Extended writing Language Linguistics Metaphor

The complexities of simple: What simple language proponents should know about linguistics [updated]

Update Part of this post was incorporated into an article I wrote with Brian Kelly and Alistair McNaught that appeared in the December issue of Ariadne. As part of that work and feedback from Alistair and Brian, I expanded the final section from a simple list of bullets into a more detailed research programme. You […]

Education Extended writing Knowledge Language Linguistics

Pseudo-education as a weapon: Beyond the ridiculous in linguistic prescriptivism

Most of us are all too happy to repeat clichés about education to motivate ourselves and others to engage in this liminal ritual of mass socialization. One such phrase is “knowledge is power”. It is used to refer not just to education, of course, but to all sorts of intelligence gathering from business to politics. […]

Metaphor Scholarship

RaAM 9 Abstract: Of Doves and Cocks: Collective Negotiation of a Metaphoric Seduction

Given how long I’ve been studying metaphor (at least since 1991 when I first encountered Lakoff and Johnson’s work and full on since 2000) it is amazing that I have yet to attend a RaAM (Researching and Applying Metaphor) conference. I had an abstract accepted to one of the previous RaAMs but couldn’t go. This […]

Extended writing Linguistics

Why Chomsky doesn’t count as a gifted linguist

Somebody commented on the Language Log saying “of course […] Chomsky was a massively gifted linguist” and for some reason, to use a Czech idiom, the handle of the jar repeatedly used to fetch water just fell off. Meaning, I’ve had enough. I think we should stop thinking of Chomsky as a gifted linguist. […]

Extended writing

I write like… a new more sophisticated stripper name?

Making connections between ourselves and other people no matter how arbitrary, is an incredibly popular communal as well as private activity. The many algorithms for generating one’s stripper, mobster or some other kind of name have graduated from napkins in bars to Facebook apps and now proper quantitative analysis of text samples. But deep down […]