Category Archives: language notes

Occupy Language? – NYTimes.com

Occupy Language? – NYTimes.com.

December 21, 2011, 8:00 pm

What if We Occupied Language?

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The Right and Wrong of Writing

The Right and Wrong of Writing.

The Right and Wrong of Writing

Who or what determines what is correct form in writing, and what is incorrect? Many nations have an official body that regulates the national language to protect it from extinction or at least from degradation. (France’s Academie Francaise, in particular, seems to exist primarily to prevent pollution of the French language by importation of English words — let me know how that works out, mon amis). This paternal protection, however, does not extend to grammar and punctuation and the like.

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Read the full story here: Daily Writing Tips

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What Typos Mean to Book Publishing – NYTimes.com

What Typos Mean to Book Publishing – NYTimes.com.

July 17, 2011, 5:30 pm

The Price of Typos

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Mark Twain Censored – Follow-Up

More on that subject – including a discussion – can be found in the New York Times.

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Mark Twain censored

There’s a new, “sanitized”, version out of Mark Wain’s “Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer“, in which, among others, the word “nigger” has been replaced by “slave”, as the New York Times reports. That, to my mind, is not only political correctness gone way too far, but also a falsification of a literary work. What the editor of that new edition does not understand is that every work of literature [and art in general] is an expression of the ideas and beliefs of the time it was written and that, in the case of a literary piece of work, the exact text is really necessary to understand the work itself and the author. Any alteration simply is a falsification. There clearly is a need to explain e.g. the usage of words to modern readers [and especially young ones], but this can and must be done in footnotes.

P.S.: That also goes for editions of the Bible in which every reference to a male God has been replaced by a gender-neutral term.

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invasivores

people who eat invasive species

seen in: The New York Times, Dec 31, 2011

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Chinglish

China verbannt den Gebrauch von Wörtern und Abkürzungen ausländischen Ursprungs sowie Mischformen aus Englisch und Chinesisch [“Chinglish”] aus schriftlichen Publikationen, auch im Internet, weikl diese die Reinheit der chinesischen Sprache beeinträchtigen, wie u.a. die BBC berichtet. Eine Kurzfassung dieser Meldung findet sich im Slate Magazine.

Kommt mir irgendwie bekannt vor. Hatten wir das nicht schon einmal in unserer “tausendjährigen” Geschichte? Dieses unseelige Bestreben nach der Reinheit der deutschen Sprache – ach, wenn es nur das gewesen wäre – das uns “Kraftbrühe” statt “Bouillon” bescherte, und die – satirische – Umformung von “Explosionsmotor” [ein ganz normaler Benzinmotor] ind “Zerknalltreibling”.

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you’re liking

My idea is that the verb “like” can not have a progressive form, but I found this, “you’re liking the last one already” in a comment in the New York Times.

I have not done any reasearch yet, but to my mind the use of the progressive form seems to be more frequent in American English.

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Laptopistan

the coffee shop cafe writing scene

found in: The New York Times, Dec. 5, 2010

On the whole, quite an interesting article, dealing with those people who seem to sit at a coffee shop table for hours on end, typing away on their laptops. I recently noticed that at Starbucks here in San Antonio, at the Quarry Market. There, nearly every table was occupied – and thus blocked – by just one person, not consuming anytning, but using their laptops.

I do like that word!

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Akronyme

Dass das Akronym “POTUS” für “President of the US” steht, wusste ich ja schon, und auch, das “SCOTUS” für den Supreme Court steht, aber heute habe ich dann dazugelernt, dass “FLOTUS” die “First Lady of the US” ist. Was man nicht Alles so lernt!

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