Geoffrey K. Pullum:
Posts on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca blog

This is a reverse chronological listing of my posts on Lingua Franca, a blog about language and writing in academe on the website of The Chronicle of Higher Education. My posts appear there once a week. The Chronicle maintains a full archive. Please note that when I wrote "300 Up, Still Getting It Wrong", I thought it was post number 300, but there was a mistake in my records, and it was actually number 301. Embarrassing, but what can I do. The list below shows (I think) the correct numbers.

Comments are usually open at the Chronicle, but they are moderated by editorial staff who try to filter out spam, obscenities, advertisements, death threats — the familiar flotsam and jetsam of life in the blogosphere. (Please note, I have no control at all over this filtering process.) You should email me (pullum at gmail.com) if you seek a reaction or an answer, because I cannot guarantee to read all the comments that are posted on the site. Some days, to be frank, I can’t bring myself to read any of them.

343 Avoiding ‘False Titles’: How Some News Publications Try Not to Sound Like News Publications
6 Aug 2018
342 The Grammar of the Adjective Is Not What’s Wrong With ‘Illegal Alien’
1 Aug 2018
341 What’s an Anti-Semite? It Depends on Which Politician You Ask
25 Jul 2018
340 Writing on Philosophy: It’s Not Rocket Science. It’s More Complicated Than That.
17 Jul 2018
339 Friendly Communication Across Supposed Language Barriers
12 Jul 2018
338 The Triumph and Tragedy of Oscar Wilde
2 Jul 2018
337 Koko Is Dead, but the Myth of Her Linguistic Skills Lives On
27 Jun 2018
336 Strunk at 100: A Centennial Not to Celebrate
20 Jun 2018
335 Another Conquest by the Language That Is Eating the World
13 Jun 2018
334 Infinitives Can Be Split: Grammar Conservatives Face the Shock
7 Jun 2018
333 Amazon’s Alexa: Not Yet as Smart as a 5-Year-Old Child
27 May 2018
332 The Israel/Palestine Dispute Is Ill-Served by Uninformed Grammar Nitpicking
20 May 2018
331 Hello, Google Duplex? No Artificially Intelligent Calls, Please
13 May 2018
330 Fish, Cheese, and Gossip: 2,000 Years of Snobbery in the Suffix ‘-Monger’
8 May 2018
329 Watergate, Weinergate, and Windrush: the Naming of Political Scandals
2 May 2018
328 Emoji Are Ruining Grasp of English, Says Dumbest Language Story of the Week
23 Apr 2018
327 Can You Explain What a Shibboleth Is?
18 Apr 2018
326 Copy Editing and Proofreading a Book: It Takes a Village
8 Apr 2018
325 The Problem with the Ban on ‘There Are’ Constructions
3 Apr 2018
324 Ambiguous Adjectives and Unqualified Lesbians
29 Mar 2018
323 The Adverb That Killed a Friendship
19 Mar 2018
322 Taleb on Pinker: Neologism and Bile
14 Mar 2018
321 Spam-Driven Pollution of Academic Communication
6 Mar 2018
320 The Fictional Possessives-With-Gerunds Rule
1 Mar 2018
319 When ‘But’ Means ‘That ... Not’
25 Feb 2018
318 No Overtime Pay for Milk-Truck Drivers (or Professors)
12 Feb 2018
317 Talking Killer Whales? Gullible Science Journalists More Likely
7 Feb 2018
316 Negative or Positive? Answer (a) or (b)
28 Jan 2018
315 Bonehead Guidance for Would-Be Novelists
23 Jan 2018
314 Punctuate, Punctuate; Punctuate!
18 Jan 2018
313 ‘A Foreign Way Which Never Really Caught On’
12 Jan 2018
312 The Boy from the Isle of Man
29 Dec 2017
311 It’s the Wine Talking
19 Dec 2017
310 The Fine Line Between Errors and Dialect Differences
14 Dec 2017
309 The Man Who Hated Relativism
4 Dec 2017
308 The Unmentionable Topic of Edinburgh Weather
29 Nov 2017
307 Answering a Question with a Question
21 Nov 2017
306 The Right to Tell People What They Do Not Want to Hear
15 Nov 2017
305 Final-Preposition Terror
5 Nov 2017
304 The Ballad of Bentley and Craig
2 Nov 2017
303 BuzzFeed Has Style Too
26 Oct 2017
302 The Strange Language of Harvey Weinstein’s Denial
15 Oct 2017
301 300 Up, Stil Getting It Wrong
https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/10/11/300-up-still-getting-it-wrong/
11 Oct 2017
300 On the Ropes at Radio London
1 Oct 2017
299 The Subtle Art of English Ethnic Slurs
28 Sep 2017
298 Unapplied Linguistics
20 Sep 2017
297 It’s Not a Litmus Test
11 Sep 2017
296 A Philosopher-Grammarian Gets Something Right
6 Sep 2017
295 Bogus Advice for Op-Ed Authors
27 Aug 2017
294 Plain Talk About Public Murder
22 Aug 2017
293 Didn’t Know I Would Really Go
17 Aug 2017
292 Robots Gossiping in a Secret Language?
7 Aug 2017
291 Back to the Real World
2 Aug 2017
290 Being a Determinative
23 Jul 2017
289 ‘The Americans Have No Adverbs’
