Monday, December 24, 2007

Blogal and other odds and ends

Loose ends, all positive:
  • WotY discussions are steaming along -- it's real when the NYT runs its now-annual Buzzwords piece. Grant Barrett had a huge piece yesterday, most of a page with almost another page of graphics. The piece has been talked about some elsewhere already, especially ads-l. There's no analysis of cropping or blending or anything, but it's a good and prominently placed discussion of language, which is welcome.
  • Also already talked about in bigger forums is Heidi Harley's dramatic antedating of eggnog (worked out together with an undergrad) — taking it from an earliest known date of 1825 to 1774.* She's a prominent theoretical linguist doing a little word history and I don't think anybody's underscored how healthy that kind of crosscutting is: This is somebody thinking about language and how it works in a broad way.
  • Safire — yes, him — quotes Stephen Anderson, president of the Linguistic Society of America, on the old are-ing-forms-participles-or-gerunds chestnut. He and Lindsay Whalen give Safire what for a maven must be wonderfully unsatisfying answers. Safire concludes "this needs settling" and asks for mail for input on a future column. I can hardly wait.
  • NPR's doing a week-long series on blogging this week, and Steve Innskeep used blogal this morning.
*I don't drink the stuff myself, but if I did, it might be the brand in the picture, from here.


The Ridger, FCD said...

Gosh, why can't people just accept that the -ING form has five functions, including if you insist on Latin terms the gerund and the participle but also forms that Latin just doesn't have? Why is that so hard? Last month I fought for five days with a student who insisted on clinging to them terms he learned in the 1950s ... People let other fields of science advance, refine, and develop. Why must grammar remain unchanged?

The Ridger, FCD said...

Sigh. Too late at night ... "clinging to THE terms", not "them terms". (I do sometimes use "them" for "those" but this wouldn't be such a place.)