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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Far from the Madding Gerund

Aloysius is out in the garden again, doing what he does every Tuesday. Not much! Since this is his day to be simply a cat, I'm filling in. And have I got some exciting news.

Two language mavens from Language Log, Mark Liberman and Geoffrey Pullum, have published a book based on their blog. Why should you care? Because, despite being college professors, these guys are really funny. (Or maybe they're funny because they're professors?)

Want proof? Here's an excerpt from Professor Pullum's post announcing the publication of Far from the Madding Gerund and Other Dispatches from Language Log
Naturally, Mark and I see ourselves as being basically of the post-print era. Cyber-aware, web-initiated, silicon-sinewed, HTML-savvy guys. Books, for us, are those old, musty things bound in calf skin that line the walls of the studies of older scholars. Books are for geezers. We do most of our research through web browsers, like everybody else now. We belong to the 21st century, not the 14th. We are much too modern for books. Oh, sure, we do keep a few books around, but just a few that we care about. Roughly four or five thousand each, I estimate, looking at the bookshelves in his Philadelphia apartment, and recalling the shelves in the Santa Cruz house and office that I will be returning to this July. The Cambridge Grammar; Syntactic Structures; a first edition of Dracula; that sort of thing. But mostly we are postbiblic.
These are the guys who invented the terms "snowclone" and "eggcorn." In addition to being funny, these profs have excellent taste. Last week, their blog quoted Aloysius' post on The Four Subjects of Catblogging.

Officially published on May 1, Far from the Madding Gerund and Other Dispatches from Language Log is already available on Amazon.com. Buy it for your favorite word maven.



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