17 July 2017
288 The Much-Needed Gap
12 Jul 2017
287 English Grammar Day
27 Jun 2017
286 Worst Sentence Ever Seen in Academic Prose
22 Jun 2017
285 Of Cadillacs and Prairie Dogs
12 Jun 2017
284 Why Won’t They Heed Plain Facts?
4 Jun 2017
283 Dracula, Strunk, and Correct English Usage
23 May 2017
282 Being a Declarative (or Interrogative, or Imperative, or Exclamative)
14 May 2017
281 The Importance of Being a Prince
8 May 2017
280 Grammar Blunders and Journalistic Discourtesy
3 May 2017
279 The Risky Business of Deadpan Humor
23 Apr 2017
278 Adverbs and United Airlines
18 Apr 2017
277 The Many First Rules of Politics
13 Apr 2017
276 The World’s Greatest Grammarian
03 Apr 2017
275 The Team Sat in Its Hotel Drinking Its Beers
28 Mar 2017
274 A Brown Eyed Handsome Man
24 Mar 2017
273 Word-Processing Misery
14 Mar 2017
272 Data Mining for Personally Targeted Politics
9 Mar 2017
271 Once More Into the Fray, Pluto (and Ixion, Among Others)
27 Feb 2017
270 Still Looking for a Triple
21 Feb 2017
269 For Want of a Copy Editor the Sense Was Lost
16 Feb 2017
268 How Not to Teach Chinese
6 Feb 2017
267 When Two Negatives Don’t Make a Positive
2 Feb 2017
266 Recovering My Heritage
26 Jan 2017
265 Agency Style, For Your Eyes Only
17 Jan 2017
264 Decrying Dialects and Despising Speakers
11 Jan 2017
263 If Only I Could Tell You
6 Jan 2017
262 Where Are the Happiness Boys?
19 Dec 2016
261 Make American Accents Great Again
13 Dec 2016
260 For Want of an Oxford Comma
6 Dec 2016
259 Arrival: Just Say Yes
28 Nov 2016
258 The Unoriginality of Orwell’s Critique of Language
13 Nov 2016
257 Sexual-Abuse Gangs and Racism
9 Nov 2016
256 Witticisms, Plagiarism, and Language History
3 Nov 2016
255 An Ill Wind That No One Blows Good
24 Oct 2016
254 Orgies, Convoys, and Precision in Word Meanings
20 Oct 2016
253 The Internet Isn’t Changing English. Nor the Converse
10 Oct 2016
252 The Anglophone Millstone
4 Oct 2016
251 To Seek Out New Vowels...
29 Sep 2016
250 Mensiversaries
20 Sep 2016
249 A Postcard from Brno
12 Sep 2016
248 The Two Voices of Trump
6 Sep 2016
247 Foul Things of the Night
31 Aug 2016
246 Machine-to-Human Communication: Nobody Cares
22 Aug 2016
245 The Linguistics of Assassination Threats
15 Aug 2016
244 In the Phonetic Jungle
12 Aug 2016
243 Reflections on the Trivium
1 Aug 2016
242 Finger-pointing, Trouble-saving, and Pussyfooting
27 Jul 2016
241 The World’s Best Philosopher of Linguistics
17 Jul 2016
240 The Worst Form of Government
12 Jul 2016
239 Being an Auxiliary
7 Jul 2016
238 Linguification: That’s the Name of the Game
27 Jun 2016
237 A Postcard from Schleswig-Holstein
23 Jun 2016
236 Direct Objects or Lack Thereof
13 Jun 2016
235 Liars and Snakes: Plumbing New Rhetorical Depths
7 Jun 2016
234 Triciaisms
3 Jun 2016
233 Syntactic Self-Harm on St James’s Street
23 May 2016
232 ‘Genderqueer’ and ‘Baconsphere’
18 May 2016
231 Grammar-Test Dispute Resolution
8 May 2016
230 Famous Women, Banknotes, and Online Abuse
3 May 2016
229 The Social Consequences of Switching to English
28 Apr 2016
228 Correct/Incorrect Grammar-Test Items
18 Apr 2016
227 Let Us Edit Your Article
13 Apr 2016
226 Being an Antecedent
3 Apr 2016
225 Being a Subjunctive
29 March 2016
224 Sentences I Hope Never to Use
24 Mar 2016
223 Scalia’s Linguistic Acumen
10 Mar 2016
222 Being an Interjection
1 Mar 2016
221 Leaps in the Dark: the Discourse of Brexit
24 Feb 2016
220 Polysemy and Maturity
19 Feb 2016
219 To Co-Author, or Not to Co-Author?
12 Feb 2016
218 Tricia
4 Feb 2016
217 They Will Never Forget You...
25 Jan 2016
216 The Awful Chinese Writing System
21 Jan 2016
215 Grown-Ups Deserve Better
15 Jan 2016
214 The Quiet Certainty of Antedating
5 Jan 2016
213 The Footprints of a Gigantic Hound
14 Dec 2015
212 ‘People of Color’
