Monday, July 12, 2010

Depleting depletion

In today's Toronto Star, there's an op ed piece by John Cartwright pushing for various governments in Canada to roll back a variety of tax cuts for businesses. John Cartwright is not only wrong, but he seems to be rather confused. But since this isn't Economics, Jack, I'll leave the economic arguments up to folks who are far more qualified to make them than me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another gapless relative

Only a few days ago, I posted about a gapless relative. Now, from a recent NYT article: “We’ve got a method of operating the grid that the next time any sign of drought occurs, we can just,” he snapped his fingers, “build something else or turn something else on, and we’ve got enough water supply.”

This one, I think, simply got away on the speaker when that adjunct the next time any sign of drought occurs slipped in there. Simplified, this is: We've got a method that we can just build something else...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

don't be able

Over at Language Log, Barbara Partee has produced an interesting coordination:
Many Americans don’t even know what the native languages of Belgians are, let alone be able to recognize accents of Belgians speaking English.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A gapless afternoon

Yesterday we had my brother and his family over. We were sitting on the deck relaxing after lunch when Craig came up with the following: It's a country in Africa which I don't even know if it exists anymore. "A gapless relative clause," though I, going inside and jotting it down so as not to forget the wording.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Newer AWL

In the most recent edition of Reading in a Foreign Language, Tom Cobb observes that the Academic Word List isn't really so academic. It was built upon the General Service List, which was never designed to be simply a high frequency word list. (It has other problems, such as being built on a small corpus of magazines.) West, who constructed the GSL, removed high-frequency items that were largely synonymous with other words in the list and replaced them with lower frequency words that provided broader semantic coverage. In effect, then, the AWL largely fills in the holes the West left behind. Words like area are really just broadly frequent words and not really academic at all.