Month: August 2017

Standards-based grading?

What’s wrong with grading on a curve? Or what’s wrong with grading by straight percentages? Twelve years ago I wrote a post about why grading on a curve is destructive and counterproductive — and why grading by straight percentages isn’t actually… Read More ›

The Fight for English

It seems that I have to write about David Crystal once a year or so. This expert popularizer of linguistics always provides well-informed but accessible antidotes to common myths about language, such as the one alluded to in the subtitle… Read More ›

The War Room

How I miss Bill Clinton! Yes, he certainly wasn’t a perfect president — and yes, he wasn’t Obama — but… [You can finish the rest of the sentence yourself.] The War Room is a documentary about Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign… Read More ›

Hillbilly Elegy

What an irritating book! Even if you haven’t read Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, you’ve probably at least heard of it, as it made quite a splash when it came out last year and stayed on the best-seller list for weeks… Read More ›

Unseen World

Unseen World, a fascinating and complicated novel, will capture and maintain your attention — if you’re the right sort of reader. Right for this book, I mean of course. You probably are if you’re interested in computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, online virtual worlds (as… Read More ›

Todd Graff’s Camp

“A flawed movie about flawed characters,” as one reviewer put it. But that’s OK; even flawed movies can be worth watching, if you’re willing to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. This film from 2003 is definitely one… Read More ›