extreme language sites for "grammar geeks"
Arnold M. Zwicky
zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Feb 27 14:45:26 UTC 2008
listed by Richard Nordquist on
NOTE: what follows is entirely quotation from Nordquist. i did not
write any of it; if you follow up, please do not attribute any of it
to me. [Jon Lighter: note the first entry.] links can be found on
Literally, a Web Log. Since June 2005, this "English language grammar
blog" has been faithfully "tracking abuse of the word 'literally.'"
Nothing more, nothing less.
Creators Patrick Fitzgerald and Amber Rhea say that it all "started as
a nit-picking distraction, grew to a frustrating obsession, and
finally resulted in the creation of this blog." Examples drawn from
around the world include a department store "literally crawling with
uniformed cops," a child "literally coughing his head off," and (from
the late Jerry Falwell) a "homosexual steamroller" threatening to
"literally crush all decent men, women, and children who get in its
lowercase L. Now in its third year, William Levin's good-natured blog
focuses on a single orthographic phenomenon: "hand-written signs with
letters in all-caps, except for the letter L." Here you'll find images
of products "FOR SAlE" and signs directing us to "PlEASE ClOSE THE
The Apostrophe Protection Society. Though we've mentioned this British
site before (most recently in The Campaign to Abolish the Apostrophe),
it belongs on this list for the lively, eccentric, and usually off-
topic contributions to its message board. While Mr. Richards and son
attend to apostrophe abuse, visitors tend to rattle on about mixed
metaphors, acute accents, and government euphemisms (such as "access
hole" and "inspection chamber" for "manhole"). Even if your impulse is
to Kill the Apostrophe, the original Protection Society is a hoot.
Quotation Mark Abuse Pool. Though strictly speaking not a blog, this
Flickr site hosts well over 400 photos of signs that misuse quotation
marks, from YOU KEEP YOUR "CAR" to PLEASE "CURB" YOUR DOG.
Celebrity English. Unlike today's other entries, this blog attends to
a wide range of usage issues, from subject-verb disagreements to the
correct definition of billingsgate ("foul, abusive language"). Its
examples, however, are drawn primarily from the ranks of the
glitterati: striking solecisms from the mouths of "actors, television
stars, musicians, authors, internet personalities, and famous
heiresses." If you have a mind to correct Will Ferrell when he says
"between my son and I," this blog is for you.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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