An interview at Grammarist

I’ve been interviewed by Grammarist, a website specialising in words and language use. Among the topics addressed are the origins of Sentence first, whether blogging has changed language use, common mistakes, and how I would change the way people use language.

Here’s one Q&A item:

What is so interesting about language/grammar to you?

I’ve always been drawn to nature and biology, and language is one of its more compelling phenomena – not least because we use it to think and communicate with. As the Modest Mouse song goes, it’s the liquid that we’re all dissolved in. Once you start looking closely at language it opens up worlds of wonder, be it the complex choreography of speech or syntax or the transporting effects of a novel or poem. Sometimes language gets in our way, but it’s hard to imagine human life without it.

You can read the rest here. Despite my tendency to ramble I kept things fairly short and light. Comments are welcome at either location.

Grammarist has a good series of these interviews, with some names that I’m sure will be familiar to you. Anyone in the mood for even more can read earlier interviews I did for Copyediting newsletter and the WM Freelance Writers Connection.

4 Responses to An interview at Grammarist

  1. Vinetta Bell says:

    Thanks for providing links to interviews with you, Stan. I read all but the WM Freelance Writers Connection parts 1 and 2, which I could not access, and found your background, writer’s attitude toward self and the subjects, and your personality to be informative and interesting. Please permit me my opinion about what makes your Sentence First blog so appealing to a wide audience: You know your subject, you know your audience, you corral your audience when we are out of line, you take yourself seriously about that which is serious and not so seriously when your sense of humor and non-conservative thinking are deemed appropriate, you enjoy ongoing learning (which means you will always remain dynamic and teachable), and you seem to be a decent person who would not abuse your role or your audience. Those qualities permit me to communicate with you in an online blog, despite my reluctance to use technology and to expose even further my limited knowledge of it and my reluctance to invite strangers into my limited world (which is one reason why I avoid social media). Thank you, Stan, for informing and entertaining a wide spectrum (right word?) of human beings on a global scale. Not only Irish but also all humans should be grateful. (Note: The not only but also phrase was the focus of my initial contact with you via your Sentence First blog.)

    • Stan says:

      Thanks for your kind and generous comment, Vinetta. The interview question about what makes Sentence first such a successful blog is one I didn’t take very seriously (though someone somewhere will inevitably take my answer seriously). But I would like to add that one of its strengths is its commenters, who often know more about something I’ve written than I do, and who (more importantly) tend to be friendly, polite, and well-intentioned.

      As I’ve noted in my Comments Policy, “Don’t read the comments” is a familiar refrain around the web but that’s not the case here – the comments at Sentence first are generally well worth reading and free of unpleasantness and hostility. I think the practice of leaving comments on blogs – this one anyway – may be in gradual decline, so I’m especially grateful to anyone for whom joining in such discussions might not come easily. Thanks, as always, for reading.

    • Stan says:

      Oh, and about the WM Freelance Writers Connection. Their website changed address since that interview took place, so I redirected my links to copies of the interview saved by the Internet Archive. It normally takes a little longer for those pages to load, but they work for me so they may be worth trying again, if you have the time and inclination.

      • Vinetta Bell says:

        Thanks, Stan! The wait was worth it. Parts 1 and 2 of your interview with WM Freelance Writers Connection are worth the read. I’m glad I had the time and inclination to read them.

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