Synopses & Reviews
Mark Liberman and Geoffrey K. Pullum have collected some of their most insightful and amusing material from Language Log, the popular web site they founded. Often irreverent and hilarious, these brief essays take on many sacred cows, showing us among many things why Strunk & White is useless, how the College Board can't identify sentence errors in the SAT, and what makes Dan Brown one of the worst prose stylists in the business.
There is plenty here to inspire deeper thoughts as well. Why do Pete Rose's statements fall short of saying "I'm sorry," and can we learn how to apologize by analyzing his mistakes? Is there such a thing as mind-reading fatigue? What is the meaning of "pluralism" and "Yankeehood"?
Language Log is a site where serious professional linguists go to have fun. There's plenty of fun and plenty to get you thinking about language in new ways in this collection.
"[E]xuberant, tart, and totally addictive." Jan Freeman, "The Word" columnist, The Boston Globe
"Read this book and find out that not only is grammar policing not what linguists do, but that what we actually do is a lot more fun." John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language
"Whether it takes their professional expertise or just a healthy dose of common sense, Liberman & Pullum cleverly dismantle the sturdiest language myths." Nathan Bierma, "On Language" columnist, Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Mark Liberman was expelled from Harvard for anti-war protest activities and for two years had to earn his living serving as a soldier in Vietnam. Linguistics saved him. He earned a Ph.D. at MIT, worked in computational linguistics at Bell Labs, and today is a Trustees Professor of Phonetics in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Geoff Pullum was a high school dropout in England and for five years
had to earn his living playing in rock bands. Linguistics saved him. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of York and a Ph.D. at the University of London, and today is Professor of Linguistics and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of California,