- Website: http://ling.upenn.edu/~myl
Posts by Mark Liberman:
An impressively ambiguous headline: Benjamin Kabak, "Second Ave. change orders pressure December completion", 6/27/2016.
[h/t Anschel Schaffer-Cohen]
Update — as Anschel Schaffer-Cohen observed in sending this in, the ambiguity is likely to send many readers down a garden path and catch them up short at some point around "December". Those who are all too familiar with "change orders" are likely to avoid this problem.
Dahlia Lithwick, "The Ideal Allies", Slate 6/27/2016:
Make no mistake, Whole Woman’s Health is a massive win for choice, even though nobody believed that the very core of Planned Parenthood v. Casey wasn't in peril this term.*
*Update, June 27, 2016: This story also originally said nobody believed that the very core of Planned Parenthood v. Casey was in peril this term. The author meant to propose the opposite.
Don Monroe, who sent in this addition to the misnegation files, noted that the revision
is correct but seems to exacerbate rather than reduce the challenge of interpreting it. I would have said “even though nobody doubted that the very core of Planned Parenthood v. Casey was in peril this term.”
Peter Holley, "Foul-mouthed parrot may be used as evidence in murder trial, prosecutor says", WaPo 6/26/2016:
Family members believe Bud, an African gray parrot, may have witnessed the shooting that left Martin Duram dead and his wife severely injured.
They believe this because the bird’s latest phrase — the one he won’t stop shouting at the top of his lungs mimicking his owner’s voice — is a chilling one: “Don’t f—ing shoot!”
Duram’s body was found near his wife, who suffered a gunshot wound to her head but is alive. Although police initially assumed she was a victim of the shooting, police reports obtained by WOOD-TV revealed that she eventually became a suspect in the slaying. […]
Relatives told the station that they think Martin Duram’s final moments were imprinted in the bird’s memory and that he continues to relive the slaying. They noted that Bud mimicked both the victim and his wife.
Earlier this year, I observed that there seem to be some interesting differences among individuals and styles of speech in the distribution of speech segment and silence segment durations — see e.g. "Sound and silence" (2/12/2013), "Political sound and silence" (2/8/2016) and "Poetic sound and silence" (2/12/2016).
So Neville Ryant and I decided to try to look at the question in a more systematic way. In particular, we took the opportunity to compare the many individuals in the LibriSpeech dataset, which consists of 5,832 English-language audiobook chapters read by 2,484 speakers, with a total audio duration of nearly 1,600 hours. This dataset was selected by some researchers at JHU from the larger LibriVox audiobook collection, which as a whole now comprises more than 50,000 hours of read English-language text. Material from the nearly 2,500 LibriSpeech readers gives us a background distribution against which to compare other examples of both read and spontaneous speech, yielding plots like the one below:
Or, we could ask, is Brexit like Passchendaele or like The Somme?
I mean, of course, whether the noun Brexit should normally be used with a definite article ("Are you for or against the Brexit?") or without ("Are you for or against Brexit?").
We need to ignore all the constructions in which Brexit is a modifier of another noun: the Brexit vote, the Brexit campaigners, the Brexit turmoil, etc. But when Brexit is the head of a noun phrase, I've been assuming that it's a strong proper name that should be anarthrous, like Christmas or Passchendaele or Language Log.
Khorri Atkinson, "Trump on Texit: Texas ‘will never’ secede", Texas Tribune 6/25/2016:
Asked what he would do as president if Texas seceded from the United States, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Saturday said he did not think that would happen.
“Texas will never do that because Texas loves me,” Trump told reporters in Scotland.
— Dexit Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) June 25, 2016
Carmen Fought observes that "Fellow citizens, we have to up our insult game. The Scots are making us look like wankers. #mangledapricothellbeast".
Bob Ladd sent in a link to "Five Questions on Brexit to Jo Shaw", Verfassungsblog 6/24/2016 [emphasis added]:
There’s a possibility for the Article 50 trigger to be delayed, and the UK simply to carry on in membership, and then – once the UK population has had long enough to digest the real implications of Leave […] a second referendum could be held, perhaps this time under better conditions. I’m not sure that this will happen, though, precisely because the issue is complicated by the internal territorial pressures discussed in the next section. I don’t think anyone is under any illusion that Boris Johnson is not some sort of ideological Leaver, so it could be that if he becomes Prime Minister then we will see moves in this direction.
(1/2) For those of you keeping score at home, I gave exactly 18 f*cks about my Pats. Upon reflection, 12 probably would have been sufficient
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) June 23, 2016
(2/2) We Boston fans have always been known for our subtlety. One of my favorite interviews; hope you get to see the entire episode. #GoPats
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) June 23, 2016
Tim Kenneally, "Ben Affleck Has a F-ing Thing or 18 or Say About His Bill Simmons Interview", The Wrap 6/23/2016.
Or is it portmanteaus? Anyhow, forget Portugexit and Italexit and the rest:
Here's what else might happen if we Brexit:
— Alvin Carpio (@AlvinCarpio) June 23, 2016
Update — now that Leave has won the referendum, we should be talking about Brexiit (3rd singular perfective indicative active), or perhaps more realistically Brexibit (3rd singular future indicative active), or maybe some other combination of aspect, mood, and tense…
A couple of days ago, Dilbert highlighted a problem with robot emotions, beyond the issue that Zach Wienersmith raised a few weeks ago:
The external evidence of "cognition" is sometimes obscure and ambiguous, but the Turing Test approach is especially problematic in evaluating "emotion".
Is there some pop culture reference I'm missing here? Or has the Washington Post turned its advertising outreach over to Monty Python?