Two from BZ

I don’t usually pass on postings from other blogs, but on the 5th Ben Zimmer blogged two notable things on Language Log that are worth drawing attention to: one on an amazing headline from Bloomberg News and a death notice for Suzette Haden Elgin.

Bloombergian word soup. In the posting “The latest word soup from the Bloomberg headline crew”:

Bloomberg News headlines, as we’ve observed in the past, often sound like they’ve been written by someone with a bizarre journalistic strain of aphasia. Consider, as representative samples, “Ebola Fear Stalks Home Hunt for Quarantined Now Released” and “Madonna Addicted to Sweat Dance Plugs Toronto Condos: Mortgages.” The latest specimen is especially inscrutable: Patent ‘Death Squad’ Rules Owners Denounce Upheld by U.S. Court.

Ben walks us through the intended parsing, which I don’t think any reader could get without huge amounts of background knowledge or some clues (for instance: that the head verb is upheld).

Suzette Haden Elgin. With his posting “Suzette Haden Elgin (1936-2015)”, Ben has saved me the work of writing an obit for Suzette, a linguist and feminist science fiction writer — and source of “trenchant observations”, as Ben put it.

Suzette was probably best known for her books on “verbal self-defense” and the Native Tongue trilogy, with its conlang (constructed language) Láadan.

She was an old friend, going back to some time in the 60s (far enough back that we never could work out when we first met).

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