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Linguification of the month

Thomas Friedman, who has run out of cab drivers to talk with, is turning to lexicography — "Four Words Going Bye-Bye", 5/20/2014: The more I read the news, the more it looks to me that four words are becoming obsolete and destined to be dropped from our vocabulary. And those words are “privacy,” “local,” “average” and […]

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Linguification and the myth of progress

I know that many of you will be wondering whether Language Log has been keeping up with the spread of linguification. We have, of course. Teams of interns are combing the periodicals and amassing huge quantities of data that we do not really know what to do with (the data may all be eventually turned […]

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Cartoon linguification

Rhymes With Orange plays with the snowclone of linguification "not know the meaning of X": Here we get the figurative sense of the expression (in the snowclone) confronting its literal sense.  

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Becoming an adjective

A friend points out to me that according to this Abe Books description of a hardback copy of Jane Jacobs' classic book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, on the back cover it is reported that Toronto Life made the following assertion: Jane Jacobs has become more than a person. She is an […]

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One thousand Language Log posts

With this post I reach my thousandth Language Log contribution. I wrote 676 posts for the old series, before the original server died in agony in April 2008. Those were written from Santa Cruz, California (between 2003 and 2005 and in 2006-2007), from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard (2005-2006), and from Edinburgh, Scotland (2007-2008) The […]

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Leading the league in snowclones

Snowclones, in Geoff Pullum's early formulation, were defined as "some-assembly-required adaptable cliché frames for lazy journalists." Of course, the field of snowclonology has moved beyond "lazy journalists" to a consideration of phrasal templates used by the broader populace, in varieties exhibiting a wide range of creativity. But journalists who have many column inches to fill […]

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Linguifying outrage

Linguification is still alive and well. In a Morning Edition interview on NPR today Rob Chametzky heard Condoleezza Rice saying, "To mention Robert Mugabe in the same sentence with the President of the United States is an outrage." No it isn't.

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