4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 345 Articles

One Saturday night earlier this month, the USA Network aired the Oscar-winning movie To Kill a Mockingbird. Afterwards, one of my students tweeted how much she liked the movie, and how glad she was she'd read the book.  Continue reading...
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Fine, call me a Luddite or, even worse, a late adopter, but I say, Kindle-schmindle, Nook-schnook, give me a good old-fashioned book.

Yes, I have adopted, step by reluctant step, each new advance of the digital realm, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and all the rest, and I've grown used to the virtual media's constant changing despite my constant grousing.  Continue reading...
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I am a lazy but honest man, so I have to admit my first thought when looking at the The Language Wars by Henry Hitchings was not so noble. Noting the lengthiness (300+ pages) and a small font size, I thought, "Uh oh. Why did I agree to review this? I could be watching Justified." As I plowed into the book, my fears turned out to be unwarranted. In fact, my fears turned out to be ridiculous, as fears tend to be.  Continue reading...

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In his new book The Story of English in 100 Words, the absurdly prolific David Crystal provides a unique answer to a question he poses: "How can we tell the story of the English language?"  Continue reading...
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Richard Bailey's Speaking American is one of those books I wish I could make every prescriptivist grouch in the world read. You know the type: the kind of misinformed peever who kvetches about "kids these days" and the language going to hell while yearning to preserve English, as if it were a precious vase a teenage texter might knock over while planking, shattering it forever and leaving us all mute.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

I DARE Say!

The Dictionary of American Regional English (a.k.a. DARE) is finally completed — and it only took fifty years to do it! In the Boston Globe, Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer looks back on this monument to American speech, and looks ahead to new ways of approaching dialectology. Read his column here.
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My friend Laura knows four languages plus "bits and pieces" of six others. That's impressive, but it's not quite in the same league as folks who pick up languages the way George Clooney picks up starlets: with frightening ease. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot written, in academic or popular literature, on hyperpolyglots: people who know not just two or three languages, but six or ten or twenty.  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 345 Articles