Browsing Month February, 2006

Washington Post word contest: country’s largest thief-friendly lexicon

Here’s something that peeves me like a six-wheeled peeling-and-peeving machine: newspapers reprinting email forwards without properly sourcing, dating, or citing them. It’s usually smaller newspapers that have no budgets and few staff, but still. How hard is it to properly find out where a chunk of text came from—a chunk of text that splatted in more…

Tween

People claim to have coined words all the time that they clearly didn’t. Take this example. Peter Engel, the producer of the television show Saved by the Bell, says: “You have to remember, our target audience was the 12- to 17-year-old age group…We invented the word ‘tween’…Parents trusted us with their children and we didn’t more…

Rule 3

The back of a spoon is better for spreading butter than a butter knife.

Doctors of War

Besides being a gold-mine of interesting words worth recording, this article is well-written and interesting, if a little too hagiographic. But who wouldn’t write like that about doctors and medics in a war zone? “The enemy has perfected a new ploy: placing mortar tubes into buckets of water, which are then frozen and planted near more…

Newish Anglicisms in French

One of my favorite blogs, Langue sauce piquante, is run by the French copy editors for the Parisian newspaper Le Monde. I like it because it keeps my French skillz a little fresher and because I love, love, love blogs that deal with one small subject very well. On Sunday they listed a bunch of more…

Galley pages of ODUE

I got the galley pages for my book today. It looks real!

Elmore, I do skip dialogue

In Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing he includes at number ten, “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.…Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another more…

Why Publishing Should be Sending Fruit Baskets to Google

Boing Boing is one of the most-linked and most-read web sites on the Internet and Cory Doctorow is a self-promoting hype machine (but at least his work is usually worth the hype, unlike, oh, millions of other self-promoting hype machines), but his post on how Google Print works, its legality, and why publishing should abandon more…

Orty Ort Ort

Martha Barnette, alongside whom I had a ball guest co-hosting at KPBS in San Diego for a couple of episodes of the show A Way With Words, has started blogging about language.

Has everyone completely forgotten “gorilla arm”?

There’s some yapping on the Internets about “cool” touch screens. That cool factor is outweighed by history: touch screens failed as the primary interface for desktop computers and similar constant-use devices because of gorilla arm. This is the heavy, dragged-down feeling arms get when they are held forward or upward for extended periods of time. more…