8 Dec 2015
211 English and Its Undeserved Good Luck
3 Dec 2015
210 The Unsuitability of English
24 Nov 2015
209 A Postcard from Bilbao
16 Nov 2015
208 Prepositions as Conjunctions, Whales as Fish
9 Nov 2015
207 Only in the Right Position
4 Nov 2015
206 Evasive Passives in Texas
27 Oct 2015
205 Being a Pronoun
22 Oct 2015
204 Saying ‘the’ in German
11 Oct 2015
203 The Third Flaw in the Second Amendment
7 Oct 2015
202 Everyday Artficial Stupidity
2 Oct 2015
201 Sex and Verbs and Rock ’n’ Roll
22 Sep 2015
200 Pointless Vocabulary Diversity and Grammatical Structure
17 Sep 2015
199 Best Linguistic Jokes of the 2015 Fringe
2 Sep 2015
198 The Structure of University Names
28 Aug 2015
197 Crisis Management and Proper Usage
18 Aug 2015
196 Etymology Is Not Destiny
13 Aug 2015
195 Unspeakable Drug Names
3 Aug 2015
194 What Language Learning Cannot Be
28 Jul 2015
193 The Fringe Is Coming to Town
22 Jul 2015
192 What ‘One’ Means to a Linguist
17 Jul 2015
191 Human Resources and Thought Control
7 Jul 2015
190 Babbler Birds and Babbling Journalists
2 Jul 2015
189 Revolutionary Methodological Preliminaries
22 Jun 2015
188 36 Words
17 Jun 2015
187 Scrabbling for Words
12 Jun 2015
186 Take My Metadata
2 Jun 2015
185 An Honor and a Horror
28 May 2015
184 Competence, Performance, and Climate
18 May 2015
183 Legal and Illegal Commas
13 May 2015
182 Dumb Copy Editing Survives
8 May 2015
181 Diary of a Visiting Speaker
28 Apr 2015
180 Truly Incompetent English
23 Apr 2015
179 A Certain Closeness
13 Apr 2015
178 Passive Verbosity Again
9 Apr 2015
177 An Insult from Professor Faxman
31 Mar 2015
176 On Writing Well About Passives
27 Mar 2015
175 Swinging for His Supper
18 Mar 2015
174 Lain, the Whom of the Verb World
9 Mar 2015
173 The International Phonetic Alphabet
5 Mar 2015
172 Having a Problem With ‘Having a Problem With’
24 Feb 2015
171 Free Speech, the Rough and the Smooth
20 Feb 2015
170 Comprise Yourself
11 Feb 2015
169 ‘Ongoing Plethora’? Not What It Appears
2 Feb 2015
168 Garage Sociolinguistics
29 Jan 2015
167 The Rules for Essay Exams
20 Jan 2015
166 He (or Possibly Him?) as Head
16 Jan 2015
165 Renée Zellweger as a Verb? I Don’t Think So
7 Jan 2015
164 George Curme, Orthographic Radical
15 Dec 2014
163 George Curme, 21st-Century Grammarian
11 Dec 2014
162 A Postcard from Vienna
2 Dec 2014
161 Disputing Linguistic Myths
19 Nov 2014
160 The Decline of Grammar Education
10 Nov 2014
159 Writing Instructors: Your Pain Is Felt
