Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

Month: March 2006

  • Stupid newspaper tricks

    Newspapers make me register if I want to read their content. Fine. I do so—a lot. My word-hunting means I look at hundreds of articles from hundreds of newspapers around the world every day. I use real sign-up information. I figure I’m reading their news, they can find out where I live. Very little spam…

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  • See? SEE? What did I say?

    State bill proposes Christianity be Missouri’s official religion. As I noted previously, my home state is overrun with crazies and nutjobs. Where’s that good country sense Mule-Staters used to be known for? If I were still in Missouri, for every office in every state election I’d write in Aku Ankka like the Finnish do. (Props…

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  • Freedom of speech: more famous than Bart Simpson

    Mark Liberman at LanguageLog has a near-perfect demonstration of how easy it is to doomsay any polling data by choosing a negative perspective—and also how that perspective is further corrupted as the story is written and rewritten by various media.

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  • Rule 4

    Any movie advertised with an actor peering over the top of sunglasses is bound to be one of the worst films you’ve ever seen. This rule holds doubly true if such an image appears on the DVD or videocassette cover. It holds three-quarters true if the actor is merely wearing, but not peering over, the…

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  • White House letters of resignation

    The following documents are easy to download, easy to open, easy to fill out, easy to print, and easy to understand. If executed at the same time, they’ll also give the United States its first female president. I’m a dope. Don’t vote for me for president. Step one. Donald H. Rumsfeld resignation letter. Step two.…

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  • Number of reporters in Escondido, Calif., who need to buy an American dictionary: at least one

    “An autopsy, or postmortem, as it is called in Belize, was done and the cause of death was described as traumatic shock.”

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