Posts Tagged ‘the English Language’

Le crayon rougeI’ll update you on my cable-cutting process soon, but for this week, here’s a look into the things that keep me up at night. Literally. This is the type of shite that makes my brain whirl like a dervish when it wakes me up at 4AM.

There’s a language construct that has bothered me for a long time. It’s the “negative question.” It’s like the question in the title of this post or, as found in the large portion of my viewing and reading intake that includes British and “period” drama, it’s often tacked on to the end of a sentence, as in, “She is a handsome woman, wouldn’t you say?”

In general, I don’t have a problem with negative inquiries.

Unless, of course, I have to answer them. (more…)

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Back in the late ’70s, James Burke introduced me to interdisciplinary thinking. His book and documentary series, Connections, showed how (for example) the use of lateen sails in the 14th century led to the discovery of electricity. The process was far from linear, but Burke made the connections along the way clear and irrefutable.

Mark Forsyth, in his book, The Etymologicon, has done much the same thing with words. (more…)

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