Grammar quiz based on Steven Pinker’s Sense of Style – 2

Quiz #2 Hint : the default answers are incorrect – try not to choose them   Reference: Chapter 6 – Telling Right from Wrong. Pinker, Steven (2014-09-30). The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Penguin Publishing Group. Citations in parentheses – f.e (3678-3704) – are from the Kindle Edition.  …

Grammar quizzes based on Steven Pinker’s Sense of Style – 1

Quiz #1 Hint : the default answers are incorrect – try not to choose them   Reference: Chapter 6 – Telling Right from Wrong. Pinker, Steven (2014-09-30). The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Penguin Publishing Group. Citations in parentheses – f.e (3369-3370) – are from the Kindle Edition.  …

Anne Curzan: New word meanings

Transcript of excerpts from The secret life of words by Anne Curzan, Lecture 5: New word meanings I am struck by the different attitudes that people can have to thinking about semantic change in the past, and semantic change in the present. When we see semantic change happening around us, it can cause us some anxiety,……

The fact that Pinker committed these needless words 21 times in The Sense of Style

In the very first paragraph of The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker writes: William Strunk’s course notes on writing was studded with gems of self-exemplification such as “Write with nouns and verbs,” “Put the emphatic words of a sentence at the end,” and best of all, his prime directive, “Omit needless words.” Here’s what Strunk……

Metaphors and human cognition

from The secret life of words by Anne Curzan, Lecture 5: New word meanings Metaphors seem to be fundamental to the ways in which we categorize the world. As we experience the world, we look for similarities, and that’s one of the ways that we group things together, and those similarities can be quite metaphorical. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson……

Elder abuse: Pinker vs Strunk & White

Steven Pinker starts The Sense of Style with this salute to Strunk & White I love style manuals. Ever since I was assigned Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style in an introductory psychology course, the writing guide has been among my favorite literary genres. It’s not just that I welcome advice on the lifelong challenge……

Anne Curzan at TED: What makes a word “real”?

I need to start by telling you a little bit about my social life, which I know may not seem relevant, but it is. 0:20 When people meet me at parties and they find out that I’m an English professor who specializes in language, they generally have one of two reactions. One set of people……

why, you axe me, do i say say axe, not ask? why, i ax you, is you so ig-na-ant?

Oxford English Dictionary ask, v. forms: OE acsi, axi, ahxi, axsi-an i could stop right here, but since yo is too smart fo yo own good, and cuz i luv yo, i won’t the media or/and/or medias is or/and/or are very concerned Acsian, axian, survived in ax, down to nearly 1600 [as] (sic) the regular literary form, and……

The promising decline, and alarming rise,
of Contact and Impact as verbs

[ also, thank you AOL, Happy 433rd Birthday – Message as Verb, and proof that the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language needs kids; and fewer cliches in Usage Notes ] I am so proud of my children, and of their entire anti-social, social-media, nose-to-phone, nomophobic generation. Because of you, and your texting……

Hypocrisy

Rewrote the Wikipedia entry on Hypocrisy with some expert friends in 2014. It’s been the stable version for over a year, so I’m rerewriting it this week, with the help of people who know what they’re talking about (sorry: who know about what they talk). Hypocrisy  …