[ExI] book

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 8 17:44:23 UTC 2019

Talk on the Wild Side has a whole chapter on how difficult it is to teach
AIs how to speak English and understand it.  Wow.  It's going to take a
long time.

bill w

On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 11:37 AM Randy Burkhardt <randy.burkhardt at gmail.com>

> Thanks for the book recommendation of How We Talk by Enfield, Dan.  Those
> parts of communication are things I have thought about for a lot of
> reasons, such as trying to communicate meanings to people efficiently.  And
> lately I think about the danged chatbots - not that I want them to get any
> better, that would make 'em harder to detect and that's too creepy for me.
> Sometimes I feel the need to refresh and add to my proper skills and it's
> doubtful, but if I get the time for that I think I would want to go back to
> my local college and take another composition class.
> O my, I just read a few reviews of How We Talk, I'm definetly ordering
> because of the discussion of pauses that you mention.
> On Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 10:07 AM 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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> --
> Randy
> (805) 268-7426
> ringtones:
> www.randyburkhardt.com
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