Browsing Month May, 2007

Dictionary of Common Patent Term Usage

Justin E. Gray proposes a Dictionary of Common Patent Term Usage for use in legal wrangling where the plaintiff and defendant disagree on the meaning of a word and each credit their own preferred dictionaries as authoritative sources. He writes, [There are no] clear guidelines for courts to use when confronted with multiple dictionary definitions more…

Good story about the Dictionary of American Regional English

The Wisconsin State Journal has a good article about the Dictionary of American Regional English. The dictionary is so often the source for answers to queries we get on the radio show, that I hope DARE does a concise edition when they’re finished with the fifth and final volume. I’d like to see more people more…

Want to learn about word-hunting? A call for dictionary participants

I’m looking for a few people who are interested in learning about hunting for words by way of helping out with the Double-Tongued Dictionary. The task has grown ever larger during the nearly three years the site has been public. There are more places to hunt and more ways to do it. Our traffic continues more…

Uninformed rubbish from CIO magazine

I don’t even know where to being with describing what’s wrong with these bogus etymologies, so I’ll just repeat what I wrote in the comments there. About a quarter of these are provably false, another quarter are unsubstantiated rubbish that’s been repeated without verification for years, and most of the rest take liberties with correlation more…

What’s the Gaelic for “Get a life?”

There’s a nuanced post over at Assistant Village Idiot about how claims of language victimhood don’t make plausible etymological explanations more probable. Linguistics is about proof; etymology is about probability. That’s an unfair simplification, but it will do for now. Cassidy and others who wish to defend Irish honor in the field of contribution to more…

In Poland they thought Imus was talking about lawns, not hos

Reinhold Aman writes in Language Log about the wide range of translations of Don Imus’s “nappy-headed hos” comment. Not the least of the sins was failing to look up the words in American dictionaries and, therefore, incorrectly translating “nappy” as the British “diaper.”

Style & Substance, a blog by Paul R. Martin, stylebook editor of the Wall Street Journal

I was alerted to the existence of this incredibly wonky blog about writing style and errors in the Wall Street Journal by a New Yorker article about Rupert Murdoch’s bid to purchase Dow Jones, which owns the newspaper.

Knob? What knob?

Gillette man’s custom shifter knobs are sent to customers around the world. “A man from Idaho once sent Roosa a film canister containing then-live ticks that he had pulled off his dog along with several of his own wisdom teeth that a doctor had extracted. He wanted the teeth to be placed in the center more…

Torn From Parents, a Top Speller Vents His Anger

Thirteen-year-old Kunal Sah is a finalist in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and working under hardships not of his own making. He’s separated from his parents, who were sent back to a province in Bihar State, India, after being denied political asylum, while he lives in Utah with his aunt and uncle. They have all more…

Bombing Dresden: “It was Wagnerian. It was theatrical.”

German journalist Daniel Sturm conducted an engrossing interview with Gifford Doxsee, who was in Dresden with Kurt Vonnegut and is an Ohio University professor emeritus of history. They discuss Vonnegut, the war, death, bombing, corpse removal, and politics.