Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Sunday, 2 April 2017

improving the negative

This came through in the abstract of a linguistics (AmE) dissertation/(BrE) thesis:

The ungrammaticality can be improved by supplying the expression with a tense or a syntactic context.

I'm pretty sure that means that the expression seems more grammatical if it has supporting context, but 'improving ungrammaticality' seems a different thing. My impression is that this kind of

negative thing + positive growth = less negative
interpretation is more likely to happen in passive contexts ('ungrammaticality was improved' versus the active 'this improves ungrammaticality').

Language Log covers a lot of similar things with regularity.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Five years

"And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought I'd need so many people"

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

More 3-year-old Groverisms

Found these in my Facebook memories from when Grover was 3:

Grover: Why did your alarm go off?
Me: Because it's 8 o'clock.
Grover: But it went ON, not off!

Me: You're a weirdo.
Grover: No, I'm a nice-o.