Monday, July 16, 2007

A new language blog and the broader landscape

Just learned about the Linguistics Zone over the weekend, and it's sought out a fairly clear slot among language blogs: Seems like there's a big public out there interested in language and linguistics but without formal background of any sort in the academic discipline. The posts on LZ offer edifying sketches on topics from pronunciation to Gricean maxims. But it's not Ling 101 on-line, certainly: At points, it's oriented toward usage, and gives explicit advice on various points.

One footnote: LZ uses verbification rather verbing, the form in pretty wide usage among linguists. Despite its the origin of its fame (that is, Calvin & Hobbes), verbing sounds utterly normal, while verbification strikes me as a form I'd only use ironically: "Nice piece of verbification there, Mr. President. Impeach now!"

But this calls to mind something I've wondered about for a while: Charting the linguistics blogging landscape. But think about the established ones, many of which cover more than one niche: We've got everything from Language Log as the serious and professional flagship to a set of linguistics grad students blogs. There are some really excellent technical blogs on particular areas (Phonoloblog springs to mind), a few good blogs written by journalists, then a good set of basically socio-oriented ones and a ton of usage-oriented blogs. It's really a pretty rich world we've got going here.

There is probably no adequate way to describe how random the start of this blog was and that utter purposelessness is still visible in the ramshackle string of topics, themes, levels of assumed knowledges and tones that show up here from day to day. So, old Mr. Verb is the pinball of this little world, probably, to the extent that this is a linguistics blog.


Delia said...

old Mr. Verb is the pinball of this little world, probably, to the extent that this is a linguistics blog.
Which pinballishness appears to characterize both linguistics blogs and linguistics buffs. And I like that. Keep it up.

Mr. Verb said...

Gee, thanks. I'll bounce around some more then. (I suppose young folks today no longer have the immediate sense of a pinball bouncing around anymore ... kind of a shame.)