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Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby Slava » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:57 pm

Slate magazine has had a podcast on language for some time, and has now put up a text version. At last, something I can read!

Here are the introduction and the first piece in the blog.

It looks promising. I hope they can keep it up.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:07 pm

Cool blog by a cool dude in a cool rag.
pl
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Re: Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:09 am

Is cool still cool slang?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:53 pm

I still hear it. It feels good in this near 100 degree weather to find anything cool, even outdated slang.
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Re: Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby gailr » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:32 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:Is cool still cool slang?

For awhile there, it was spelled kewl, which caused my eyes to narrow whenever it appeared in emails from my own contemporaries. Still, better even kewl than illy...
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Re: Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby Slava » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:58 pm

A recent post to the Lexicon Valley blog can be found here. It's a fun piece on the use or non-use of adjectives and adverbs. Do they clutter or clarify your prose?

The previous piece, on splitting infinitives, is here.
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Re: Lexicon Valley Blog

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:10 pm

Random thoughts:
1- reading Hemingway' s letters last night, I came across advice that made sense. In effect, he said to prove you know and can follow the rules before you branch out. And EH for my money is the poster child for tight writing.

The fact is Bulwer-Lyttons ornate writing does, in fact, paint a clear picture of what he is visualizing. Note that I split a verb in that sentence, does paint, which is also discouraged by purists in some style sheets. One I've written for only discourages, but doesn't outlaw.

2- The split infinitives author unfortunately chose poorly for his first three examples. All three read more smoothly after the infinitive, and one should be at the end of the sentence. Many unnecessarily split infinitives bug me. A national restaurant chain has inside its restroom doors a sign proclaiming "We strive to properly maintain our restrooms." The adverb goes nicely at the end with equal clarity. The idea of preceding the infinitive seldom works, as the article indicates. The choice should be based on clarity and the way it sounds to your ear.
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