02 juillet 2015

Whose Students?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . A few years ago I stopped referring to my students in my writing. It’s not that I ceased talking about students; I stopped referring to them as mine.
Or at least I try. I am sure I still fall into the phrase my students sometimes in my written work (one of the astute readers of this blog probably will discover that I have done so here on Lingua Franca), and I know that it also happens in my unmonitored speech. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:38 - - Permalien [#]

The Prose Stylings of Antonin Scalia

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . It was a memorable week at the Supreme Court. And the justices handed down some important decisions, too. 
The memorability, in my nerdy world, stemmed from a double dose of dissenting opinions from Justice Antonin Scalia, that one-man movement to let the rhetorical freak flag fly. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:36 - - Permalien [#]

The Most Beautiful Word of All

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Sitting on my patio the other day, listening to the birds, sipping a glass of raspberry seltzer, and admiring the contrast of the orange day lilies with the blue and pink hydrangea, I was reminded of Henry James’s remark that “summer afternoon” are the two most beautiful words in the English language. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:10 - - Permalien [#]

Simile When You Say That, Partner

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . When I lived in New York City as a young man, I used to like to wander over to Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, on summer evenings. What I found there—and what drew me there, it now occurs to me—was virtuosity. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:09 - - Permalien [#]

Translation: A History of Synonyms

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . When you take something from one language and put it into another, there’s a word for the activity: translate. It’s a nice carry-across from Latin by way of French, and its components amount to just that: “across” for trans, “carry” for late. The Oxford English Dictionary dates the word to 1300, in a history book known as Cursor Mundi: “This same book it is translated into English tongue to read.” More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:08 - - Permalien [#]

Killer Compounds

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . English, like many other languages, abounds with compounds. Take two words and join them to create an inseparable unit, and you have a compound. There are compound verbs like undergo and overcome, compound adjectives like makeshift, compound adverbs like thereafter. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:07 - - Permalien [#]

Nibbling Away

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . What’s a nibble? 
You’d know the answer — or at least one answer — if you’d had the good fortune to attend the combined conferences of the Dictionary Society of North America and Studies in the History of the English Language this month, at the University of British Columbia. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:06 - - Permalien [#]

Secondhand Emotion

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Not being a big user of emoticons or emoji, I usually have to pause to arrive at the difference between them. So I hadn’t given any thought to their function in the sentence until I came across Gretchen McCullough’s post querying how these little gremlins infesting our written language ought to be punctuated. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:04 - - Permalien [#]

Derp and ‘tude

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Paul Krugman’s attempts at being hip end up landing, I suppose, like hipness attempted by any of us blogging here: midway between cute and cringeworthy. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:03 - - Permalien [#]

Koo-Koo-Ka-Chu, Mx. Robinson

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Just when you thought it was safe to go out and play in the fields of gender, along comes Mx. The online version of the Oxford English Dictionary is considering adding this new honorific for those who are uncomfortable with assignment to one or another gender. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:01 - - Permalien [#]