Turkey, Shmurkey! — A Response to Das et al. (2016)

Jun 10, 2016 by

As promised in an earlier post, I am presenting here an informal response to the article, published recently in Genome Biology and Evolution by Paul Wexler, Eran Elhaik and colleagues (henceforth, Das et al. 2016). To summarize my...

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Is Yiddish to Be Traced to Turkey?

Apr 29, 2016 by

[Thanks to Leni Silberman for originally drawing my attention to one of the media reports, and to Antonia Cavendish, Maria Soukhanova, Anna Dybo, Peter Shalen, Razib Khan, and Martin Lewis for helpful discussions.]   In the past...

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Castle, Geordie, and the lows of American prime time TV

Mar 2, 2016 by

One of my current students drew my attention to the latest episode of Castle (aired on ABC on February 29, 2016). So I figured, hey, it fits with the content of my class, I should watch it. I used to really like this show some years...

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Are Indo-Europeans “Untraceable”?—A Response to Jean-Paul Demoule...

Oct 25, 2015 by

[Thanks to LanguagesOfTheWorld reader, Arjan, who drew my attention to the article discussed here.]   In a recent interview titled “Indo-Europeans, the untraceable people that racist fantasies are obsessed with”*, published in a...

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“Taller Than I” or “Taller Than Me”?

Sep 27, 2015 by

This post is inspired by a question from my Facebook friend Ellen Jovin. She writes: “Dear native English speakers, tell me truly: Could you say “He is taller than I” and feel totally comfortable and at peace deep in your...

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On “Passive Aggressive” and Other Wrong-Headed Advice of Strunk &...

Sep 9, 2015 by

This post is prompted by a recent Facebook discussion about the “50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice” article, published by Geoffrey K. Pullum in The Chronicle of Higher Education in April 2009. Although I typically comment on more...

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