Karl Hagen's blog

26 Feb 2007

Creative Commons License Upgrade

Submitted by Karl Hagen
Creative Commons has just released version 3.0 of their license, and I have relicensed everything on this site (apart from the out-of-copyright stuff, which remains public domain) with this latest license. Unless you're planning to reuse my material, that will be of no interest to you, but it does give me a chance to praise the good folks at Creative Commons for their invaluable work promoting the ideals of free culture.
9 Feb 2007

Grammar, usage, and education

Submitted by Karl Hagen
Sally Thomason has been championing a kind of humane prescriptivism, which is surely a bit unusual for the crew at Language Log, but I have a great deal of sympathy.

In the context of language-arts education, a certain prescriptivism is unavoidable. There is a written standard, like it or not, and there are social consequences to violating the standard in certain contexts.

11 Jan 2007


Submitted by Karl Hagen
This is a word that deserves more attention. Two different senses show up in different on-line dictionaries. The Urban Dictionary defines it as a small piece of excrement floating alone in a toilet bowl. That's a fairly prosaic instance of derivation, just the dimminutive -let tacked on to crap.
26 Dec 2006

Holiday Reading

Submitted by Karl Hagen
For Christmas, Sherina (uxorum optima!) gave me a book that has been on my wish list for a while now: Error and the Academic Self by Seth Lerer (who was my undergraduate advisor years ago at Princeton). Of course I immediately sat down and read the first two chapters, and probably would have finished the book if I hadn't had to cook Christmas dinner. Lerer writes about the connection between error and errancy among scholars, and although I have left academia, I certainly have been errant (in the sense of intellectually wandering). I've been spending my free time working on some behind-the-scenes architecture for this site. I hope to roll out the results in a week or two, once I've managed to debug everything.
11 Nov 2006

Lies my teacher told me

Submitted by Karl Hagen
Grammar teachers (and I mean those who are actually teaching grammar, not grammar-school teachers) could pick up a few pointers from math teachers. Thanks to a recent post on The Quick and the Ed, I learned about a great book by Liping Ma on teaching elementary mathematics. I've just ordered the book from Amazon, so all I've had a chance to read is the snippet available on the search-inside pages, but I immediately ran across some very interesting remarks that seem directly relevant to grammar pedagogy.


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