18 mai 2014

Even if they’re banished from the classroom – Miss and Sir are already in decline

The ConversationBy Paul Baker. Does it matter what we call our teachers? Some academics seem to think so, and have called for the titles “Sir” and “Miss” to be banished from the classroom because they are sexist. Yet their use in the English language, along with “Mr” and “Ms”, is already in decline.
I went to a fairly strict school in the 1980s – uniform, school tie, the cane, having to stand up when a teacher entered the room – where Sir and Miss were de rigueur. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:39 - - Permalien [#]

The Day-to-Day Handshake of Empire

By David Silbey. Imperial powers gain much of their strength from their global networks. The British – by owning the oceans in the 19th century – controlled how much of the world’s commerce moved. In that same century, much of the world’s information moved over British telegraph networks. They gave Britain power. The Zimmerman Telegram, which had much to do with bringing the United States into World War I against Germany, went through a telegraph clearing house in London, where the British intercepted it, decoded it, and passed it on to the United States, much to Germany’s dismay. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:15 - - Permalien [#]

Elizabeth Yagoda Is Excited for a Hamburger

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Where’s the outrage?
People never stop getting upset about changes in the use of pronouns (“thanks for inviting me wife and me/I”), verbs (comprise/compose), and nouns (data is/data are), but, with the exception of occasional squawks about those who say “different than” (or, in Britain, different to”) instead of “different from,” they don’t seem to give a hoot about the pervasive phenomenon I call “preposition creep.”
Three examples come to mind. First is the change from enamored of  to enamored with. As the Google Ngram Viewer chart below shows, in 1920, enamored with barely existed, but by 2008 (the last year for which Google provides data), it was used more than half as commonly as the traditional enamored of. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:12 - - Permalien [#]

Bait-and-Switch Comparisons

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . I recently asked readers to think of a technical term for a kind of rhetorical structure for witticisms like the classic lawyer joke: “Q. What’s the difference between a catfish and a lawyer? A. One is a bottom-dwelling, scum-sucking scavenger, and the other is a fish.” It’s very familiar. But, I wondered, is there a suitably exact rhetorical technical term for the device?
I got some interesting suggestions in the Comments (24). Some felt far too general: Gavin Moodie suggested counterpoint; a commenter called chaucered came up with sleight of word; John Baker held that conundrum might do; but none of these seemed focused enough to me. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:11 - - Permalien [#]

What’s in a Name?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet,” says Juliet. And Romeo, a few lines later, replies, “My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself.”
Onomatology, also known as onomastics, is the discipline that studies proper names. In the United States, that discipline borders on extravagance, although it never ceases to amaze me how, in spite of the rapid transformation of American society, things remain constant. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:09 - - Permalien [#]

Medical Misspelling?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . This past weekend I received an email asking if I might comment on a heated debate about spelling at a School of Medicine. The email came from a professor in the “Department of Orthopaedic Surgery”—and I use quotes here because the spelling matters. The spell checker in Microsoft Word puts a red squiggly line under orthopaedic. It prefers orthopedic, and that’s the crux of the problem. The department is fighting to retain the “a” in orthopaedic, in the face of a higher-level administrative decision to lose the “a” and refer to the department as orthopedic. From the department’s perspective, orthopaedic is the only “correct” spelling. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:08 - - Permalien [#]

STEM Sells

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . What’s wrong with American education nowadays?
Take your pick. You can lament lack of support for the humanities, or lack of student interest in science. If you’re concerned about the latter, you have a word for it. An acronym, actually: STEM. It stands for those areas of underinterest to students: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:06 - - Permalien [#]

U.S. Is Ranked as Top Higher-Education System in the World

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/Ticker%20revised%20round%2045.gifBy . In a new ranking of higher-education systems in 50 countries, the United States tops the list but falls drastically when its level of economic development is factored in. The annual ranking, by Universitas 21, an international group of universities, is based on measurements that include government spending, level of internationalization, and scientific output. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:04 - - Permalien [#]

Higher One Warns of Potential Penalties From Federal Reserve Board

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/Ticker%20revised%20round%2045.gifBy . Higher One Holdings Inc., a major provider of campus-based debit cards and other financial services, this week disclosed in a corporate filing that it is facing penalties from the Federal Reserve that could trigger default on a loan. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:02 - - Permalien [#]

Has Common App Turned Admissions Into a ‘Straitjacketed Ward of Uniformity’?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/headcount-45.pngBy Eric Hoover. Anyone in the mood for colorful renderings of the big business built around the college-admissions process should read the lawsuit filed last week against the Common Application in a federal court in Oregon. The nonprofit group behind the ever-growing online application, a competitor asserts, “has orchestrated a sea change in the student-application process, turning a once vibrant, diverse, and highly competitive market into a straitjacketed ward of uniformity.” More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:00 - - Permalien [#]