Category: pedantry (page 1 of 2)

Episode 283: Pun Intended (featuring Janani Krishnan-Jha and Hedvig Skirgård)

Puns. Some people love them, some people hate them.

But why do some people find puns so exasperating? And why do we make them anyway? What’s it like to be on the receiving end of a rapid-fire pun off?

Daniel and Kylie are going against the groan on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


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Show notes

The Great Language Game
https://greatlanguagegame.com

Paper: Why are some languages confused for others? Investigating data from the Great Language Game
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0165934

The great language game: Confusing languages
http://www.replicatedtypo.com/the-great-language-game-confusing-languages/7926.html

Linguistic and cultural knowledge affect whether languages are identified correctly
https://phys.org/news/2017-04-linguistic-cultural-knowledge-affect-languages.html

Linquest
https://www.languageininteraction.nl/lingquest.html

College Humour: Puns Intended
https://www.facebook.com/CollegeHumor/videos/vb.6363207806/10154267590532807/?type=3&theater

O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships
http://punoff.com

Watch Janani in action at the O. Henry Pun-off!

2016 O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships semi-final round (Janani Krishna-Jha vs Jerzy Gwiazdowski

John Pollack: The Pun Also Rises
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/307465/the-pun-also-rises-by-john-pollack/9781592406753/

Linguistic Anarchy! It’s All Pun And Games Until Somebody Loses a Sign
https://daily.jstor.org/linguistic-anarchy-pun-games-somebody-loses-sign/

What is a pun?
http://www-01.sil.org/linguistics/glossaryoflinguisticterms/whatisapun.htm

Goodreads: Quotes About Puns
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/puns

Monday Punday: A weekly game
http://mondaypunday.com/325

The Greatest Jokes Ever Told
http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/a35136/greatest-jokes-ever-told/

Tearable Puns
http://www.tearablepuns.org

Why Do Puns Make People Groan?
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/07/why-do-puns-make-people-groan/398252/

Meet the ‘Grammar Vigilante’ of Bristol
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39459831

The ‘Apostrophiser’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08kys4c

Who do you think you’re apostrophising? The dark side of grammar pedantry
https://theconversation.com/who-do-you-think-youre-apostrophising-the-dark-side-of-grammar-pedantry-75793

Are you a friendly language police?
https://educationallinguist.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/are-you-a-friendly-language-police/


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Episode 281: The Emoji Code (featuring Vyvyan Evans)

Why does everyone ❤️ and 😡 emoji?

Emoji have been received enthusiastically in our electronic communication, and yet complaints about them continue. Is there anything wrong with using them? Are they really the equivalent of modern-day hieroglyphics? Do they represent a step backwards?

Daniel and Ben speak with digital communications expert Vyvyan Evans, author of The Emoji Code, on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


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Show notes

AP style change: Singular they is acceptable ‘in limited cases’
https://www.poynter.org/2017/ap-style-change-singular-they-is-acceptable-in-limited-cases/453356/

Question from ACES2015: Is it time to accept ‘they’ as a singular pronoun?
https://www.poynter.org/2015/question-from-aces2015-is-it-time-to-accept-they-as-a-singular-pronoun/330339/

Controversy over emojis used in NAPLAN practice questions
http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/mobile-phones/controversy-over-emojis-used-in-naplan-practice-questions/news-story/a05c4fb508d5d7bd54749ef13faa75b2

Emojis in sample NAPLAN test cause alarm amongst educators | Herald Sun
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/emojis-in-sample-naplan-test-cause-alarm-amongst-educators/news-story/367d293fb70e67210474fb153007f708

NAPLAN: using emoji to test English | The Courier-Mail
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-classic-literary-texts-beats-dumb-txts/news-story/15e9f2f3ba5d7183d0b7164facab2b9e

Professor Vyvyan Evans
http://www.vyvevans.net

Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away
http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/03/why-millennial-pink-refuses-to-go-away.html

The colour I showed Ben

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/

The Surprisingly Recent Time Period When Boys Wore Pink, Girls Wore Blue, And Both Wore Dresses
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/pink-used-common-color-boys-blue-girls/

Pantone: Introducing Rose Quartz & Serenity
https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016

The evolution of Japanese color vocabulary over the past 30 years
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170302090820.htm

The Evolving Poetry Of Japanese Color Names
https://www.asianscientist.com/2017/03/in-the-lab/japan-colors-terms-evolution/

There Is No Word In The English Language For This Gorgeous Color
https://www.good.is/articles/what-color-is-this

xkcd: Color Survey Results
https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results/

Emojipedia: Exploding Head
http://emojipedia.org/shocked-face-with-exploding-head/

These Are The 10 Most Popular Emojis Used In 2016
http://www.elle.com.au/news/zeitgeist/2016/12/most-popular-emojis-2016/

Historical Thesaurus of English: Words for underwear
http://historicalthesaurus.arts.gla.ac.uk/category/?id=53582&qsearch=underwear&word=underwear&page=1


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 280: Contractions

They’ll, we’ve, you’re, and even ain’t.

