Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bad Linguistics: purist fallacies

Linguistics is often misunderstood. It’s not a subject that gets taught in eighth grade, so the only people with much experience in it are specialists who pursue it in post-secondary education. As such, a number of fallacies persist among the … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Linguistics | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Soldier decapitated/Man shoots self in church

There have been two tragedies in the news lately. Yesterday, a British soldier was attacked in London in broad daylight, hacked to death with machetes, and beheaded. The attackers say it was in retaliation for British military actions in the … Continue reading

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U guize u guize i found the gratest thing!!!11

To paraphrase the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: give me a word, any word, and I show you how the root of that word is… Hebrew? Enter creationist linguistics. It hasn’t been a thing since Noah Webster in … Continue reading

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The Washington Post has a very odd definition of “understandability.”

Tū, mewom klneudhi! So pūr tosmōi senei manei dō. Negwrias kwṛmis apo bhergod deukdhi, tod mātrei dō. Ne askoisu spyeudhi! That’s a pseudo-Proto-Indo-European version of what the WaPo claims is a sentence that could be understood across 150 centuries. Did … Continue reading

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The only good idol is a breakable idol

I was standing in an un-air-conditioned room with two people who wouldn’t stop making out blocking my view, one of whom smelled kind of funny. I had tried to buy a T-shirt, but the merch girl was out of those, … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The End

That gasping sound is me coming up for air. When I left you, I was but a learner. Now I am the master. A master. “A master of what?” you say. “A master of the dark arts,” say I. “The … Continue reading

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Fiction and the Language of Conspiracy

Maybe it’s getting worse, maybe we’re just hearing about it more. In the wake of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon and the ensuing manhunt, the weird part of the Internet has been more excitable than usual. In a … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Media, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment