Sentence first

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3rd April 2014

Link reblogged from Wug Life with 5 notes

Not only . . . but (also) . . . →

wuglife:

Don’t you mean:

Not only is this post quite long and detailed, but it also lacks images…

;-)

I mean exactly what I wrote. :-)

Tagged: writinggrammarstyleconjunctionslanguageEnglishEnglish usageparallelism

6th March 2014

Link reblogged from The Electric Typewriter with 38 notes

Tense Present →

tetw:

by David Foster Wallace

Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage

I like DFW, but many of his ideas about language usage are deeply and demonstrably misguided. See Language Hat for an informed dressing-down.

Tagged: grammarlanguageEnglish usagewritingDFWprescriptivism

28th February 2014

Quote with 1 note

The dictionary-maker has to record what people say, not what he thinks they can politely say
— H.W. Fowler

Tagged: languagedictionarieslexicographyFowlerH W FowlerEnglish usagesociolinguistics

23rd January 2014

Photo with 12 notes

New on Sentence first: the unsung value of singular themself.

New on Sentence first: the unsung value of singular themself.

Tagged: languagelinguisticsgrammarthemselfdescriptivismpronounsanaphoragenderEnglish usagesingular they

16th January 2014

Post with 3 notes

Linguistic alienation at school

The main impact of Afro-American dialect on education has not been its structural differences from standard English, nor its relative intrinsic usefulness as a medium of thought, but its function as a low-status stigma and its association with a rejected culture. The attitudes of teachers toward this dialect and of dialect speakers toward the teachers’ language have affected the social relationships of children with the schools in such a way as to make education of many children almost impossible. Black children of rural southern background have entered the urban schools to find that nearly everything they said was branded as ‘wrong’. In order to be ‘right’ they had to adopt forms that seemed alien even when they were able to learn how to use them. Their own spontaneous products were punished and treated as worthless, including the only language they knew really well.

Jane Torrey, ‘Illiteracy in the ghetto’, Harvard Educational Review, 40(2), May 1970; republished in Tinker, Tailor: The Myth of Cultural Deprivation (1973), edited by Nell Keddie.

Tagged: languagedialecteducationAAVEprescriptivismJane TorreyEnglish usagesociolinguistics

9th December 2013

Photo with 5 notes

On my blog today: a review of Steven Poole’s new book, Who Touched Base in My Thought Shower? and the “spirit-sapping indignities” of key learnings, synergistic deliverables, and thought leaders who open their kimonos…

On my blog today: a review of Steven Poole’s new book, Who Touched Base in My Thought Shower? and the “spirit-sapping indignities” of key learnings, synergistic deliverables, and thought leaders who open their kimonos

Tagged: booksbook reviewjargonlanguageusageEnglish usageweasel wordsmetaphors

2nd August 2013

Post with 4 notes

David Crystal on clarity and language

Clarity depends on our making judicious use of all of a language’s resources. Words, grammar, rhythm, discourse, and stylistic level all play their part. It is never possible to identify a single dimension or principle of usage, or a cluster of ‘rules’, and say that these are obligatory features of clarity of expression. When people try to do this, they invariably end up … breaking the very principles they have themselves promulgated.

David Crystal, The Fight for English

Tagged: bookswritinglanguageprescriptivismlinguisticswriting styleEnglish usageDavid Crystal

1st August 2013

Photo with 2 notes


Quotative like can set up a whole miniature drama, with visual content contributing to a richer vocabulary than words alone could license.

Sentence first: “And I’m like, Quotative ‘like’ isn’t just for quoting”

Quotative like can set up a whole miniature drama, with visual content contributing to a richer vocabulary than words alone could license.

Sentence first: “And I’m like, Quotative ‘like’ isn’t just for quoting

Tagged: languagelinguisticsgrammarusagewordslikequotative likelanguage changeEnglish usageinternetmemessyntaxspeechTwitter

6th March 2013

Photo with 5 notes

Sentence first: The dramatic grammatic evolution of LOL; or, how LOL has become grammaticalised into a pragmatic particle.

Sentence first: The dramatic grammatic evolution of LOL; or, how LOL has become grammaticalised into a pragmatic particle.

Tagged: languagesemanticspragmaticswordslollolspeakinternetEnglish usagegrammarFuturamaspeechtexting

27th June 2012

Post with 2 notes

The work of punctuation

[T]he work of punctuation is mainly to show, or hint at, the grammatical relation between words, phrases, clauses, and sentences; but it must not be forgotten that stops also serve to regulate pace, to throw emphasis on particular words and give them significance, and to indicate tone. These effects are subordinate, and must not be allowed to conflict with the main object; but as the grammatical relation may often be shown in more than one way, that way can be chosen which serves another purpose best.

H.W. and F.G. Fowler, The King’s English

Tagged: writinglanguagegrammarpunctuationEnglish usagebooks