This week, we’re having contractions, but not the muscular kind — the word kind! We squash words together all the time, but why? And how well can you recognise them?

Daniel, Kylie, and Ben are gonna find out on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Antonino Tati


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Show notes

The Oxford comma: Do you or don’t you?
http://publishingresourceguide.com/writers-life/writing-ideas-inspiration/oxford-comma-yes-or-no

Oxford commas, Nelson Mandela, and Stephen King
https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/oxford-commas-nelson-mandela-and-stephen-king/

The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma Wars
http://mentalfloss.com/article/33637/best-shots-fired-oxford-comma-wars

An Oxford comma changed this court case completely
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/15/health/oxford-comma-maine-court-case-trnd/index.html

A Missing Oxford Comma Just Changed the Course of a Court Case
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/missing-oxford-comma-just-changed-course-court-case-180962551/

Infographic: The Oxford comma debate
https://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/Infographic_The_Oxford_comma_debate_52369.aspx

Wikipedia: Contraction (grammar)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_(grammar)

Major Trends in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics 1 (increased use of –n’t; interesting charts)
Google Books link

Amn’t
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-amn1.htm

The Story of Ain’t
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=7100#more-7100

The Cockney and His Dialect
https://www.jstor.org/stable/534097?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

London dialect in Dickens
http://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item126779.html

Online Etymology Dictionary: won’t
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=won%27t

Why Does “Will Not” Become “Won’t”?
http://mentalfloss.com/article/55232/why-does-will-not-become-wont

Online Etymology Dictionary: contraction
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=contraction&searchmode=&p=3&allowed_in_frame=0

Word lengths are optimized for efficient communication
http://www.pnas.org/content/108/9/3526.long

Why “won’t” isn’t “willn’t”
http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2013/03/wont-willnt.html

Throw Mama From the Train: Favorite Line
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c1sgug6prw

(principle of) least effort [Zipf’s Law]
https://www.thoughtco.com/principle-of-least-effort-zipfs-law-1691104

Understanding Zipf’s Law
http://david.pilato.fr/blog/2016/01/05/understanding-zipfs-law/

The mystery of Zipf
https://plus.maths.org/content/mystery-zipf

A mysterious law that predicts the size of the world’s biggest cities
http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-mysterious-law-that-governs-the-size-of-your-city-1479244159

Applying Zipf’s Law to galaxies
https://phys.org/news/2016-04-zipf-law-galaxies.html

Wikipedia: List of placeholder names by language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_placeholder_names_by_language

UD: doovalacky
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=doovalacky

MW: doohickey
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doohickey

Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll icon, dead at 90
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-19/chuck-berry-rock-n-roll-icon-dies-aged-90/8367220

How Chuck Berry Wrote “Johnny B. Goode” and Created the First Rock and Roll Guitar Hero
http://www.guitarworld.com/artist-news/how-chuck-berry-wrote-johnny-b-goode-and-created-first-rock-and-roll-guitar-hero/30217

Sister Rosetta Tharpe Biography
http://www.biography.com/people/sister-rosetta-tharpe-17172332

Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Didn’t It Rain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR2gR6SZC2M

Vapour Trails: Revisiting Shoegaze
https://www.xlr8r.com/features/2009/01/vapour-trails-revisiting-shoegaze/

List of rock genres
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rock_genres

Music Genres List
http://www.musicgenreslist.com

Our Least Favorite Genre Names
http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2012/01/28/145858309/our-least-favorite-genre-names

Can -core survive normcore?
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/04/can-core-survive-normcore/

Slutwave, Tumblr Rap, Rape Gaze: Obscure Musical Genres Explained
http://www.laweekly.com/music/slutwave-tumblr-rap-rape-gaze-obscure-musical-genres-explained-2409158

Eminem and The Beatles: The Top-Selling Artists of the 2000s
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eminem-and-the-beatles-the-top-selling-artists-of-the-2000s-20091209

Google Ngram Viewer: on / in an island
Control-click the lines to make similar items collapse.


