4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 114 Articles

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The modern, and somewhat cynical line on poets is that they should not quit their day jobs. Poet pay is dismal or nonexistent; the opportunities for contemporary recognition, minuscule; and the chances for posthumous celebration, hardly to be taken seriously. We’re taking a contrarian view in the Lounge this month, as we dust off the Poetry Corner and pay a visit to a poet who never really had a day job, but who left an enduring imprint on the language, echoes of which can still be heard every day throughout the wide world of English.  Continue reading...

A sighting of a "corrections institution" has us thinking about the gamut of terms used for the punishment end of the criminal justice system.  Continue reading...

4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 114 Articles