One Saturday last month, when I walked into the Saturday Course wearing my map jacket, the director brought up the idea that I should consider teaching a geography course. I was lukewarm to that idea, primarily because I couldn’t imagine… Read More ›

Pi Day

Three days ago was Pi Day (3/14). Or maybe I should say 3.14 days ago, since that was Pi Day. Anyhow, a lot of the Weston math teachers celebrated it one way or another with our classes, and Kelly of… Read More ›

Can we have archaic and read it too?

If you are translating an archaic language into English, should your writing sound archaic? Or should it be readable? Altogether too many amateur translators think the former. One of my colleagues inadvertently provided a lovely example yesterday. In precalculus class… Read More ›

Xerox? photocopy? copy?

Yes, we know that Xerox® isn’t a verb. For years we’ve been carefully trying to say, “I photocopied this document,” instead of “I Xeroxed this document.” But now the photo- prefix seems to be disappearing. Some people are even puzzled… Read More ›

Singulars and plurals

I am catching up on reading old posts in Tenser, said the Tensor, which labels itself as “the blog of a graduate student in linguistics. It’s about language, science fiction, computers and technology, comics, anime, and other geekery.” How could… Read More ›

An obligation to vote?

Everyone knows about the 2004 decision of the Massachusetts supreme court legalizing gay marriage, and everyone knows that laws banning gay marriage have been passed in many states and are in the pipeline in others, but out-of-staters may not be… Read More ›

The Rule of Four

I recently read The Rule of Four, a truly fascinating novel co-written by first-time authors Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. Fascinating to me, at any rate — your mileage may vary. If you’re interested in Latin, linguistics, typography, academic mysteries,… Read More ›

Case of Lies

Catching up on posts about recent reading: I highly recommend Case of Lies, by Perri O’Shaughnessy, especially if you are interested in math or linguistics. If you’re not, it’s still a solid mystery, well above average for the genre even… Read More ›