Browsing Month July, 2006

Book Reviews

More reviews for my book have come in. Dana at Linguistic Life had several nice things to say, and says “Grant’s reported to be one of the happiest lexicographers out there.” So! I shall never be called a young curmudgeon again. Jan Freeman at the Boston Globe gives both the book and the web site more…

Spelling reform? No.

Any advocate of drastic spelling reform must have an insufficient understanding of just how differently English is spoken in the various groups that contribute to our various American English dialects. Which is why stories like this are such howlers: those paragraphs written in “simpler” spelling simply do not work in whole swaths of America. First, more…

Crank etymologist

Thinking phonetic similarities between words prove origin or relation is a common mistake of amateur etymologists, as in this junk etymology, where the author, a known crank who favors simplistic and unverified Irish origins for a variety of English words—because he thinks American and English lexicographers have an anti-Irish bias—posits that bunkum comes from a more…