6 Nov 2014
158 Professor Pinker and Professor Strunk
28 Oct 2014
157 Talking About Word Aversion on TV
24 Oct 2014
156 If Not Me Then Who?
15 Oct 2014
155 Dumb Writing Advice, Part 2: Yielding to Nitwits
6 Oct 2014
154 Dumb Writing Advice, Part 1: Word Prohibitions
2 Oct 2014
153 6 Likes, Liked and Disliked
23 Sep 2014
152 Being a Subject
19 Sep 2014
151 Better Together for Whom?
10 September 2014
150 The Case of the Sinister Buttocks
5 Sep 2014
149 Why Well-Formed Nonsense Doesn’t Matter
28 Aug 2014
148 Computer Says B-Plus
18 Aug 2014
147 Grammatical Icing on the Political Cake
14 Aug 2014
146 Speaking Out Against Hate Speech (Or Not)
5 Aug 2014
145 Verb Agreement and Hurdling
1 Aug 2014
144 Valid Pronoun-Ambiguity Warnings
23 Jul 2014
143 The Etiology of Turgid Drivel
17 Jul 2014
142 Mandarin Myths
8 Jul 2014
141 The True Secret of Office Packing
27 June 2014
140 Grammatical Shades of Grey
18 Jun 2014
139 Mere W*rds
9 June 2014
138 New Book, Same Old Grammar-Babble
5 Jun 2014
137 The Vague Main Clause of the Second Amendment
27 May 2014
136 The Politics of Taboo Words
19 May 2014
135 Bait-and-Switch Comparisons
13 May 2014
134 Caricaturing Descriptive Grammarians
9 May 2014
133 There Was No Committee
30 April 2014
132 And the Other Is a Jellyfish
21 Apr 2014
131 A Postcard from Salzburg
17 Apr 2014
130 No Language for Lottie
8 Apr 2014
129 Dolphin Talk and Human Credulity
4 Apr 2014
128 Communicating with the Public
26 Mar 2014
127 Undivided by a Common Language
17 March 2014
126 Brevity and Attractiveness: Misreporting Linguistic Science
13 Mar 2014
125 Linguistics qua Affliction
4 Mar 2014
124 Real-Time Automated Essay Writing?
25 Feb 2014
123 Coming and Going
19 Feb 2014
122 Politeness in Refereeing Favor Requests
10 Feb 2014
121 Spot the Captain
6 Feb 2014
120 Not Cricket
28 Jan 2014
119 ‘Concern Trolls,’ Passives, and Vultures
24 Jan 2014
118 Moths to the Flame of Meaning
15 Jan 2014
117 Summarize Your Thesis (One Line)
9 Jan 2014
116 Lord Quirk Drops the Ball
19 Dec 2013
115 Banning Students’ Native Dialects
10 Dec 2013
114 Google Reads Your Emails?
6 Dec 2013
113 Not Whether, but When
27 Nov 2013
112 When We Do Not Agree
18 Nov 2013
111 Lying About Writing
14 Nov 2013
110 Was It Really Oscar?
5 Nov 2013
109 Linguistic Fuel for a Political Brushfire
1 Nov 2013
108 Be Fair, Oscar
22 Oct 2013
107 The Higgs: Names Becoming Common Nouns
18 Oct 2013
106 ‘The Guardian’ Opposes Zombie Rules
