Posts Tagged ‘positivity’

Shorter general commentary on your linguistic loves:

This conversation looks much more like what I anticipated — succinct replies to specific ideas — but it still has your inimitable character and intelligence.  I especially enjoyed the discussion of “hippopotamus” and the hiphopopotamus, not because I love the show (I do) or the animal (I do — mostly out of fear, since it can bite a boat in half¹), but because a few of you were listening to the musicality of language.

At any rate, you earned points here for answering the prompt with specific words or phrases, which you then defended or explained insightfully.  Responding to others’ ideas with detail or insight also earned you points; an effective reply to someone else, because it keeps the conversation going, was usually worth more points.  As before, I took the total number of points you earned, tabulated a score, and then adjusted based on the quality of individual responses.

As with your reading portfolio grades, you can use your student number to see how you did by clicking here.


1. While trying to find corroboration for this random fact, I came across an insane (but resolved) question on Yahoo! Answers.  This kind of thing is why the Internet was created.  And to spread this.  Oh, and this.


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Love of language...

It’s time for the language portion of our Language and Composition course to take center stage.  Or as the first of Orwell’s rules might have me rewrite that, it’s time for language to enter the scene and chew a little scenery.  We start with linguaphilia, a word formed from the Latin lingua,”tongue” or “language,” and phila, “dear” or “beloved.”  It means a love of language, of words and phrases, of how we strings together letters and sounds to make meaning—and it is the subject of your next discussion.

Let’s start with the background reading.  This topic isn’t new, after all, and I’ve already given you in this post the first (and arguably most influential) modern treatment of it: George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language.” We’ll spend time with this in class, and it will inevitably shape how you scavenge in the speech and writing around you for words and phrases.  You’ve also read Geoffrey Nunberg’s “The Decline of Grammar,” a lengthier argument from 1983 that explores the same issues.  After the jump, you’ll find a regular plethora (as opposed to an irregular plethora?) of links to more perspectives, plus your first assignment.


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