Well, snap! It's another newsletter from "A Way with Words," the pluperfect radio show.
Did you hear the program this past weekend? If not, you missed a brand-new doozy from the boozy two-sy (kidding about "boozy"…as far as you know). We touched on changing advertising language in a down economy, agita, William Trembletoes, piping hot, feeling all stabby, over yonder, and "ping me!" No, ping you! Get all that and more here:
Also, last week we posted a special minicast in which Grant interviewed author, humorist, and "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" panelist Roy Blount Jr. He talks about his books and the Authors Guild dispute with Amazon over the Kindle 2 ebook reader.
Here are a few links from the world of language:
"Fresh Air" language commentator Geoff Nunberg has a new collection of essays, "The Years of Talking Dangerously."
How can somebody be more than 100% committed to something?
Mark Peters criticizes the media for not having the brass necessary to point out when government officials resort to lexical evasions.
One study suggests that a visual-processing area of the brain recognizes common words as whole units. Another study reveals that the brain operates two fast parallel systems for reading, linking visual recognition of words to speech.
A batch about the Chinese:
-- Experts on various things Chinese comment on the future of written Chinese at the New York Times's "Room for Debate" blog.
-- At Language Log, Victor Mair comments on a delightful documentary about learning English in China, "Mad About English." You MUST watch the trailer linked there.
--Oliver Lutz Radtke's books, "Chinglish: Found in Translation" and its recently published sequel, "More Chinglish: Speaking in Tongues," have sold very well.
Finally, get a load of David Ellis Dickerson's vocabulary poems:
Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett