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 ›

Old medicine

As you can see, the cover page of this book looks old enough — 151 years old, to be precise. But you’ll notice that the title refers to “Early England” and the sub-sub-title refers to “before the Norman conquest,” so… Read More ›

A multilingual bookmark

I’ll have to give this as a puzzle to my incoming freshmen in September. You know how libraries give out free bookmarks as a service to their customers? (I’m sure it’s mostly just a way to discourage evil practices like… Read More ›

Spacing after periods

Three decades ago, when I was doing some contract work for a software company that shall go nameless, a co-worker suggested an optional plug-in for their flagship product. For a mere $5000.00, a customer could install a module that would… Read More ›

The Art of Language Invention

OK, let’s get a couple of things out of the way before we discuss this book: First of all, it is not a book for the general public. Despite its title, The Art of Language Invention is not a popularization. Yes, it looks like an ordinary trade… Read More ›