OVER at Language Log, a reader catches a Daily Mail writer saying that the Gobeki Temple, built around 11,000 years ago, "was put up long before humans mastered language". Mark Liberman replies, surely correctly, that the reporter is simply substituting "writing" for "language" mentally. Show More Summary
Mark Liberman excoriates the press for believing some guy who purports to know that Herman Cain is not lying.
Telegraph | Language Log Actor Ralph Fiennes complained recently that the English language “is being eroded” and blamed “a world of truncated sentences, soundbites and Twitter.” Et tu, Ralphie? In response, Mark Liberman — a linguistics professor… Read more
Mark Liberman pitch-tracked the president's weekly addresses: FDR had his weekly "Fireside chats", and in 1982 Ronald Reagan began the modern tradition of weekly presidential addresses, which U.S. presidents since then have maintained. I don't think that very many people...
Ben Zimmer has done an exemplary bit of research and reported on it at the Log:Inspired by Mark Liberman's post, "Putting the X in AXB," I spent some time trying to find the origin for this venerable snowclone. A quick check of newspaper...Show More Summary
Inspired by Mark Liberman's post, "Putting the X in AXB," I spent some time trying to find the origin for this venerable snowclone. A quick check of newspaper databases had turned up "putting the fun in fundamentals" from November 1912, and it turns out that the fall of 1912 was when the snowclone snowballed. It's [...]
Last month ("Xtreme Isisism", 8/13/11), Mark Liberman analyzed a TED talk by Kevin Slavin, a speaker who is particularly prone to copula-doubling ("the point IS IS that…", "the reality IS IS that…", etc.). Slavin even produced an impressive case of copula-tripling: "and the thing IS IS IS that this isn't Google." The triple IS is [...]
There's an unusual event this week: Mark Liberman and I will both be present at the same conference, the annual meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain at the University of Manchester (UK, not NH). We plan to have a session (1pm to 2pm on Thursday 8 September) devoted to Language Log and [...]
by Zoë Pollock Mark Liberman examines the Perry lilt and his generous use of "if you will."
So says Mark Liberman.
If I ever knew, I had forgotten that impregnable "is actually a Middle English malapropism for imprenable," as Mark Liberman explains in this Log post, quoting the OED:Etymology: Corrupted I should mention that I am experiencing severe...Show More Summary
In my last post, I refrained from saying much about the BBC Magazine piece by Matthew Engel on 'Why do some Americanisms annoy people?', pointing readers instead to Mark Liberman/Language Log 's analysis of the so-called Americanisms that annoy at least Matthew Engel. Show More Summary
THE BBC, following up on an apparently successful column, asked readers to send in their least favourite Americanisms. Mark Liberman noted that of five "Americanisms" cited in the original column's first paragraph, four were of British origin. Show More Summary
Mark Liberman at Language Log has saved you from the rant that this weekend's post was to be. Oh, thank you, Mark! His post from earlier today does what needed to be done about journalist Matthew Engel's BBC piece "Why do some Americanisms...Show More Summary
As hinted yesterday, I have joined the Language Log juggernaut (thanks to Mark Liberman and Geoff Pullum for recruiting me). Here’s my first post: Justice Breyer, Professor Austin, and the Meaning of ‘Any’.
NOT MUCH time to post today, so I'll just offer Mark Liberman's enjoyable takedown of Craig Shirley and Bill Pascoe. The two, writing in the right-of-centre Daily Caller, say John Huntsman (whom they don't like) is the Republican Barack Obama. Show More Summary
(Eugene Volokh) What goes in the blank? Prof. Mark Liberman (Language Log) has an interesting discussion; check out the comments, including Ben Zimmer’s, with Mark Liberman’s response following it.
TWO other blogs converged on a common theme in the past few days. First, Mark Liberman answers a reader on whether the British spelling -our, as in "honour" and "colour", is really so old. Mr Liberman replies that usage was mixed, with -or prevailing in many English sources, until the early nineteenth century. Show More Summary
Last month, Mark Liberman had a good post demolishing the alleged badness of "comprised of" (for the allegedly correct "composed of"), with copious quotes from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (which I recommend as heartily...Show More Summary
Rebecca Greenfield spoke to linguist Mark Liberman about why the verbal gaffe is so common: The syntactic category rule means that when two words are confused for one another the "target" (the word replaced) and the substituting word are almost...