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Blog Profile / Mr. Verb

Filed Under:Linguistics / Grammar
Posts on Regator:931
Posts / Week:2.9
Archived Since:March 17, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Grammatical terms that 'sound dirty'? Don't get me started.

14 hours agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Via HuffPo, here's this piece on "11 Grammatical Words And Terms That Sound Dirty". But PLEASE. 'Diphthong' sounds like it should mean underwear? And compound and hyphenate? Can you really get those to 'sound dirty' if you're not 12Show More Summary

Wisconsin words in the news

Well, now, the Appleton Post Crescent posted a quiz on Wisconsin words, here. A lot of the words are actually regional within the state and the Wisconsin born-and-bred folks I know who've taken it have scored as low as 40-60%.The example below is the non-spoiler... I'm guessing everybody from Wisconsin gets that one right, whether they use the term or not.Have a go...

The Mother of All Garden-Path Sentences

I posted this to Facebook but have been told it is too good to hide there. So, this appeared on the Daily Kos on Sunday. It's the second sentence - I'm including the first one for context: [A church in Davidson, NC placed a bronze statue...Show More Summary

Soziales Verhalten in deutscher Konversation

If you can't read that title, this post isn't for you. If, on the other hand, that title is in your mother tongue, you need to click here and help out a grad student. And if you know native speakers of German, please give them a heads up.

Essay Contest: Dictionary of American Regional English

3 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

How cool does it get? DARE is now holding an essay contest -- just 500 little words -- on this question:how would you use DARE to enrich and improve your writing?Deadline is April 30 and the winner gets a 3-year subscription to the digital edition of DARE. Full details here.Ready, set, go!

I heart word-formation

3 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

On a hotel bill Joe got on his recent trip to England: Non-Vatable - awesome!

'Bakery' = 'baked goods' in Dublin!?!?

3 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Well, at the Dublin airport at least. I changed planes there on the way to England (and then Scotland), and bought a quick cup of coffee at this place: Anybody know offhand whether Irish English has this usage generally?


3 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

As I feared, I didn't make it to the Word of the Year at the American Dialect Society yesterday. Here's the ADS press release. I'll ask around today for insights into the discussions, but am mostly relieved for the moment that twerk and selfie didn't win.

Word of the Year

3 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

The nominations are out, as most readers of this blog will know. Here's a list. Some people have said it's not a very exciting set, but there's some interesting stuff in there, I think … and some things that seem like they'll stay around for a while.I may actually miss the festivities this year, but there are lots of Wisconsin folks around and maybe somebody will post.

You blame Chomsky for WHAT?!?!?!?

3 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

OK, this is a pretty weird piece. It starts with this title + comment:It's time to challenge the notion that there is only one way to speak English. Why do we persist in thinking that standard English is right, when it is spoken by only...Show More Summary

Academic freedom isn't in Kansas anymore

4 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

This story started floating here overnight about the Kansas Board of Regents new policy about social media. The link is from the WaPo blog The Monkey Cage and it's worth reading.Here's the key passage (emphasis added):The chief executive...Show More Summary

Prepositioning ...

4 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

This blog is literally all about verbing. And we've talked some about nouning. But today's Bizarro takes us to a whole nother lexical category...

Animal communication, hockey player edition

4 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

In case you missed the biggest language or communication news of the week, here it is: Scientists Believe Hockey Players May Communicate By Banging Sticks Against Boards At least one contributor to this blog plays hockey (and the image...Show More Summary

Science and Nature "distorting the scientific process"

4 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Was too busy to blog this when I first saw it, but it doesn't seem like it's circulating as widely as I would have expected … Nobel Prize winner Randy Schekman has announced he's boycotting Science, Nature and Cell, because they …are...Show More Summary

"linguistics sleight of hand"

4 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Another example of using 'linguistics' in a particular negative context, with a whiff of something ominous about 'linguistics'. Charles Krauthammer accuses Obama of that here: Look, it's another linguistics sleight of hand here. The backend sounds like some, you know, obscure, curlicue in the process. Show More Summary

Dialect maps in everyday (German) life

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

In Berlin right now, en route to Leipzig for a conference and I did what you do in Berlin early on Sunday morning when your hotel room isn't ready yet... headed to a bakery for a cup of coffee and a pastry. I'm sitting and sipping and look up and lo and be-freakin-hold, what do I see on the wall, but a giant dialect map of words for 'roll' in German.

I am kingpin and so can you. Academics are like drug gangs

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

This piece, "Academe as a Drug Gang", is getting a lot of play … like being republished on Slate. It was posted on Inside Higher Ed by Scott Jaschik and builds on a blog post by Alexandre Afonso, here. It's a basic line of argument you...Show More Summary

Because questions

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

You've probably seen the Atlantic piece about because by now. I actually have been wondering about this for a long time, mostly because I read Wonkette, rightly cited as a place where you can find this construction all over the place. Show More Summary

More big medieval manuscript news!

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

We've had a recent post about the discovery of new Gothic manuscript material (here), a palimpsest, where earlier (Gothic) writing had been removed and new (Latin) writing done on the same surface, apparently found by Chiara Faraggiana di Sarzana from Bologna University. Show More Summary

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