June 22, 1986
Gallo picks "relax as a noun" as a sample of Italians using English wrongly. But the American language has largely undifferenced nouns and verbs, which is fine by me as long as clarity is preserved. (I just did it on purpose-- undifferenced-- with no ambiguity. So why hang onto an aging grammatical rigidity, only recently applied in this case?) Follow the poets, not the classroom English teachers like Gallo. As William Blake put it, "Damn braces, bless relaxes."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 1995
Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work. --Carl Sandburg Whatever! They come and go like the tide, these words and phrases that become a kind of second language for many children. Yesterday's grody becomes today's whack. What was once tubular and def is now dope and righteous. Below is a list of some current slang. * as if, exclamation. "To the contrary," "No way." audi, exclamation.
November 22, 1989 |
Promotion writers at Marshall Field & Co. really passed French 101, despite the headline on the cover of this year's Christmas catalog. Field's spokeswoman Kassie Davis said today that staffers in the advertising department actually discussed whether to use the grammatically correct "Le Beau Noel" on the cover or the incorrect but catchy "La Belle Noel." Catchy won. "The reason we did it is because it rhymes," Davis said. "We know the correct French version. We did it because it was a promotion.
May 4, 1989 |
In the face of sharp criticism from rival Palestinian leaders, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat refused Wednesday to clarify his use of an ambiguous French word that has stirred hopes of progress toward peace in the Middle East. "I did not come here to give a course on language and law," Arafat snapped at reporters at a press conference at the Institute of the Arab World. "You can find the translation in the dictionary. "It is enough that some people, including President Mitterrand, understand the word.
February 12, 1986 |
There are people who will tell you that quote is a verb and that it is a solecism to use it as a noun. Quotation is the noun. I think at one time I might have agreed with them, largely because my father used to make that distinction many years ago. But I'd have agreed only to a certain extent, because for decades now, "That's a direct quote" has been used far more often that "That's a direct quotation," and by highly respected speakers and writers.
March 22, 1993 |
Forget grunge, forget alternative, forget post-neo-punk. What's sweeping the nation's college radio stations and record-company wish lists is the loud, new sound coming from what are sometimes known as "noun bands," the new wave of aggressive, technically accomplished groups, named after common objects, that have been dominating the indy-rock circuit for the last year. At Bogart's Friday, Tar and Jawbox noun-rocked all night long.