Browsing Month April, 2006

Lame-ass faux hipster slang

Alright, you jackasses can stop trying to perpetrate that lame-ass supposed hipster slang that was shat out in the shape of the Hipster Handbook a couple of years ago. It’s not particularly clever, funny, or likely to catch on. It’s not ironic, either. Irony has a pointy end. This hoax is dull and rusted.

Far from the Madding Gerund and Other Dispatches from Language Log

LanguageLog has converted its content into a book. Aha! Why didn’t I think of that? (wink)

How many words in English?

My colleague and coworker Jesse Sheidlower has written on the question of how many words are in the English language.

David Sedaris

While I think listing him as your favorite author is not to your credit and while I think he is somewhere on the spectrum between being the Bennet Cerf or the James Thurber of our generation—talented but never surpassing mere cleverness and doomed to be forgotten by all but people who buy Trivial Pursuit for more…


I like this little word: pizzini, said to mean “notes” in Sicily.

Towards a more public fuck

Last week Amy Rosenberg quoted me in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the slow trend towards more public use of the word “fuck.” For once, a supposed trend is true. That I am a linguist is not true, however.

The Failure of Self-Reporting

There are three recent articles that demonstrate something that’s hard to get across. It’s this: people are bad witnesses to their own behaviors. Anyone who has ever done an academic study with human subjects knows about this. In response to questions, people say things that cannot be supported by evidence, things based on opinion, false more…

Tabloids and Television

The similarities between the last episode of Hustle (from the third season, not yet shown in the US; check your BitTorrent for local listings) and the Jared Paul Stern nuttiness are interesting.


Stephanie Rosenbloom quoted me in a New York Times article about nicknames today: “We all have a choice.” So very, very true.

Erin guest-blogging at Powell’s

My boss Erin McKean is guest-blogging over at Powell’s.