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Lingua Franca

Language and writing in academe.

Posts from Lingua Franca

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Language is endlessly interesting. And why shouldn’t it be? We’re made of it, says Bill Germano. It’s what we live with, but it’s also a kind of life, on its own, in itself, and in us.

Notebook Dump

Ben Yagoda reveals the topics he may yet explore in The Chronicle, and reflects on how writing for Lingua Franca upped his game.

How Writing to Deadlines Can Hold Your Life Together

Geoff Pullum reflects on the surprising benefits of having to write a Lingua Franca post every week for seven years.

How Google’s Autotype Contradicts Orwell’s Advice

To Geoff Pullum’s amusement, Gmail now offers phrases that are exactly the opposite of what the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four said writers should use.

Kory Stamper, Lexicographer, Is Working On a New Book

Allan Metcalf reports the latest news from the author of the acclaimed Word by Word.

The Unexpected Lessons of Lingua Franca

Anne Curzan reflects on what she has learned from blogging about language and teaching.

Farewell to a Blog That Encouraged Thinking Aloud

“Research is not just done in the lab,” a physics professor once told Rose Jacobs, but on paper, during the writing process. Lingua Franca, which culminates next week, has been a look over the shoulders of scholars as they do just that — put ideas on paper, arrange them, see what they connect to, and explore the context.

George H.W. Bush, Language Guy

Our 41st president may not have had “the vision thing,” but, Ben Yagoda says, he had a way with words.

How We Ask Questions Matters

Whether in the classroom or the courtroom, the way we ask questions involves many things, including ambiguous words and the stress of the questioning event. How we think about students’ answers, says Roger Shuy, must take such conditions into account.

Why Do I Really, Really Want to Say ‘Had Went’?

That construction, once considered American vernacular, is spreading, says Ben Yagoda. It’s more vivid than standard English, so he might try it.
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