And next, a talk at MIT

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Hearing of my desperate search for useful things to do while I am stranded stranded in the Boston area, some kind people at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory invited me to give a talk there today, and of course I was delighted to accept. Details below the fold.

Speaker: Geoffrey K. Pullum
Speaker Affiliation: University of Edinburgh
Title: The Land of the Free and "The Elements of Style":
How False Claims about English Grammar Do Actual Harm
Host: Regina Barzilay
Host Affiliation: CSAIL
Date: 4-20-2010
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: MIT 32 G449 — Vassar Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Addendum: I heard British Airways nearly got a plane out last night. A rumor went round the refugees in the hotel. I didn't hear about it until it was too late. And the new rumor is that the plane never in fact took off. There was another ash-cloud explosion. But we refugees don't know much: we just look at the news online, the same as you. The difference between us and you is that we are running out of clean clothes.)

(Further addendum: A student of my friend Polly Jacobson said of someone in my position today that he'd "been volcanoed". Now that is how new verbs are born. I have been volcanoed in Boston.)

(Final addendum: I just did the talk at MIT. Wow, that rooom was jumpin'. MIT is such a great place to visit. Packed room, smart questions, lots of interest, friendly conversation afterward, excellent dinner. Thanks, Regina, for setting up a truly enjoyable visit. British Airways now thinks I just might be out of here by tomorrow noon — one dares not hope; but I'm glad I didn't leave before making this visit.)

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