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Articles from JULY 2009
When a Gerundy-Looking Word Isn't a Gerund
July 23, 2009
Even the New York Times can get tripped up on the difference between gerunds and participles. In her Tip of the Week, Copyediting newsletter editor Wendalyn Nichols explains how a punctuation error in the Times is symptomatic of confusion about words ending in -ing.
Behind the Dictionary
Lexicographers Talk About Language
July 22, 2009
Last week, in part one of our interview with author Paul Dickson, we talked about the work that went into the new edition of his Dickson Baseball Dictionary — a thousand-page monument to baseball's bottomless linguistic riches. Now in part two, Dickson discusses the diverse influences on the language of baseball, and how the sport has become a metaphorical source in politics and elsewhere. Continue reading...
Writers Talk About Writing
July 21, 2009By Dennis Baron
We welcome back University of Illinois linguist Dennis Baron, who reflects on some disturbing news that emerged recently about Amazon.com's e-book reader, the Kindle.In a move worthy of George Orwell's Big Brother, Amazon.com sent its thought police into Kindles everywhere to erase copies of 1984 and Animal Farm. Continue reading...
Blog Du Jour
Frank McCourt: Teacher, Storyteller
July 21, 2009
In the outpouring of remembrances since the passing of Walter Cronkite on Friday, two polysyllabic words beginning with "a" have proved to be inextricably linked to "the most trusted man in America": avuncular and anchorman. It's hard to describe Mr. Cronkite without using one or the other, or preferably both. Continue reading...
Books we love
Remembering Frank McCourt
July 20, 2009