The holiday weekend has started, and many of you are undoubtedly trapped in slow-moving traffic on your way to the beach or the mountains. And because it's a holiday weekend, those of you who are not trapped on the road won't be reading anyhow, but enjoying summery drinks on the verandah.
That makes it more the pity that you will be missing these links to some choice pieces of writing about language by my friends and colleagues. Check them out when you get back.
Item: So you think you know something about grammar? Prove it by taking the Stroppy Editor's grammar quiz.
Item: Though the words that Merriam-Webster puts in its online unabridged edition are there forever, publishing printed editions leaves lexicographers with the delicate task of including new words and senses while deciding which old ones are faded or obscure enough for a Procrustean sacrifice. Peter Sokolowski explains how that balance is achieved.
Item: Stan Carey takes a look at that ass Simon Heffer and points out (I blush to acknowledge that he quotes me) that language is better left to its collective users than to the arbitrariness, whims, and unreliability of the peeververein.
Item: At American Journalism Review, Carl Stepp explains that many people become editors because they did well as reporters or writers but never had specific training in editing, which they have to learn on the fly. Neither have they had training in being managers of people, which they have to learn on the fly at the same time. This explains much about American newspapers.
Item (belatedly added): And if you want a better understanding about the languages people are using in the United States, you monoglot, you, take a look at this excellent graphic.