Year: 2016

June 15, 2016

Sorry, Merriam-Webster, but Hot Dogs Are Not Sandwiches

On the Friday before Memorial Day, Merriam-Webster sent out this tweet: Have a great #MemorialDayWeekend. The hot dog is a sandwich. https://t.co/KeNiTAxPAm — Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 27, 2016 They linked to this post describing ten different kinds of sandwiches and asserted that “yes, the hot dog is one of them.” They say, We know: the […]

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Semantics 12 Replies to “Sorry, Merriam-Webster, but Hot Dogs Are Not Sandwiches”
June 6, 2016

Book Review: Perfect English Grammar

Disclosure: I received a free review PDF of this book from Callisto Media. Grant Barrett, cohost of the public radio program A Way with Words, recently published a book called Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking. In it, Barrett sets out to help writers like himself who may not have […]

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Book Reviews One Reply to “Book Review: Perfect English Grammar
May 18, 2016

On a Collision Course with Reality

In a blog post last month, John McIntyre took the editors of the AP Stylebook to task for some of the bad rules they enforce. One of these was the notion that “two objects must be in motion to collide, that a moving object cannot collide with a stationary object.” That is, according to the […]

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Usage 29 Replies to “On a Collision Course with Reality”
April 25, 2016

Free Shipping

It’s that time again! Now through May 1, get free shipping on orders of two or more shirts from the Arrant Pedantry Store when you use the coupon code TWOWOO. Oh, and did I mention that I have a new shirt design? Check it out!

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Uncategorized 0 Replies to “Free Shipping”
April 4, 2016

ACES Presentation: Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics

On Saturday, I presented at the twentieth annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society, held in Portland, Oregon. My topic was “Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics”, and my aim was to give editors a crash course in using corpora to research usage questions. I was floored by the turnout—there were probably close to two hundred […]

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Editing 4 Replies to “ACES Presentation: Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics”
March 28, 2016

The Taxing Etymology of Ask

A couple of months back, I learned that task arose as a variant of tax, with the /s/ and /k/ metathesized. This change apparently happened in French before the word was borrowed into English. That is, French had the word taxa, which came from Latin, and then the variant form tasca arose and evolved into […]

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Historical linguistics, Phonology 9 Replies to “The Taxing Etymology of Ask
February 4, 2016

A Rule Worth Giving Up On

A few weeks ago, the official Twitter account for the forthcoming movie Deadpool tweeted, “A love for which is worth killing.” Name developer Nancy Friedman commented, “There are some slogans up with which I will not put.” Obviously, with a name like Arrant Pedantry, I couldn’t let that slogan pass by without comment. A love […]

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Grammar, Usage 16 Replies to “A Rule Worth Giving Up On”
January 28, 2016

Historic, Historical

My brother recently asked me how to use pairs of words like historic/historical, mathematic/mathematical, and problematic/problematical. The typical usage advice is pretty straightforward—use historic to refer to important things from history and historical to refer to anything having to do with past events, important or not—but the reality of usage is a lot more complicated. […]

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Usage 4 Replies to “Historic, Historical”
January 6, 2016

The Atlantic Is Wrong about Dog Pants

While on my Christmas vacation, I came across this article in the Atlantic on the question of what proper dog pants should look like: the image on the left, or the image on the right. The image originally came from a Facebook page called Utopian Raspberry—Modern Oasis Machine (UR-MOM), and from there it hit Twitter […]

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Semantics 15 Replies to “The Atlantic Is Wrong about Dog Pants”
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