background preloader

Language Log

Language Log
An important rallying cry and usage distinction made by allies of undocumented workers in the current cultural battle over immigration in the United States is Elie Wiesel's assertion above: "No human being is illegal." In the quote, Wiesel gives examples of the kinds of adjectives that he feels can denote properties of people (fat, skinny, beautiful, right, and wrong). On the other hand, calling a person 'illegal', he says, is a contradiction in terms. Here's a more elaborated statement of the idea, quoted from this website When one refers to an immigrant as an "illegal alien," they are using the term as a noun. They are effectively saying that the individual, as opposed to any actions that the individual has taken, is illegal. What are the linguistic underpinnings of the intuition that using the term illegal alien implies that a person's existence is illegal? Read the rest of this entry »

Related:  Writing ExamplesHistorical Information Plus ResourcesLinguistique anglaiseLinguistics blogs

How to Write a Good Preface A good preface can be your best advertising campaign. Learn how to write a good preface and attract more readers. A preface is a small introduction to a book, usually written by the author. It shouldn’t be mistaken for the foreword, which is an introductory note written by a person other than the author. 15 Massive Online Databases You Should Know About Advertisement Think of your favorite open databases. I’m sure Wikipedia and IMDb instantly spring to mind, but you might not be in the need of all that knowledge ever, or a comprehensive database of all things entertainment. Sometimes you need a bit of VLDB (Very Large Data Base) flavor. Something to spice up your data analysis.

Lovely Little Lexemes "Suddenly, in a single action" I started thinking about this phrase today because I realized I didn't know how to spell the second word. I quickly discovered that the main reason I didn't know how to spell it was because I was mispronouncing it. I always thought it was one foul/fowl swoop. Egg on my face. Top 20 Best PowerPoint Presentations Looking for the best PowerPoint presentations to inspire you? We searched high and low to provide you with an out of this world list of the best PowerPoint presentation designs. Presentations don’t only have to be used the day of your pitch. Now with sites like SlideShare, presentations are a great medium for creating unique content.

I Made A Linguistics Professor Listen To A Blink-182 Song And Analyze The Accent Blink-182 at the Whiskey in Los Angeles in 1996. (Photo: Daniel D'Auria/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 2.0) Two decades have passed since pop-punk exploded in the American music scene, yet the quintessentially suburban, teen-centric music still seems to bounce around our collective skulls. Of all the elements of the Clinton-era mutation of punk music that embraced skate and surf culture, mild angst, goofiness, and incredibly hooky, catchy music, it's the vocals that we remember. The very specific accent used in the mega-hits of the genre seems to still have a hold over anyone who was a teenager between 1993 and 2003: On Twitter you’ll see jokes made about the “pop punk voice" used by bands like the Offspring, New Found Glory, Avril Lavigne, and, especially, Blink-182.

Fully (sic) - Crikey's Language Blog How to solve Australia’s language learning crisis Fully (sic)Jun 15, 20162 Comments With the "moribund" state of language learning in Australia in the spotlight, Ingrid Piller busts some myths, arguing that it does not have to be this way and that something can be done about it. Dr. Karen’s Rules of the Academic CV Today’s post is a long overdue post on CVs. While the CV genre permits a wide range of variation, and there is no consensus on the value or desirability of one particular style, I am going to present a list of expectations that govern my own work at The Professor Is In. These expectations will produce a highly-readable, well-organized CV on the American academic model. How to Change the Centuries-Old Model of Academic Publishing - Pacific Standard Back when I was a new graduate student, more than a dozen years ago, nearly all scientific journals in my field had a website, but that didn’t mean you could always get the papers you needed online. Often, I had to go to the library with a handful of quarters for the photocopier in order to get the print version of an article that was neither online nor pay-walled. Because this was time consuming, I would only do this for articles I really needed to read.

The virtual linguist Exercises in Style (the English translation of Exercices de style, first published in 1947) contains 99 versions of the same anecdote, each written in a different style. The author, Raymond Queneau, was a co-founder of the Oulipo group (about which more in my next post), whose aims were to explore the full potential of literature by stressing form. The first exercise, entitled Notation (taken from the Alma Classics edition, with translations by Barbara Wright) is: On the S bus, in the rush hour. A chap of about twenty-six, soft hat with a cord instead of a ribbon, neck too long, as if someone's been tugging at it.