9 Oct 2013
105 Is the Cognitive Revolution Here Yet?
30 Sep 2013
104 Can Goofy Headlines Cost You Money?
26 Sep 2013
103 Keep Your Multilingualism to Yourself
17 Sep 2013
102 Gentler, Cuddlier Grammarians
13 Sep 2013
101 Who’d Want to Be a Dick Swiveller?
4 Sep 2013
100 From Netherlandic-German to Multilingual Sardinia
26 Aug 2013
99 Counting the Languages of the World
22 Aug 2013
98 Being Wrong to Be Right
13 Aug 2013
97 Hungarian I Am Not
9 Aug 2013
96 Is Strunk Bunk? a Game-Changing New Development
31 Jul 2013
95 The Great Fitzgerald
22 Jul 2013
94 Blowing in the Political Wind
18 Jul 2013
93 Extractor Fans, Big Brother, and the Passive
9 Jul 2013
92 A Postcard from Galicia
26 Jun 2013
91 You’re Wrong and I’m Changing the Subject
17 Jun 2013
90 A Trinity of Languages
13 Jun 2013
89 Getting In and Out (and Looked At)
4 Jun 2013
88 Machine Translation Without the Translation
31 May 2013
87 Speech Recognition vs. Language Processing
23 May 2013
86 Keyword Search, Plus a Little Magic
13 May 2013
85 Why Are We Still Waiting for Natural Language Processing?
9 May 2013
84 Being a Conjunction (slash Coordinator)
30 Apr 2013
83 We Do Not Seek to Rule
26 Apr 2013
82 King Jong-un
17 Apr 2013
81 Orwell and the Not Unblack Dog
8 Apr 2013
80 Elimination of the Fittest
4 Apr 2013
79 Fair Comment and Privileged Occasions
26 Mar 2013
78 Being an Apostrophe
22 Mar 2013
77 Quite
13 Mar 2013
76 Spurious Correlations Everywhere: The Tragedy of Big Data
4 Mar 2013
75 Predicting Prudence from Tense Marking?
28 Feb 2013
74 Being an Adverb
20 Feb 2013
73 Revision, Respect, and Etymological Cleansing
11 Feb 2013
72 Being a Preposition
5 Feb 2013
71 Humor Detection Module Not Innate
29 Jan 2013
70 The Hacks and the Hackers
21 Jan 2013
69 Being an Adjective
14 Jan 2013
68 Stopping to Consider Language Acquisition
10 Jan 2013
67 Grammar to the Rescue
20 Dec 2012
66 Shaken, Not Stirred
11 Dec 2012
65 A Rule Which Will Live in Infamy
7 Dec 2012
64 One Rule to Ring Them All
30 Nov 2012
63 Don’t Blame Your Moods on Your Language
19 Nov 2012
62 That’s Right
13 Nov 2012
61 Grammatical Relationship Counseling Needed
8 Nov 2012
60 Frankenwords
31 Oct 2012
59 Illegal Immigrants and Marine Biologists
22 Oct 2012
58 What Words to Say, What Sort of Person to Be
19 Oct 2012
57 Passive Writing at the Daily Planet
9 Oct 2012
56 More Grammar Hate Mail
5 Oct 2012
55 Not Lovecraft’s Providence
26 Sep 2012
54 Lovecraft’s Providence
