Far from the Madding Gerund and Other Dispatches from Language Log


Authors: Mark Liberman & Geoffrey Pullum

Copyright: 2006

Binding: Paperback

Page Count: 376


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“What do linguistics professors do for fun? Savage the SAT, defend ‘Bushisms,’ trash Dan Brown, and show why we must split infinitives—all in witty little essays meant not for specialists, but for everyone interested in how English works. Like Language Log, the site that inspired it, FAR FROM THE MADDING GERUND is exuberant, tart, and totally addictive.”

Jan Freeman, "The Word" columnist,
The Boston Globe

“This is a lively and insightful collection of observations about language, from real language mavens. Anyone interested in how we talk and write, and what difference it makes to our politics, culture, and science, will enjoy these witty and well-thought-out postings.”

Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor, Harvard University, author of The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and Words and Rules

“Any linguist is familiar with one of those glum little moments when someone they are talking with says ‘Oops—I know I better be careful with my grammar around a linguist!’ Read this book and find out that not only is grammar policing not what linguists do, but that what we actually do is a lot more fun.”

John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language and Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth
of “Pure” Standard English


“Whether it takes their professional expertise or just a healthy dose of common sense, Liberman & Pullum
cleverly dismantle the
sturdiest language myths.”
Nathan Bierma,
“On Language” columnist,
Chicago Tribune