Joseph Salmons jsalmons at WISC.EDU
Tue Dec 5 19:26:05 UTC 2006

Yeah, I was stunned by Raum's piece on "bad grammar and lazy language
use". Isn't this an issue for people like us, who care about how
language is talked about in the public sphere?  The NYT presumably
isn't ever going to get Safire under control (let alone fire him), no
matter how outrageous his inaccuracies or how questionable his
research methods. (Those issues, including his recent pronouncement
that 'porn' in the phrase 'food porn' is a 'nominative suffix', are
being lampooned by a blogger here in Wisconsin: http://mr- But I wonder if NPR might not be easier to
educate: Has anyone tried writing to them, or talking to people there?


On Dec 5, 2006, at 12:41 PM, Matthew Gordon wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Matthew Gordon <gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU>
> Subject:      NPR (was Overheard on the local FOX news)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> If you really want prescriptivist ignorance from NPR, you might
> check out
> this essay by Nora Raum:
> She notes her disagreement with liberal dictionaries that don't
> support her
> sense of "massive" and "decimate".
> On 12/5/06 11:59 AM, "Beverly Flanigan" <flanigan at OHIO.EDU> wrote:
>> But of course you CAN diagram any sentence of any language--we do
>> it all
>> the time!  The myth about diagramming making one a "better" or "more
>> correct" writer would be typical of Vocabula Review, and it was
>> expressed
>> by the woman on NPR too (on one of the morning shows that Monday--
>> Morning
>> Edition, I suppose?).  But these are the people who assume that
>> "real"
>> sentences are ungrammatical--another myth, of course.  And what
>> would that
>> "second set of rules" be--unless (hopefully) just a reminder that
>> Standard
>> Written English is often stylistically different from (though no
>> better
>> than) ordinary spoken English?  This is akin to saying there's
>> only one
>> "real" way of pronouncing English!

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list