Thursday, June 12, 2008

Interesting Blogs on Linguistics and Grammar

Grammar Blog approaches language oddities and mishaps with a lighthearted, irreverent tone. Gez Daring, Daniel Gray, and Tom Knowles started this blog as a continuation of the linguistic gibes they shared during their time at the Univ. of Newcastle upon Tyne, in England. Many posts include photographs of errors spotted in everything from literature to signage, to which the bloggers respond with often snarky corrections. Readers contribute their own photos of spelling errors and mistakes in grammar. While this is primary British English, there are useful and clever references to American English as well. You should enjoy and understand this despite the "other English."
Motivated Grammar abandons the traditional idea of grammar as a strict set of rules. Gabriel Doyle, graduate student in linguistics at UC, San Diego, rails against linguistic prescription, or the notion that arbitrary but established grammar standards should be closely followed. Each of Mr. Doyle's posts reads like a self-contained grammar lesson, posting a question, discussing the issue, and arriving at a conclusion. You'll enjoy this one!
Professors in linguistics, Mark Liberman of the Univ. of Pennsylvania and Geoffrey Pullum of the Univ. of Edinburgh started this blog in 2003. They and other contributors often touch on popular culture and current events in their discussion of language. With multiple posts each day, this blog covers a broad swath of linguistic issues. Translation and the comparison of language are popular topics on this blog, with one series of recent posts debating why English texts are much longer than their Chinese counterparts. Do some scrolling on this one, and you will be sure to find one of great interest which will give you something to really think about and come back for more. All three of these blogs were listed in the BLOG WATCH Section by Lydia Serota in the Wall Street Journal, Monday, June 9, 2008 in Section R16.

Posted by Robin Bosworth