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Episode 219: Eggcorns

Have you heard of eggcorns?

They’re off-quoted sayings that sometimes reel their ugly heads, and some might just leave you curled up in the feeble position.

Are they wrong? That might be a bit of a mute point. But can you tell the difference between an eggcorn and the real thing?

Linguist Daniel Midgley discusses them in one foul swoop on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Google Ngram Viewer: “There is plenty of, There are plenty of
There’s Three Variants: Paper presented at LSA 2015 by Bonnie Krejci and Katherine Hilton, Stanford University (PDF)

http://stanford.edu/~khilton/Krejci+Hilton_LSA_2015.pdf

To Find Meteorites, Listen to the Legends of Australian Aborigines
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/find-meteorites-listen-legends-australian-aborigines-180952941/?no-ist

Australian Aboriginal Stories of Ancient Sea-Level Rise Preserved for 13,000 Years
http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/linguistics/science-aboriginal-stories-australia-03272.html

Revealed: how Indigenous Australian storytelling accurately records sea level rises 7,000 years ago
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/16/indigenous-australian-storytelling-records-sea-level-rises-over-millenia

Eggcorn: The Invented Word That Describes Invented Words
http://io9.com/eggcorn-the-invented-word-that-describes-invented-word-1629293915

This Is What ‘Eggcorns’ Are (and Why They’re Jar-Droppingly Good)
http://time.com/3902230/what-is-an-eggcorn/

Eggcorns? Here, here!
https://uwelingo.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/eggcorns-here-here/

‘Eggcorns’: The Gaffes That Spread Like Wildflowers
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/30/410504851/eggcorns-the-gaffes-that-spread-like-wildflowers

Google’s Ngram Viewer
https://books.google.com/ngrams

‘raucous’
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=raucous&allowed_in_frame=0

“A real tro*per”
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1867

trooper vs. trouper
http://grammarpartyblog.com/2012/10/03/trooper-vs-trouper/

“exasperating the situation”
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2010-September/102978.html

“firstable”
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/category/english/

“supposably”
http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2014/supposably-is-a-word-but-theres-a-99-chance-you-dont-know-how-to-use-it/

Which one swooped? Fowl, foul or fell? (Aside from the obvious.)
http://glenjplayer.com/2012/10/one-fowl-foul-fell-felon-swoop/

the “bud” of someone’s jokes
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/291/bud/

nip in the “butt”
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/135/butt/

coming down the “pike”
http://www.word-detective.com/2009/08/mondegreen-vs-eggcorn/

“buck” naked
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/buck_naked#Etymology

Bu?? Naked
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001351.html

Butt To Buck, Start To Stark, Or Vice Versa?
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001959.html

Duc* tape
http://www.octanecreative.com/ducttape/duckvsduct.html

Hear, hear
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear

Is It Straitjacket Or Straightjacket?
http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/02/is-it-straitjacket-or-straightjacket/

“straight” jacket is more common in books.

People emit a ‘germ cloud’ of bacteria as unique as a fingerprint, study finds
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11883473/People-emit-a-germ-cloud-of-bacteria-as-unique-as-a-fingerprint-study-finds.html

Congressman grabs pope’s water glass, takes a sip
http://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article36805737.html

Science Has Bad News for Guys With Man Buns
http://mic.com/articles/125687/science-has-bad-news-for-guys-with-man-buns

Science says the glorified man bun is a dangerous trend
http://www.aol.com/article/2015/09/23/science-says-the-glorified-man-bun-is-a-dangerous-trend/21240055/

#FreeKaren: Australians mock anti-radicalisation booklet
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-34355577

#freekaren: Govt’s school handout slammed for linking West Aust shark cull protest to radicalisation
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2015/s4319916.htm

Kevin Rudd: To the Good Burghers of Griffith
http://www.kevinruddmp.com/2013/11/to-good-burghers-of-griffith.html

burgher (n.)
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=burgher&allowed_in_frame=0

Etymology of borough, -burg, bourgeois, burglar
https://ewonago.wordpress.com/tag/origin-of-burgher/

Eggcorn: bi-election
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/529/bi-election/


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Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 210: Listener Feedback

We get a lot of feedback from listeners.

So for this episode, we decided to answer questions, and settle some scores. We even ask the musical question: “How do you alphabetise your music collection?”

