Oxford Comma Cartoon

I’m not sure when “the strippers, JFK, and Stalin” would be used in a sentence given that Stalin died in 1953, when JFK was in his first year in the Senate and thus unlikely to be invited to parties with heads of state, but this is amusing nonetheless: via Brian J. Noggle’s Facebook

Oxford Drops Oxford Comma

Oxford University has dropped the Oxford comma! A dark day for humanity.

National Grammar Day

I’m reliably informed that today is National Grammar Day: Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same! Inspired by this,  Alex Knapp’s “He […]

Tea Party Speaker calls for Senator Patty Murray to Be ‘Hung’

At a Tea Party rally in Asotin, WA, one of the Tea Party speakers had this to say about Senator Patty Murray. “How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove?,” asked one speaker from the podium. “What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? What happened to Jake when he […]

Blogging Etiquette: Corrections and Updates

A drive-by commenter on yesterday’s post about the Sarah Palin wristband faux controversy offered, “If you had any honor you would take the post down.”  Aside from the fact that the original post didn’t say what she apparently thought it had and I had supplied three updates further clarifying the situation, I informed her that, […]

Proper Nouns, RIP

The edits to my TNI piece are yet more evidence of the slow death of the proper noun. “Cold War” became “cold war,” “Neoconservatives” became “neoconservatives,” and “Realists” became “realists”  in deference to House style. Twenty years ago, all of those terms would have been understood to name particular things and thus require capitalization; nowadays, […]

Language Shapes Thought

Stanford neuroscientist Lera Boroditsky passes along the consensus in her field that “people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world.” She provides a fascinating example: Follow me to Pormpuraaw, a small Aboriginal community on the western edge of Cape York, […]