Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Miscellanea — blogospheric and other

Was out and about too much yesterday to post, but a few scattered tidbits:

Polyglot conspiracy, working from the left coast (LSA Summer Institute), picked up and ran with the also too deal, here. I particularly like the notion that this has some discourse angle to it.

We're certainly developing tons of stuff in that realm now. Mrs. Verb (not her real name) often remarks on how "at all" in the language of people in service jobs (so, 98% of the population?) no longer indicates anything scalar: "Would you like the check at all?" (And no bitching about service workers' language, OK?)

Celebrating the 4th yesterday, Rebecca at the OUP Blog posted a BBQ quiz, here, … with a wonderful Homer Simpson quote about cookouts:
Homer Simpson had a point, “you don’t make friends with salad.”
Anatoly Liberman also has a column there, by the way, along with Ben Zimmer, so there's plenty of etymology happening at OUP Blog.

On a less happy Independence Day note, I got about 30 seconds of Lou Dobbs ranting about immigrants yesterday. He was pushing English Only — it sounds like in the form of cutting off everything in languages other than English in the government — when a panelist representing LULAC (sorry, no time to track down who it was, and his name wasn't on the screen) noted that such a move would hurt legal immigrants as well as the "illegals" Dobbs is obsessed with. It looked like Dobbs didn't quite get the point. He tried to say something about how if you're a legal immigrant you should already know English (or that's how I heard it as I was doing something else.) Maybe he should learn a little bit of immigration history, like the long tradition of public bilingual education, printing of official documents in many languages, and on and on. At least I now know why I avoid watching him.


Ollock said...

“you don’t make friends with salad.”

Such a lovely ambiguity out of context. It conjures the image of someone lovingly sculpting a little man out of greens, with olives for eyes and a tiny carrot of a nose, all pasted together with and extra-thick dressing.

Mr. Verb said...

God, that's just beautiful. And the ambiguity never occurred to me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I know what I'm having for dinner tonight. With a little slice of tomato for a mouth (and a sliver of garlic for a tooth?). Pasted together with thick dressing doesn't work though -- a little drizzle of oil and vinegar.

Mr. Verb said...

Sheesh. Now this is a food blog?