All on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Em Burrows


Show notes

The Ladyslipper — a long-running catalogue for music by and for women (and everybody else).
https://www.ladyslipper.org

Feast Your Eyes on This Beautiful Linguistic Family Tree
http://mentalfloss.com/article/59665/feast-your-eyes-beautiful-linguistic-family-tree

The Wave Model of language change
https://prezi.com/_uvdnnm68kkl/wave-model-for-language-change/

What can you do with Linguistics?

Why are some words not allowed in Scrabble
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125676618

Offensive words omitted from the OSPD3
http://home.teleport.com/%7Estevena/scrabble/expurg.html


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 191: Ape Accents

Do apes have accents?

A recent news story claims that chimps learn a “new language” when they move in with other chimps. What’s behind the story? And what exactly are our fellow primates capable of, language wise?

Linguist Daniel Midgley goes ape on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Em Burrows


Show notes

One Man’s Quest to Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake
https://medium.com/backchannel/meet-the-ultimate-wikignome-10508842caad

Why Wikipedia’s grammar vigilante is wrong
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/05/why-wikipedias-grammar-vigilante-is-wrong

Language Log: Can 50,000 Wikipedia edits be wrong?
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=17636

Language Log: More on the history of comprised of meaning “composed of”
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3182

Giraffedata’s manifesto is comprised entirely of misconceptions about how language works.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Giraffedata/comprised_of#Wikipedia_policy

That’s So Gay: Google Fixes Gay Slurs
http://americanlivewire.com/2015-01-28-thats-gay-google-fixes-gay-slurs/

Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into ‘faggot’, ‘poof’, ‘queen’
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/28/google_gay_translation_fail/

Google Fixes Homophobic “Bug” in its Translator
http://www.dailytech.com/Google+Fixes+Homophobic+Bug+in+its+Translator/article37108c.htm

Etymology of <i>camp</i>
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=camp&allowed_in_frame=0

CBBC: “Chimps develop Scottish accents”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/31161049

ABC Science: “Chimps have own ‘dialects’ but can learn others”
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/02/06/4175466.htm?site=science&topic=latest

NBC: “Chimps Learn New Language When They Change Locale”
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/chimps-learn-new-language-when-they-change-locale-n300776

The actual paper
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(14)01635-2

Potent Social Learning and Conformity Shape a Wild Primate’s Foraging Decisions
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6131/483

Chimpanzee grunts mean more than you think
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/6/7985327/chimpanzee-grunts-mean-more-than-you-think

LA Times: “Chimps learn each other’s grunts, but is it language?”
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-is-human-language-chimp-grunt-20150204-story.html

ABC Science: Chimps ‘talk’ about favourite fruits, best trees
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/01/20/4165321.htm

First example of whispering observed in non-human primates
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/first-example-of-whispering-observed-in-nonhuman-primates-8836601.html

Actual paper: Whisper-like behavior in a non-human primate
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/zoo.21099/abstract

Primate call gives clues to human speech origins
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-22067192

Rare primate’s vocal lip-smacks share features of human speech
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/cp-rpv040313.php

Gelada lip smacks and wobbles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPtcNucxiMg

Terrible headline from ScienceAlert: “A wild-born orangutan has learned to communicate like a human”
http://www.sciencealert.com/a-wild-born-orangutan-has-learned-to-communicate-like-a-human

YouTube video of Tilda
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6kiA3KCf5k

Orangutans Plan Their Trips Like Humans, Tell Others Their Future Travel Routes
http://www.ibtimes.com/orangutans-plan-their-trips-humans-tell-others-their-future-travel-routes-1404478

<i>Mansplain</i> chosen as Macquarie Dictionary’s 2014 word of the year
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-05/mansplain-macquarie-dictionary-2014-word-of-year/6073620

Here’s the Big List (PDF):
https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/media2/feature_documents/MacquarieWOTY_WordList_2014_2.pdf

“Linguists aren’t language nazis. We’re language hippies.”
http://www.slideshare.net/Jayelem/so-you-know-a-linguist

Ben Harris-Roxas ‏@ben_hr: This perfectly sums up the spill and the coverage of it for me
https://twitter.com/ben_hr/status/563580390942580736/photo/1


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 180: Bad English (featuring Ammon Shea)

Are you annoyed by grammar purists?

Do prescriptive pedants pester you with trivial issues of usage?

What you need is some ammunition for fighting back. And it’s here, in the new book ‘Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation’.

