a dictionary and another whole batch that would be best answered by a philosopher, plus […]