Thursday, October 1, 2009

Other stuff you ought to read

Item: The estimable Jesse Sheidlower, whose The F Word deserves your close attention, has an essay at about the difficulties of including and properly defining sexual terms in the dictionary.

If you like vulgar words — and who among us is afraid to admit it? — he offers plenty. (Though nothing quite as graphic as the bovine flatulence that Language Log is celebrating.)

Item: It is probably even more difficult to determine what should go into a book of quotations. The Oxford University Press blog (Caution, reader: this is a promotional article) recently commented on the inclusion in the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations of a remark by Paris Hilton: “Dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.”

I have not solicited her views on the bow tie.

Item: Jag Bhalla, an amateur idiomologist and author of I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears, a collection of idioms from ten languages, writes at the National Post of Canada about his addiction to language and his search for exotic idioms.

The title of his book is a translation of a Russian expression equivalent to the English idiom I’m not pulling your leg. Presumably the English would sound comically exotic to a Russian.

Item: Adrienne Carlson has sent me a link to “75 Awesome Games, Tools, and Links for Word Lovers” at the Accredited Online Degrees site. I can’t vouch for the awesomeness of all 75 entries, but several of them look as if they might assist you in wasting time at work.

Item: There is still time to for you to put a handful of votes in the ballot box for this blog at The Sun’s Mobbies competition. (See link at upper right corner.)