Linguist Daniel Midgley talks with author Ammon Shea on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Chris Wheeldon


Show notes

Linguists decry accent contest
http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/10/04/Linguists-decry-accent-contest-n-at/stories/201410030201

What’s Wrong With “America’s Ugliest Accent”
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/10/02/america_s_ugliest_accent_what_s_wrong_with_gawker_s_tournament.html

Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation by Ammon Shea
http://www.penguin.com.au/contributors/6040/ammon-shea

Ammon’s article in The Week
http://theweek.com/article/index/263113/a-brief-history-of-linguistic-aggravation

Ammon Shea’s website
http://www.ammon-shea.com

What is the ‘shirtfront’ Tony Abbott wants to give to Vladimir Putin?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-14/shirtfront-tony-abbott-vladimir-putin-g20/5811502

Russian official mocks Tony Abbott after threat to ‘shirt-front’ Vladimir Putin
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/russian-official-mocks-tony-abbott-after-threat-to-shirtfront-vladimir-putin-20141014-115pp0.html

buttonhole
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/buttonhole

Buttonhole was originally buttonhold.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=Buttonhole

“When fashion decreed that upper buttons be eliminated, button-holders didn’t suddenly reform. Instead they began grabbing people by the buttonholes (that) designers, for no good reason, left on the lapels and the phrase became to buttonhole.”
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/6/messages/68.html

The French have the same expression: Serrer le bouton de quelqu’un.
http://www.bartleby.com/81/2731.html


Show tunes

‘Bad Kingdom’ by Moderat
from the album II

‘Take Off Your Shirt’ by Bibio
from the album Mind Bokeh

Episode 171: Word Crimes 2

Weird Al Yankovic’s song “Word Crimes” combines grammar with music, and it’s fun to listen to.

But linguists are pointing out that these word crimes are not so felonious after all.

Linguist Daniel Midgley continues the investigation on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with Damian Smith


Show notes

Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58236366-90/says-english-homophones-language.html.csp

Was someone really fired for talking about a ‘pedagogical approach’? The story is out there, but I have doubts.
http://www.comedycorner.org/89.html

Who or whom?
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/who-or-whom

Let’s point out that the popularity of some who/whom constructions has reversed.

Yes, some people use quotation marks for “emphasis”. Here’s the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com

But really, no one has trouble with the ambiguity of using punctuation marks for more than one thing.
http://alt-usage-english.org/quotes_for_emphasis.html

Grammar Girl explains why it’s okay to say you’re “doing good.”
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/good-versus-well

Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock: “Superman does good — you’re doing well!”
http://youtu.be/LoE8ZgzaX7A

Why Saying ‘I’m Good’ Is Correct, And Anyone Who Says Otherwise Is A Fool
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-are-you-im-good-is-acceptable-reply-2014-2

The pupil said, “Oh, I’m doing good!” The teacher said, “You shouldn’t say that — you should say, ‘I am doing well,’ ” to which the student replied, “Oh, no. I ain’t doing that good!”
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=P4UYAQAAIAAJ&q=%22i%27m+doing+good%22&dq=%22i%27m+doing+good%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uzXbU9HUJJa58gWM9ICABA&redir_esc=y

Irony has had many definitions over the years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony

Bongo Bongo: Literally is okay as an intensifier
http://youtu.be/7C1CXxAE7J4

Grammar Girl again, on split infinitives.
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/split-infinitives

“Weird Al” tweets: “If you thought I didn’t know that I ended “Word Crimes” with a split infinitive… you don’t give me nearly enough credit.”
https://twitter.com/alyankovic/status/490724455673372672

Spastic and “Word Crimes”
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=13552

“Weird Al” tweets: “If you thought I didn’t know that “spastic” is considered a highly offensive slur by some people… you’re right, I didn’t.  Deeply sorry.”
https://twitter.com/alyankovic/statuses/490724534513700864

David Shariatmadari: “Error is the engine of language change, and today’s mistake could be tomorrow’s vigorously defended norm.”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/11/pronunciation-errors-english-language

Tweeps
http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/2014/07/29/

Twabstinence (plus a lot more)
http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/Twitter_Dictionary_Guide.asp

Tweetus Deletus!
http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/03/tesla-motors-inc-tsla-poked-fun-at-by-nissan/


Show tunes

‘Crime’ by Real Estate
from the album Atlas

‘Police and Thieves’ by the Clash
from the album The Clash

Episode 170: Word Crimes 1

Weird Al Yankovic’s new parody “Word Crimes” is chock-full of grammar advice — but is it good advice?

Or is it just a three-minute-long language peeve session? What should we take from the song, and what should best be left alone?

