You're on holiday; I'm not

The Baltimore Sun

We're heading into a holiday weekend during which I will have the con through Monday, so I don't expect to be posting much. 

Neither do I expect you to be reading much, if you have the opportunity to go to the beach, or, shunning the traffic and crowds, to take to a patch of shade with a book and a cool beverage. But I don't want you to be entirely unprovided, so here are some links. 

Item: I was much taken with Ammon Shea's Bad English. And so was Stan Carey at Sentence first. By this point, if you're a regular here, you should have been immunized against the standard peeves, but no doubt you encounter unfortunates who are infected. Press Mr. Shea's book on them. 

Item: In a measured defense of machine scoring of essays, Geoffrey Pullum makes a salient point about writing at Lingua Franca: "Typical students instructed to write an essay will always try to write meaningfully on a topic. Humans find it extremely hard to do otherwise. In the same way that students are drawn like moths to the flame of meaning when one is trying to teach them to look at syntax and ignore semantics, they are ineluctably drawn to content rather than form when they compose text."

Item: Tom Freeman has responded aptly at The Stroppy Editor to Hamilton Nolan's meretricious "Against editors." 

Item: Professor Anne Curzan's TED talk "What makes a word 'real'?" is a delight. If you haven't watched it, indulge. 

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