4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 116 Articles

The 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible does not pass without notice in the English-speaking world. David Crystal's book on the subject has received widespread media attention. The particular ways in which the famous translation has influenced the course of English are fascinating and well-documented by Crystal and others; this month, we'll look at some of the other features that give the KJV its enduring appeal.  Continue reading...
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The idea that we all have a soul mate out there somewhere is a popular cultural meme. Words seem to have soul mates as well, judging by the way that they mate for life. But such word unions are not always marked with ceremony, the way human ones are, and this makes some of the hookups a bit difficult to document and validate.  Continue reading...
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It's a rare newscast today, in any language, that does not include coverage of unrest in one or more countries of the Middle East, where people seem to have reached the limit of their patience with and tolerance of repressive, nonrepresentative governments. Nearly all of the countries in upheaval now are Arabic-speaking countries. So how much of this tremendous upheaval do we really "get"?  Continue reading...
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The US Supreme Court decided last month in the case of Snyder v. Phelps et al, which involved the Westboro Baptist Church and its habit, offensive to nearly all people, of picketing military funerals. The court's decision went in favor of the church and its right to carry on. When we learned that the court had split eight to one, and that the lone dissenter in the case was not one of the court's "liberal" justices but was in fact Justice Samuel Alito, we got all over the text of that decision like a cheap suit.  Continue reading...
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Last month a new edition of Mark Twain's classic novels was published: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in one volume, edited by Auburn University professor Alan Gribben. The book has attracted some press attention for the editor's decision to systematically change two words that occur in both of Twain's books.  Continue reading...
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This month in the Lounge, we take a look at the much buzzed-about "culturomics" paper in the journal Science and the related "Ngram viewer" rolled about Google to track the history of language and culture. What does the trendy "culturomic" approach to data-crunching have to offer those harmless drudges, the lexicographers?  Continue reading...
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There's an old saying in real estate: the three most important things about a property are location, location, location. This month in the Language Lounge we discover that the same holds true for English syntax. We take a look at what happens when elements of a sentence get accidentally waylaid.  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 116 Articles