Sunday, June 14, 2009

A bit of good language reporting: NYT on 'millioneth word'

Having Joan Hall starring on Whad'ya know? and being featured on NPR's Weekend Edition within 24 hours was great, but it's an even better weekend in language coverage for the American media: This piece in today's NYT, appropriately called "Keeping It Real on Dictionary Row", gut pseudo-issue of English getting its millioneth word. Despite a couple of emails from readers, I've steadfastly ignored the issue, mostly because the Log has had the issue nailed from the get-go. In fact, Jennifer Schuessler, the author, gives a lot of ink to familiar figures like the Log's Geoff Nunberg and John McWhorter, as well as Grant Barrett, a leading lexicographer.

By contrast, CNN is running a comparatively weak item on the topic — it leads with the myth and takes a while to debunk it, though they do go to serious people for commentary.

You go, Gray Lady. Or however the kids would say that these days.

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