[ExI] book

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 7 17:32:08 UTC 2019

I don't remember -too many years ago.  Only one recently - Pinker

Thanks for the book suggestions.  bill w

On Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 12:06 PM Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I got that, but what are the books in language you’ve read aside from this
> one? The books I’ve read on language — _The Power of Babel: A Natural
> History of Language_ by John McWhorter, for instance — have been basically
> descriptivist. Bashing the prescriptivist outlook has been in style now for
> the past two or more decades. (In fact, if anything, being
> anti-prescriptivist seems to be overly simplifying things.)
> By the way, for me a really mind-blowing book on language was _How We
> Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation_ by N. J. Enfield. He goes over
> stuff like how pauses (how long they are before people notice something’s
> wrong, for example) and the words um, uh-huh, oh, and mm-hmm work.
> Regards,
> Dan
>    Sample my Kindle books at:
> http://author.to/DanUst
> On Jul 7, 2019, at 7:08 AM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> Greene attacks prescriptivists.  He distinguishes between formal and
> everyday writing and speaking and attacks the prescriptivists for teaching
> that the formal way is the only way.  IOW - 'whom' every time, never 'who'
> - and teaching blacks and others who use nonstandard English that they are
> wrong rather than different - and more
> bill w
> bill w
> On Sat, Jul 6, 2019 at 8:50 PM Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> All or almost all books on linguistics I’ve read — popular level works by
>> John McWhorter, Stephen Pinker, and David Crystal and more technical works
>> (which one would expect to be descriptive) — have been descriptive. Even
>> books I’ve read focusing on grammar that aim to improve language use —
>> Richard Lanham’s _Style: An Anti-textbook_ and Virginia Tigre’s book come
>> to mind — tend to go against the stereotype of a dry commandment style
>> rules. I’m just wonder who Lane Greene is attacking here.
>> Of course, there’s nothing writing per se with prescriptive grammar,
>> especially if the goal is, say, to better communicate or to signal one’s
>> seriousness (or silliness), etc. But I’m guessing Greene is speaking out
>> against the dryer Procrustean grammarians... But there’s already been two
>> generations or more of folks speaking out against them — folks like
>> McWhorter, for instance. What does Greene bring to the table that’s not
>> covered by them?
>> In other news, I read _Wit's End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We
>> Need It_ by James Geary... So so. He gives some tantalizing details about
>> the history and science of wit (on the latter I mean cognitive science and
>> neurology stuff), but it’s fairly thin and doesn’t go deep enough. On the
>> plus side, there are some great lines, stories, and jokes. Of course, I’m
>> always down for a good pun.
>> Regards,
>> Dan
>>    Sample my Kindle books at:
>> http://author.to/DanUst
>> On Jul 6, 2019, at 5:44 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> Talk on the Wild Side, by Lane Greene, an editor at The Economist.
>> It's not your 'where do you put the comma' type of book, though it does
>> spend some time on 'whom' that might surprise you (including advice like
>> "Don't use 'whom' in a biker bar").  Though it would not work at all as a
>> text book, I learned a great deal from it.  Lots of good, common sense.
>> There is a lot of trash-talking, names included.  Sections on artificial
>> intelligence, several pages on Trump, a theory of bilingual education and a
>> lot more.
>> I have not read anything like it, out of all the books I have read on
>> language.  It's mainly on the descriptive as opposed to prescriptive
>> variety of linguistics, with lots of attacks on the latter, none polite.
>> Don't miss it if you can!
>> bill w
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