Year: 2012

September 14, 2012

Some Exciting News

I meant to have a new post up this week, but things have been a little more hectic than I’d anticipated. I do have an exciting announcement, though: I’ve been asked to take over the column “Grammar on the Edge” in Copyediting newsletter. Every other month, I’ll cover difficult or obscure points of grammar. Watch […]

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Uncategorized 2 Replies to “Some Exciting News”
September 5, 2012

New Product Designer

Yes, it’s another t-shirt-related post. I’ve just launched a new product designer, where you can place designs on whatever products you want—t-shirts, hoodies, laptop sleeves, aprons, iPhone cases, and more. You can even change the colors of the designs and pick your own printing technique. Just click on the Product Designer tab on the menu […]

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August 31, 2012

In Praise of Spreadshirt

Some of you may get tired of me hawking my t-shirts. If you’re one of those, I guess you can go ahead and plug your ears for this post. But I’d like to talk a bit about Spreadshirt and why I’ve chosen them to make my shirts. I first started designing my own t-shirts several […]

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August 29, 2012

Relative What

A few months ago Braden asked in a comment about the history of what as a relative pronoun. (For my previous posts on relative pronouns, see here.) The history of relative pronouns in English is rather complicated, and the system as a whole is still in flux, partly because modern English essentially has two overlapping […]

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Descriptivism, Semantics, Varieties of English 9 Replies to “Relative What
August 7, 2012

The Data Is In, pt. 2

In the last post, I said that the debate over whether data is singular or plural is ultimately a question of how we know whether a word is singular or plural, or, more accurately, whether it is count or mass. To determine whether data is a count or a mass noun, we’ll need to answer […]

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Grammar, Semantics, Usage, Words 15 Replies to “The Data Is In, pt. 2”
July 30, 2012

The Data Is In, pt. 1

Lately there has been a spate of blog posts on the question of whether data is a singular or a plural noun. Surprisingly, most of them come down on the side of saying that it can be singular—except when it’s plural. Although saying that it can be singular is refreshingly open-minded, I’ve still got a […]

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Semantics, Usage, Words 6 Replies to “The Data Is In, pt. 1”
June 21, 2012

International T-Shirt Day

Today is International T-Shirt Day! To celebrate, Spreadshirt is offering free shipping on all orders today only with the coupon code T-DAY2012. Check out the Arrant Pedantry Store, and remember that all designs are available for customization in the Spreadshirt Marketplace.

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June 14, 2012

Take My Commas—Please

Most editors are probably familiar with the rule that commas should be used to set off nonrestrictive appositives and that no commas should be used around restrictive appositives. (In Chicago 16, it’s under 6.23.) A restrictive appositive specifies which of a group of possible referents you’re talking about, and it’s thus integral to the sentence. […]

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Editing, Semantics 6 Replies to “Take My Commas—Please”
June 4, 2012

What Descriptivism Is and Isn’t

A few weeks ago, the New Yorker published what is nominally a review of Henry Hitchings’ book The Language Wars (which I still have not read but have been meaning to) but which was really more of a thinly veiled attack on what its author, Joan Acocella, sees as the moral and intellectual failings of […]

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Descriptivism, Prescriptivism 9 Replies to “What Descriptivism Is and Isn’t”
April 26, 2012

Guest Post at Logophilius

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