Labels Are Not Definitions

Labels Are Not Definitions: postings on Language Log and this blog

AZ, 2/22/07: Labels Are Not Definitions: Labels Are Not Definitions
“double is“, “is is“, “double be“, or “be be” as labels for Isis

RS, 3/27/07: Labels for linguists: Labels for linguists
descriptive vs. prescriptive linguist, sociolinguist, linguist

EB, 10/2/08: On language and politics: On language and politics
comment by Sili

AZ, 10/20/08: The Derivational Fallacy: The Derivational Fallacy:
the adjective derivative

BZ, 11/7/08: There will be passives: There will be passives
AZ comment: Beware: labels are not definitions. “Progressive aspect” is a label for a grammatical phenomenon; clauses in the progressive aspect do not necessarily denote events in progress (although they often do, so that “progressive aspect” isn’t a bad label), and events in progress aren’t necessarily described by clauses in the progressive aspect. For instance, the (futurate) progressive “I am speaking in San Francisco tomorrow” doesn’t denote an event in progress.

AZ, 11/3/09: Pronouns ‘n’ stuff: Pronouns ‘n’ stuff
[on the idea that] a pronoun “stands for”, or more precisely, “takes the place of”, a noun (that is, the function of pronouns is to avoid repeating nouns); people … sometimes say that this claim follows directly from the etymology of the word pronoun (though I have cautioned many times that Labels Are Not Definitions

2/25/10: NomConjObjs: NomConjObjs
Clearly, “nominative conjoined object” is an imperfect name, but it’s hard to imagine how to pack all the relevant information into a reasonably short name. And anyway, labels are not definitions.

8/26/10: nth birthday, (n+1)th year; visiting professor: visiting professor
the title visiting professor

11/29/10: VPE mismatches: VPE mismatches
VP Ellipsis(VPE) or VP Deletionas a name for a construction

3/25/11: The persistence of proper names: proper names
CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing held other than at CUNY

5/19/11: ?Portmanteau: ?Portmanteau
cumshot as a portmanteau

8/10/12: Brief mention: Technical terminology: Technical terminology
the name drone

11/16/14: Name aversion: Name aversion
names for Isis again

7/27/15: Misleadingly named animals: Misleadingly named animals
mayflies, Eastern kingbirds

5/2/16: Raining subjunctives: Raining subjunctives
Present Subjunctive and Past Subjunctive as names for clause constructions

3/27/17: An early “is is”? Probably not.: An early “is is”
“double be” as a name for Isis

3/30/17: More on early “is is”: More on early “is is”
“is is” as a name for Isis

12/19/17: From the archives of avoidance: archives of avoidance
Afro-American, African-American, and African American as … terms for Americans descended from enslaved people of sub-Saharan Africa

4/12/18: chicken fried chicken: chicken fried chicken
Chicken fried steak doesn’t mean ‘steak fried in the manner of fried chicken’; it’s the name of a dish, a fried steak preparation that resembles in some ways Southern fried chicken.

4/30/18: Books and their covers: Books and their covers
book titles are not plot summaries

8/23/18: “The hell is that guy going?”: predator-truncated QuEx: “The hell is that guy doing?”: predator-truncated QuEx
#5 title “Labels are bad” for Jake Thompson cartoon

10/9/18: Nomenclature as destiny: Nomenclature as destiny
passenger pigeon, carrier pigeon in Scott Hilburn cartoon


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