Books of the year

December 9, 2018

… in the Economist‘s 12/1 issue,”Books of the year: The big read”, (p. 76), in the Culture category: 6 books selected, including:

The Prodigal Tongue. By Lynne Murphy. Penguin Books; 368 pages; $17. Oneworld, £16.99.

The first and perhaps only book on the merits of American and British English that is dominated by facts and analysis rather than nationalistic prejudice. For all its scholarship, this is also a funny and rollicking read.

And in “The Economist’s journalists unbound: A short hstory of moonlighting: Here are the books our writers published in 2008” (p. 77):

Talk on the Wild Side: The Untameable Nature of Language. By Lane Greene. Economist Books/Hachette; 240 pages; $26. Profile Books: £14.99.

Our Johnson columnist argues that English is a living organism; language rules are often preferences in disguise. “He is open-minded and discerning,” the Spectator said; “no zealot and no snob.”

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News for bears: cities of bears

December 8, 2018

On the 5th here, postings on the patron saint of bears and on Swiss saintly dogs (with a bow to the city of Bern(e)). Now: more on Bern; on the movie BearCity; and on two California cities of bears, Big Bear City in San Bernardino County and Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County.

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O rosemary, my rosemary

December 7, 2018

From Kim Darnell today, a Christmas tree, which she then decorated to suit my household:


(#1) O rosemary, my rosemary

I’d admired these little rosemary bushes at Whole Foods: pretty, wonderfully scented, useful in cooking, and an excellent evergreen container plant for my patio garden (rosemary shrubs are widely used as border and filler plants locally).

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O happy day! Annals of hypallage 2018

December 6, 2018

Three bulletins on hypallage on the net: a Page on this blog; a review of some net and media discussion from 2007-09; and recent Facebook discussion of a class of cases that I’ll refer to as food-source hypallage.

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uncle-o-nym

December 5, 2018

In the 11/7 One Big Happy, Joe searches for an antonym, an opposite, and once again creatively “goes into” a word to supply the opposite:

Previously: in #2 in my 11/21 posting “OBH analyses”, Joe came up with yesbody as the opposite of nobody.

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News for (massive) dogs: St. Bernard of Menthon

December 5, 2018

It’s about the lives of the saints (like some other recent postings); it’s about Switzerland (for some value of Switzerland); and it’s about dogs, really big dogs. St. Bernard of Montjoux, and the dog named after his 11th-century refuge for travelers in the Alps.

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News for bears: St. Corbinian

December 5, 2018

Recent news flashes for bears: the 11/17/18 posting “Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day” (with the customary bow to possible gay subtexts); and the 12/4/18 posting “Santa Barbara: smite him with lightning”, with image #2 — Corrado Parducci’s Horace Rackham Fountain at the Detroit Zoo (1939), featuring a pair of sculpture bears. Now, continuing the lives of the saints theme, but disregarding the many saints named Ursus or Ursula, we come to St. Corbinian, the patron saint of bears (thanks to the 8th-century Miracle of the Bear).

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Santa Barbara: smite him with lightning

December 4, 2018

Today is Saint Barbara’s feast day. Draw near and sit with me, for today’s telling of the lives of the saints. There will be miracles.


(#1) St. Barbara as envisioned by sculptor Corrado Parducci at St. Barbara’s Church in Dearborn MI

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A Picardy morning

December 4, 2018

Yesterday’s morning name was Picardy, no doubt because the song “Roses of Picardy” played on my iTunes while I was sleeping (as I discovered when I got up). This will eventually take us from northern France in the Great War to the Ireland of “Danny Boy”.

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Wok it to the golden Lab for analysis, har-de-har-har

December 3, 2018

3 x 3: three cartoons of linguistic interest for the 3rd of December: a Dave Blazek Loose Parts with merged phonemes; a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro with an ambiguity; and a Zits with an onomatopoeia.

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