17 Sep 2012
53 Organic Syntax
13 Sep 2012
52 The Planet of Chongqing
7 Sep 2012
51 Rules That Eat Your Brain
29 Aug 2012
50 Even That Would Be a Grammar
20 Aug 2012
49 You Are Software; Don’t Greet Me
16 Aug 2012
48 The Riddle of Frisney and Frarney
7 Aug 2012
47 Spelling Random Lexical Flotsam
3 Aug 2012
46 Fairies
25 Jul 2012
45 Speak Up!
16 Jul 2012
44 Away From One’s Desk
12 Jul 2012
43 ‘Wall Street Journal’ Pushes Grammar Panic
3 Jul 2012
42 Remembering Alan Turing
28 Jun 2012
41 Being a Noun
20 Jun 2012
40 When Your Computer Is as Easy to Use as Your Phone
11 Jun 2012
39 More on the ‘However’ Myth
7 Jun 2012
38 The Case of the Extra Word
29 May 2012
37 Forget me, Scott Reed
24 May 2012
36 Lying About Language
15 May 2012
35 Beliefs About Grammar and Extraterrestrials
11 May 2012
34 The Quality-Length Correlation
2 May 2012
33 ‘Hopefully’: Five Decades of Foolishness
23 Apr 2012
32 Not Rage So Much, but a Modicum of Fear
18 Apr 2012
31 A Great Space for Nitpicking
10 Apr 2012
30 Being a Verb
6 Apr 2012
29 The Rise and Fall of a Venomous Dispute
28 Mar 2012
28 Passives, Pandas, and Dangling Modifiers
19 Mar 2012
27 The Bad Science Reporting Effect
15 Mar 2012
26 Foreign Language Education, Part 3: Accentuating the Positive
6 Mar 2012
25 More on How to Argue for Foreign-Language Instruction
2 Mar 2012
24 How to Argue for Foreign Language Instruction
22 Feb 2012
23 Literary Judgment Marred by Dumb Grammar Myth
14 Feb 2012
22 Ferment and Befuddlement
6 Feb 2012
21 Legislating Language and Truth
2 Feb 2012
20 Normal and Formal
18 Jan 2012
19 Shock: Writer Avoids Mentioning Passive!
27 Jan 2012
18 The Year of ‘Occupy’
8 Jan 2012
17 Dogma vs. Evidence: Singular They
5 Jan 2012
16 Pronoun Agreement Out the Window?
16 Dec 2011
15 Academic Hate Mail
6 Dec 2011
14 Beware the Misles
1 Dec 2011
13 A Thanksgiving for Susie
21 Nov 2011
12 More Linguistic Slush From the Arctic
15 Nov 2011
11 I Will Never Be a Ranter
10 Nov 2011
10 Permalinks, Ensparbulation, Etc.
1 Nov 2011
9 Love Among the Participles
26 Oct 2011
8 Attack the Muffled Mendacities of the Administrative Creatures
19 Oct 2011
7 Glovens and Webinars
14 Oct 2011
6 Mistakes Are Made (But Using the Passive Isn’t One of Them)
1 Oct 2011
5 Jack Reacher Flunks Phonetics
26 Sep 2011
4 Chasing Me!
21 Sep 2011
3 Invaders from America . . . Not!
14 Sep 2011
2 In the Time of Declarative Sentences
8 Sep 2011
1 I Wish I’d Said That
26 Aug 2011