Linguist Daniel Midgley tells you what you need to know on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with Rhian Todhunter


Show notes

End of the OED — in print, anyway.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/10777079/RIP-for-OED-as-worlds-finest-dictionary-goes-out-of-print.html

Watch Word Crimes by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

The lyrics:
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/weirdalyankovic/wordcrimes.html

Here are 25 questions you can ask yourself about the video.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=13521

It all makes John McWhorter want to give up.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/23/the-problem-with-weird-al-s-word-crimes-video.html

Less or fewer?
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003775.html

It was all the preference of a single author.
http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/10-items-or-less-is-just-fine/

And really, people say ‘less [items]’ all the time.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2826

Even so, grammar pedants successfully pressured Tesco on this issue
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2659948/Tesco-to-ditch-ten-items-or-less-sign-after-good-grammar-campaign.html

Lots of phrases don’t make sense, but we never seem to complain about them because we’re used to them.
http://www.toytowngermany.com/lofi/index.php/t117548.html

Like ‘head over heels’.
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-hea3.htm

Jefferson used it’s where we would think its.
http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/tree-liberty-quotation

You see, its has changed.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=its

Expresso
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/saundspel/conversations/topics/64704

The Oxford comma has some use.
http://thewritepractice.com/why-you-need-to-be-using-oxford-commas/

Although even Oxford doesn’t use it in some cases, so maybe we should call it the ‘serial comma’.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/oxford-comma_n_887658.html

Homophones have converged.
http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/164527/is-there-a-term-for-the-convergent-evolution-of-homonyms

The etymology of ‘lightning’
https://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=lingtning+etymology&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=dOrRU6GQFqSN8QfDzoD4CQ

Oxt.
http://www.vox.com/2014/7/16/5901883/oxt-new-word-weekend

Let’s do something oxt weekend.
http://oxtweekend.com


Show tunes

‘Sugar Shack’ by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
from the album Sugar Shack

‘I Did Crimes for You’ by Deerhoof
from the album Deerhoof vs. Evil

Episode 158: English Plurals

Is it octopuses or octopi? What about mongooses? Are they mongeese?

Sure, you can use plural –s, but do you know your way around the unusual plurals of English?

Have no fear — linguist Daniel Midgley takes you through the ins and outs on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with James Hall


Show notes

Cambridge is leaving apostrophes out of new street names
http://www.ndtv.com/article/offbeat/apostrophes-now-britain-at-war-over-missing-punctuation-499805

Grammar pedants are pissed
http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/02/cambridge-irresponsible-for-dropping-apostrophes-from-new-road-signs-4287467/

Sometimes the apostrophe can convey information about history, as in “Queens’ College”
http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Apostrophe-catastrophe-as-Cambridge-City-Council-bans-punctuation-from-new-street-names-20140117060000.htm

Plural -s comes from Old English
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=-s&allowed_in_frame=0

More about Old English nouns
https://www.wmich.edu/medieval/resources/IOE/inflnoun.html

But -n forms were popular too, and some have persisted.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_plurals#Plurals_in_-.28e.29n

The plural for ‘man’ underwent i-mutation.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=man

What’s i-mutation?
http://www.etymonline.com/imutate.php

And how about those -us forms?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural_form_of_words_ending_in_-us

Not everything that ends in -us pluralises as -i.
http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxplural.html

There are second declension masculine nouns that end in -us
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Latin_second_declension#Masculine

but there are also third declension neuter nouns, also ending in -us.
http://latin-dictionary.net/grammar/nouns/declensions/third-declension

Cactus is cacti though.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=cactus

Octopus isn’t Latin really.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=octopus

Octopuses is the most popular.

Toyota wants the plural of Prius to be Prii. They had a vote.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/21/toyota-decrees-the-plural-of-prius-is-prii-your-latin-teach/

Here’s a big ol’ list of plural forms
http://www.writers.com/tips_spelling.html

Here’s another.
http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/39_plural_forms_that_might_confuse_writers_10648.aspx#

‘Selfie’ is semantically mutating
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/selfies-there-are-groupies-ussies-shelfies-and-even-sealfies–but-selfobsessed-portraiture-isnt-just-a-modern-phenomenon-9234004.html


Show tunes

‘Stars Are Stars’ by Echo and the Bunnymen
from the album Seven Seas / Life at Brian’s (EP)

‘Outlines and Colours’ by Runner
from the album RTRfm In the Pines 20th Anniversary

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