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Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2008 12:38
Language Log has changed servers -- please switch this feed to http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?feed=rss2...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2008 22:18
Randall Monroe continues the fight against error on the web:...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2008 18:50
After a short spurt of postings about phishing back in 2004 (here, here, and here), Geoff Pullum returned to the topic in January.  Once again, his interest was in detecting phishing by looking at the grammatical and orthographic errors...
Author: "Arnold Zwicky"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2008 12:38
The Trent Reznor Prize for Tricky Embedding (Right-Node Raising division) goes to Andrew Ilachinsky, author of "Exploring self-organized emergence in an agent-based synthetic warfare lab", Kybernetes, 32(1/2): 38-76, 2003: 4.84 Universal grammar of combat. Finally, what lies at the heart...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2008 12:38
The Trent Reznor Prize for Tricky Embedding (Right-Node Raising division) goes to Andrew Ilachinsky, author of "Exploring self-organized emergence in an agent-based synthetic warfare lab", Kybernetes, 32(1/2): 38-76, 2003: 4.84 Universal grammar of combat. Finally, what lies at the heart...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2008 11:57
In yesterday's post on "Comparing communication efficiency across languages", I compared the sizes of the English and Chinese sides of parallel (i.e. translated) text corpora, and observed that English seems to require 20-40% more bits to express the same information,...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2008 22:25
Following up on "Yeah no" and "'Yeah no' mailbag" (4/3/2008), Russell Lee-Goldman writes: I was actually about to send a long email to you about yeah-no, but decided just to put it on my blog. That's "Yeah-no and no-yeah again",...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2008 18:29
Many -- indeed, most -- linguistic expressions have more than one meaning.  An apparently trivial observation, but one that leads to all sorts of puzzles in linguistic analysis and theorizing.  The central question is how meanings are associated with...
Author: "Arnold Zwicky"
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2008 13:49
Audrey Devine-Eller writes in with the latest entry for the Cupertino files. This spellchecker-induced gem is from the Student Personnel Services page on South Brunswick (NJ) High School's website: In early August, all rising sophomore, junior and senior students will...
Author: "Benjamin Zimmer"
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2008 11:35
In response to last week's post on comparative vocabulary size ("Ask Language Log: Comparing the vocabularies of different languages", 3/31/2008), a number of readers sent observations about a related but different topic, namely the comparative efficiency of communication. At least...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2008 21:29
I've gotten a number of interesting messages about this morning's "Yeah no" post, and I also found the time to transcribe and discuss one typically complex example that turned up among the 5,000-odd hits in the search I did on...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2008 20:33
Grant Barrett is now doing a weekly language column for the Malaysia Star, and this week he talks about saying things the wrong way on purpose — intentional errors like the Internets and coinkydink. The column got picked up by...
Author: "Benjamin Zimmer"
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Yeah no   New window
Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2008 12:30
Matt Hutson writes: There's a phenomenon that has interested me for a while, and I noticed a extreme example last weekend. When people mean "yes" they sometimes say "no, yeah" or "yeah, no" and when they mean "no" they say...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2008 01:27
That would be the comic strip version, anyhow, of the scene evoked by the headline of Augustine Anthony's Reuters story, "Musharraf swears in Pakistan cabinet full of foes", 3/31/2008. [Hat tip to Andy Hollandbeck]...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2008 00:37
Step 1: A language maven M contrasts two (roughly) equivalent variants X and Y, labeling them standard and non-standard respectively (or, more starkly, "correct" and "incorrect") and proscribing Y.  This is the labeling phase. Step 2: M attempts to...
Author: "Arnold Zwicky"
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Date: Wednesday, 02 Apr 2008 22:59
When the Chicago Cubs unveiled a statue of beloved player Ernie Banks outside Wrigley Field earlier this week, there were murmurs of horror among the enemies of apostrophe abuse. The granite pedestal of the statue was inscribed with Banks' famous...
Author: "Benjamin Zimmer"
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Date: Wednesday, 02 Apr 2008 06:15
With the Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania still three weeks away, political reporters have a lot of column inches to fill and are no doubt looking for creative ways to combat the campaign trail's proverbial fear and loathing. Take...
Author: "Benjamin Zimmer"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Apr 2008 13:48
If you have strong concerns about English usage, science reporting, language analysis, lexicography, or linguistic atrocities of any kind, you should use Language Log. It is well known for its delayed release. For best results daily use is recommended. Although...
Author: "Roger Shuy"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Apr 2008 12:12
Richard Morrison's 3/12/2008 column for The Times (London) ran under the title "The very Ikea: Denmark takes the floor in an entertaining feud", and began like this: Not since Shakespeare declared that something was rotten in the state of Denmark...
Author: "Mark Liberman"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Apr 2008 11:35
In a major personnel shock, it was announced today that Mark Liberman is to leave Language Log to move to the Science News section of the BBC. Negotiations had apparently been under way for some time. Liberman's openly critical attitude...
Author: "Geoffrey K. Pullum"
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