DFW background

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Readers of Chris Potts' post on "David Foster Wallace Grammar Challenge Challenged" may be interested in a list of previous LL posts that discuss DFW:

"Snoot? Bluck" (11/8/2004)
"Enforcer Syndrome (pre-adolescent phase)" (6/22/2005)
"The Grammar Vandal strikes in Boston" (7/16/2007)
"Are any of those things even things?" (9/18/2008)
"'Descriptivism's five basic edicts'" (7/7/2009)

[Several of these posts refer the reader to a critique of DFW's scholarship that used to live at the end of Language Hat's "My Languages" page. At some point (when DFW died?) this passage disappeared. I think that its content can mostly be found in LH's "David Foster Wallace demolished", 8/12/2002.]

This list of posts is a short one — about one per year — and  a couple of them mention DFW only tangentially.  But I think they may help to put his "grammar challenge" in context.


  1. slobone said,

    December 6, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    They won't even use taboo words when they're part of the story. Reminds me of that old country saying, "She wouldn't say shit if she had a mouthful."

  2. Gavin said,

    December 10, 2009 @ 9:47 am

    Having just read the 'Bluck' post, I'm wondering if the word in question is an imcompetent rendering of 'bleuch', which has been used as an expression of disgust in my native Ireland for rather more than a century…

  3. Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong When I’m Failing Better Than You « Starlingford Chronicles said,

    December 10, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

    […] Anyway, drifting through the linguistics sections of the blogosphere I came to the incomparable Language Log, from whence I wound up on a blog run by one of DFW's erstwhile […]

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