Tag Archives: grammar

sounds familiar

Hodge asks us to look to semiosis to understand and act in the politically over-charged moment. 

McCarthyism was constituted in texts and in explosive discursive, semiosic processes that carried the effects very far, very quickly…. Semiosic contexts inflect meanings and are themselves meanings. McCarthy’s strategy included waving a list in the Senate which he claimed contained 205 names of proven commu- nists in public office, which he would not reveal. Waving the list was a multimodal signifier supporting his spoken words. This semiosic situation contains multiple splits. McCarthy’s speech is a surface text split from its real meaning, supposedly known to the speaker but not the audience. The speaker demands absolute trust from his hearers at the same time as he excludes them. We do not need a theory of schizophrenia to see this as a way to provoke paranoia.

Hodge, Social Semiotics for a Complex World. 91.

What I’m reading 15 Jan 2017 through 24 Jan 2017

  • Getting Started on Academic Twitter v2.0 – A current introduction and advice. – (twitter en3177 )
  • Editing wars at London Bridge Street – When procedures are offered up as irony, it's art. – (strunknwhite grammar )
  • The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear – The New Yorker – The New Yorker weighs in on authoritarianism in the 21st century: "at that terrifying first press conference of Trump’s, on Wednesday, we saw the looming face of pure authoritarianism. Rewards are promised to the obedient: those good states that voted the right way, the “responsible” press. Punishments are threatened to the bad: “They’re going to suffer the consequences!” Intimidation is the greeting to any critic. And look! There’s a claque alongside to cheer the big boss and deride his doubters. This is what was once called Bonapartism: I won and I can now do anything I choose. Victory, however narrow, is license for all. Autocracy, after all, has always been compatible with plebiscitary endorsement. The point of constitutional government is to make even the victors subject to the rules." – (authoritarianism politics trump )

What I’m reading 12 Jul 2015 through 15 Jul 2015

  • Technology Fails Plagiarism, Citation Tests – "plagiarism detection software is being unmasked as not as effective as using browser search engines." But with Turnitin, you don't actually have to read the paper. Maybe I'm cynical, but I'm thinking we don't trust our own judgements. But the better argument is this,

    "Both plagiarism detection and citation software are harbingers of the dangers of seeking shortcuts for teaching students any aspect of writing; spending school or university funds on these inadequate technologies, I think, is hard to defend, but the greater pedagogical problem is how technology often serves to impede, not strengthen our roles as educators—especially as teachers of writing. – (plagiarism fyw )

  • Fear and Loathing of the English Passive – Geoffrey Pullum – Pullum clarifies use of the passive in English. Makes one glad to be alive. – (grammar usage syntax strunknwhite )
  • Human Resources and Thought Control – Lingua Franca – Geoffrey Pullum – Another strike at the gramma and umbrage gang. This time it's a matter of getting a focus: Don't try to change the language – change the damn HR policies.

    "My point is that either it’s right to try to reshape people’s thinking by sculpting their phraseology or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then Orwell shouldn’t have been trying to manipulate our political perception through linguistic revision. But if it is, then HR people are not doing anything wrong by following Orwell’s example.

    You can’t have it both ways: Thought control through word or phrase eradication… can’t be uncritically regarded as right when Orwell does it but automatically condemned as wrong when your employer does it. That’s begging the question." – (grammar standards strunknwhite )

on pinboard for September 20th, 2014

on pinboard for September 16th, 2014 through September 18th, 2014

on pinboard for March 22nd, 2014 through March 26th, 2014

  • A Pragmatics of Links | Tosca | Journal of Digital Information – "This paper applies the linguistic theory of relevance to the study of the way links work, insisting on the lyrical quality of the link-interpreting activity. It is argued that such a pragmatic approach can help us understand hypertext readers` behavior, and thus be useful for authors and tool-builders alike." Read alongside Burbles. Rhetorics of the web. – (dh hypertext hypertextessay hypernarrative )
  • Are ‘grammar Nazis’ ruining the English language? – Telegraph – A light introduction to the focus of linguistics and the Language Log. Followed by 100s of inane comments. "Despite what many people think, the rules of a language – any language – are only defined by how people use that language. When you think about it, that has to be the case: the rules of English are different now from how they were in Milton’s time, let alone Chaucer’s, and no one has ever sat down and deliberately changed them; they’ve changed because the language has evolved, through changing use. Pullum’s job is determining what those rules are." – (linguistics grammar prescriptivism )

bookmarks for December 30th, 2013 through December 31st, 2013

  • Afraid someone will steal your idea? – "No genius. No mystique. Only work. Don't buy into the genius mystique. It is a mirage. Maybe there are geniuses out there, but you can't go assuming that you're one. That's like living as if you're going to win the lottery on a regular basis. No, the value comes from the work and no one's going to do more of it than you." – (open_source openaccess IP authorship )
  • Language Log » School grammar, round two – Continuing loving it to death, our hero turns to implementation. English Depts are driven too much by literature and suffer from a lack of training in analytical methods so we might place the study of grammar elsewhere: "But at least in the U.S., my suggestion would be to turn away from English departments, and pursue a plan based on an alliance of linguists with people in computer science, psychology, statistics, medicine, law, sociology, business, etc., who increasingly see linguistic analysis (e.g. in the form of "text mining" or "text analytics") as an interesting object of study in itself, and as a means to enable research on other (applied or fundamental) topics. This alliance — which eventually might even include some people from Digital Humanities — is a plausible basis for college-level courses in "grammar" as practical text analysis." With this, we need a change in marketing The English Major, away from Book Club and towards theory in practice (aka analytic methods, study of text, NLP). It'll take a generation, – (DH linguistics grammar )