Link love: language (26)

A little “no problem” problem.

The Guardian Style Guide, digested.

American Dialect Society’s words of the year.

The problem with sanitising Mark Twain.

A list of misles.

Editing Stieg Larsson, page 1.

An interview with Ben Zimmer on language.

Do prairie dogs have language?

“The great escape”: Jonathon Green on slang lexicography.

The worst editing job in the world.

On the myth of Eskimos’ words for snow.

A short history of Caps Lock.

Three critical assessments of Google’s Culturomics/Ngrams.


[more links]

6 Responses to Link love: language (26)

  1. richardsmyth says:

    Hi Stan. Happy New(ish) Year! Some great stuff here. Just posted something on my new blog that might interest you – don’t know if you’ve come across the Crystal article already:

  2. Stan says:

    Hi Richard, and many happy returns! I hope it’s a good year for you. Thanks for bringing David Crystal’s article to my attention. On a related note, you might enjoy Jan Freeman’s article on ‘What King James wrought‘.

  3. I’ve had a copy of Huckleberry Finn ever since I was eight years old (age approximate). I got it as a gift, and it’s a very nice copy if judged by the quality of the cover art. However, it has always been one of those books that has sat on my shelf unread. Every now and then I’ve given it a go, but the language combined with the alien cultural references has always stopped me, until now. Following the sanitation news story and a little prodding from @john_s_wilkins on Twitter, I read the whole thing in the last few days, using the Internet when needed to look up those alien cultural references.

    A recurring fantasy of mine involves going back in time to meet a literary giant of the past, and lending them a modern day book to satisfy their curiosity about directions taken by literature in the future. It’s fun to speculate on which books one might lend to which writers. I’m leaning towards giving Mark Twain a copy of Terry Pratchett’s “The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents“, because Malicia Grim could easily be a reincarnation of Tom Sawyer.

    In other news, you may have seen my jocular N-Grams graph showing the victory of evil over Good circa 1750. The real story, of course, is about capitalisation, but I love the fact that you can make it appear that “Evil” triumphed over “Good” at some definite point in the past.

  4. Stan says:

    Dragon: I’m glad to hear you persevered with Huckleberry Finn, and I hope you felt rewarded for your time. Like you, I didn’t read it until I was an adult; it’s a rich and wonderful book, I think, deserving of its classic status.

    Your time-travelling-author fantasy is interesting; it would make a good book-club game (though I’m not in any book clubs, at least not yet). I would give Twain a copy of James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son.

    Good vs. evil is very funny! I started writing a post about N-Grams but it was turning into a bunch of graphs and links and little else, so I dropped it. Here‘s one I liked.

  5. Sarah says:

    Love the misles!

  6. Stan says:

    Me too, Sarah! Thanks for stopping by.

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