Karl Hagen's blog

15 Mar 2011

Woruldhord

Submitted by Karl Hagen
Topic: 
For those interested in Old English or Anglo-Saxon culture, a fantastic resource has just been released: the Woruldhord Project. There is a lot of interesting stuff there, especially if you're teaching Old English. I found the Oxford English Faculty Exam papers particularly interesting. They illustrate the rigorous philological focus that once was the norm in the field but which now has been supplanted by other concerns.
27 Feb 2011

Linguistic Quote of the Day

Submitted by Karl Hagen
From Mark Liberman at Language Log:
[T]he narratives of real children are typically full of detail. The use of appropriate summarizing abstractions develops later, as I understand it; and the ability to speak at length without saying anything concrete at all is mastered fully only by mature politicians and their speechwriters.
26 Jan 2011

Is being evolved

Submitted by Karl Hagen
I was watching an old PBS documentary, Life Beyond Earth, with my son tonight when the narrator quoted the famous ending of Darwin's The Origin of Species:

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

6 Mar 2010

Predictably

Submitted by Karl Hagen
I just got a new laptop (oh frabjuous day!) to replace my 4-year-old antique, which was on its last legs. It's a very slick Asus model and so far I'm very happy with it, but while creating a recovery DVD, I encountered a very interesting usage of predictably to mean "it is predicted that": "Predictably, four blank writable DVDs are needed to create the recovery DVD." When I first saw this, I did a double-take, since as a sentence adverb, I take "predictably" to mean "as could be/have been predicted." It sounded like the computer was expressing frustration: I should have known!

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