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Trend Results : Mark Liberman

Blog Post Results (1-20 of 163)


Philology and Sinology

I was going to post this as a comment to Mark Liberman's "What would a 'return to philology' be a return to?", but it got to be too long, so I'm putting it up as a separate piece. To begin with, when people ask me what my profession is, I've always replied that I am […]

MenuWatch: The new prix fixe only menu...

The new prix fixe only menu has gone into effect at San Francisco's acclaimed AQ: ISSF reports chef Mark Liberman is now offering a $55, four-course menu (with several selections within each course), and a 10-course chef's tasting menu for...

A new fixed-price format debuts at AQ

When AQ  opened two years ago it  brought a shiny vision to the seemingly depressed area of Mission between Sixth and Seventh streets. Matt Semmelhack and Mark Liberman showed they had an answer to a questionable location — great food and an exciting interior, where the decor changes every season. Not only were they successful, […]

I saw one thousand commenting and nobody listening

Sometimes I look at the informed and insightful comments below Mark Liberman's technical posts here on Language Log, and I find myself thinking: These people are smart, and their wisdom enhances the value of our site. Maybe I should try opening comments again myself. But then something awful happens to convince me never to click […]

Welcome to China

In "Doubletalk of the month", Mark Liberman presents a virtuoso display of a woman skillfully mimicking the sounds and intonations of numerous languages.  You can do this kind of imitation with written forms as well. For example, here is a takeoff on Chinese seasonal couplets: subway, railway, highway, way way to die officer, announcer, professor, […]

How Sid Caesar learned double-talk

The obituaries for the great comic Sid Caesar invariably mention his proficiency in "double-talk," mimicking the sounds (but not the sense) of foreign languages. (On the phenomenon of double-talk, see Mark Liberman's posts on yaourter here, here, here, and here.) It turns out that this was a talent Caesar had cultivated ever since he was […]

SOTU ngrams

Below is a guest post by Yuval Pinter. Reading Mark Liberman's analysis of Obama's SOTU addresses versus other presidents', my thirst remained unquenched. Word-counts are fun, sure, but the real fun comes in when looking at longer phrases – two (bigrams) or three (trigrams) words long. After waiting for it to be breakfast time in […]

Three cheers for Michael Gove

This is a guest post by Richard Hudson, who proposed the title "The death and re-birth of grammatical analysis in UK schools". A few weeks ago, Mark Liberman kindly accepted a guest posting from me about sentence diagramming. In his introduction he said "This is a guest post by Dick Hudson, who has promised a […]

The fire can be hard to control at TBD

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings last year was TBD,  Matt Semmelhack’s and chef Mark Liberman’s follow up to AQ, where they proved that a great concept and exceptional cooking can overcome a dicey location. Situated on Mission between 6th and 7th streets, they not only made their first restaurant a destination, but now [...]


Mark Liberman at the Log has a very interesting post about the common origin of prepositions (and postpositions), verbal prefixes, and adverbs in the Indo-European languages, quoting Virginia Anne Goetz’s 2006 dissertation, “The development...Show More Summary

Does a professor’s intervention in online discussions have the effect of prolonging discussion or cutting it off?

Usually I don’t post answers to questions right away, but Mark Liberman was kind enough to answer my question yesterday so I think I should reciprocate. Mark asks: I’ve been playing around with data from Coursera transaction logs, for an economics course and a modern poetry course so far. Show More Summary

"Schwa Fire" ventures into long-form language journalism

For several years now, many linguists and their fellow travelers have talked about the need for a magazine about language issues that could capture the public attention. Mark Liberman has beaten the drum at least since his 2007 LSA plenary address (see: "Linguistics: The Magazine"), and there have been a few recent efforts along these [...]


Mark Liberman at the Log reports on the legalization of the letters Q, W, and X as part of Tayyip Erdo?an's "Democratization Package":The Turkish Alphabet Law of 11/1/1928 was aimed at shifting Turkish from Arabic-based to Latin-based orthography, and it was quite effective in suppressing the use of the Ottoman script. Show More Summary

Customary Prepositions

Prof. Mark Liberman (Language Log) has a nice post illustrating how the prepositions one uses with particular adjectives — identical to vs. identical with, similar to vs. similar with, equivalent to vs. equivalent with — are a matter of custom, and sometimes changing custom. Show More Summary

"A student, if he is on scholarship or has an ambitious mother, may actually try to earn all these merit badges."

"But if he has any spirit, he’ll murmur a well-chosen four-letter word and go out and get stoned. Or if he is exceptionally thoughtful, he may explore the contradictions embedded in these commandments...." Writes Mark Liberman, at Language...Show More Summary


Mark Liberman has a fascinating post at the Log about the fact that "for 450 years or more, miners in Potosí (in what's now Bolivia) have communicated among themselves in a mixed language spoken only by mine-workers in connection with...Show More Summary

Protesting too much

A guest post from Tony Kroch: The line "The Lady doth protest too much, me thinks" from Hamlet that Mark Liberman blogged about at the end of last month struck me because it encapsulates in one sentence several significant changes that the English language has undergone. We are lucky that the written record is rich enough [...]

Anatomy of a spambot

We've often had occasion to wonder how spammy blog comments are linguistically constructed. (See, most recently, Mark Liberman's post, "Numerous upon the written content material," in which he refers to spam comments as "aleatoric sub-poetry.") Now, on Quartz, David Yanofsky and Zachary M. Seward expose how spam comments are engineered: Comment spam follows a formula, which [...]

This is not me

Paolo Lucchesi, "AQ’s Matt Semmelhack and Mark Liberman to open Bon Marché in Market Square", Inside Scoop SF 2/22/2013: Matt Semmelhack and Mark Liberman — the team behind the celebrated AQ in SoMa — are the first restaurant tenants of the big Market Square development (a.k.a. the Twitter building), where they plan to open a street-level, [...]

Nerd, geek, PK: Creeping Romanization (and Englishization), part 2

The question of whether or not there's a word for "nerd" in Chinese has recently come up, in Mark Liberman's "'Your passport has just been stamped for entry into the Land of Bullshit'" Mark quotes Tom Scocca, [...]

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