Trend Results : Arnold Zwicky

Blog Post Results (1-20 of 39)


Charles J. Fillmore, 1929-2014

Arnold Zwicky shares the sad news that the Berkeley linguist Charles J. "Chuck" Fillmore passed away yesterday. Arnold quotes Amy Dahlstrom's Facebook update: Charles Fillmore died yesterday at age 84 after a long battle with cancer. A brilliant linguist, especially in the field of lexical semantics, who influenced so many of us Berkeley students and […]

Bean crud

Arnold Zwicky kindly called the following choice Chinglish label to my attention: The metathesis was bound to happen sooner or later. In fact, it has definitely happened countless times, and not just in China: Chinese restaurant in New Delhi Chinese restaurant in Virginia Beach Chinese restaurant in San Francisco St. Louis news source American recipe […]

Putting grammar back in grammar schools: A modest proposal

A few days ago, out of the 21,595 visitors to LLOG that Google Analytics counted, 88 arrived after asking what part of speech is the, and thereby landing on Arnold Zwicky's post "What part of speech is 'the'?", 3/30/2006. Unfortunately, if they were looking for how to fill-in-the-blank on a homework assignment, they probably went away unsatisfied, […]

Stanford remembers Ivan Sag

As reported earlier this month by Arnold Zwicky, the world of linguistics lost Ivan Sag after a three-year fight against cancer. Now Corrie Goldman of The Humanities at Stanford provides a more in-depth look at Sag's life, quoting many colleagues (including a couple of Language Loggers) who worked — and played — with him. A [...]

Annals of verb phrase ellipsis

Brad Knickerbocker, "Obama girds for State of the Union address. His Republican opponents are too.", Christian Science Monitor, 2/10/2013. Arnold Zwicky catalogued other types of VP ellipsis mismatches here. And Stephen Colbert used a similar approach to so-anaphora in the title of his 2009 book I am America (And so can you!).

Best word ever

ARNOLD ZWICKY and Jan Freeman have pointed to Ted McCagg's blog, which has been hosting a "Best Word Ever contest". That there seemed to be no rules, no criteria and apparently no "contest" except for Mr McCagg's own choice is no matter. Show More Summary

Misnegation of the month

From Lauri Karttunen (via Arnold Zwicky): I have come to realize that there are a lot of examples on the web of the type "not want to not X" that seem to say the opposite of what they mean. Here are a few: She failed to give the patient CPR and turned an ambulance away in the [...]

The dreaded comma splice

SEVERAL months ago I was surprised to see Arnold Zwicky, a linguist, use a comma splice. A few commenters took me to task for being over-picky. The question came up again in the comments several days ago, when k.a.gardner, a frequent commenter, asked for a post on the comma splice. Show More Summary

Mad Libguistics

One of the random things I to happened notice yesterday, in a list of people who passed away in 2011, was the name of Leonard Stern, co-creator of Mad Libs. (Back in 2008, Arnold Zwicky marked the game's 50th anniversary here on Language Log.) For those who've never seen it, Mad Libs is [...]

Lost in the mist of eggcorns

Jon Miles sent a link to a slashdot comment on Russian scientists' plans to clone a mammoth: All this in the mist of global warming. "Mist" for midst is in the Eggcorn Database, submitted in 2005 by Arnold Zwicky based on a sighting reported on ADS-L by Larry Horn: “well, in the mist of all of this with [...]

The Ice Cream/Gunpowder Link + Orange Blossom as the Original Ice Cream Flavor + Most Common Vowels in Ice Cream Names

(Eugene Volokh) A fascinating and wide-ranging post at the Language of Food (from Stanford linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky. Thanks to Prof. Arnold Zwicky (Language Log) for the pointer.

Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get gay married

I WAS hoping to be the first to give the verb to gay marry a serious treatment on a language blog, only to discover that Arnold Zwicky got there three years ago on Language Log. Prof Zwicky (out and proud, incidentally, and a California resident) was writing when gay marriage was still legal in his state. Show More Summary


Arnold Zwicky has "assembled a huge list of web resources. Far from exhaustive, and focused almost entirely on blogs and reference resources in English, but here it is." I'll be adding it to my sidebar, but I wanted to call attention...Show More Summary

Great Moments in Pedantry: Parsing the language of porn

4 years agoHumor : Boing Boing

In a post that would be horribly NSFW were it not all just a block of text, linguist Arnold Zwicky blogs about how the vagaries of English allow you to interpret the same line from a gay porn in multiple ways. The story begins with a...Show More Summary

Stretching Snowmen

Spotted this on Arnold Zwicky's Blog a week or so ago and I couldn't resist sharing.Zwicky points out that, "human and snowman aren’t really parallel, historically, morphologically, or prosodically", but I still thoroughly enjoyed the...Show More Summary

The passive in English

Numerous Language Log posts by me, Mark Liberman, and Arnold Zwicky among others have been devoted to mocking people who denigrate the passive without being able to identify it (see this comprehensive list of Language Log posts about the passive). I have received mail from many people who want me to explain clearly and simply [...]


Today's Dilbert (12/01/10): Here, the -itute of prostitute is serving as a blend component, but could it end up becoming what Arnold Zwicky has helpfully dubbed a "libfix" (a "liberated" word part that yields new word-forming elements)? I doubt that -itute could be a productive libfix, because without the proper context it could be easily misconstrued [...]

The Recency Illusion

(Eugene Volokh) Three comments in recent threads reminded me of what Arnold Zwicky (Language Log) calls the recency illusion, “the belief that things YOU have noticed only recently are in fact recent. This is a selective attention effect. Your impressions are simply not to be trusted; you have to check the facts. Again and [...]

Back on top

Under the name "Arnold Zwicky" I have returned to the top of the list of Language Log authors, having spent some time in the guise "Zwicky Arnold" at the very bottom of the list. Let there be wild celebrations! Boundless e-Champagne and i-Bûche de Juillet for everyone! I'm tempted to say that my months as Zwicky [...]

"Pound sign questionmark star exclamation point"

A recent post on Arnold Zwicky's blog features Kevin Fowler's Pound Sign, which brings cartoon cussing to the medium of music for the first time (?): Just in case there might be little ears around, I won’t say it, I’ll just spell it out - I feel like pound-sign, question mark, star, exclamation point, Don’t give a blank, and [...]

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