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Language Log

Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2006 - 9:08 p.m.

1. The spamsters seems especially busy lately. I leave my computer for a couple hours, I come back and I have 10 spams in my inbox. Damn them. Spam of the day, though: 'Negligent Band-Aid'. 2. Last coffee today with my language institute linguist pals. I like them. They were fun. Not sure why I can't get this sort of dynamic going with the linguists who are here. Different people, I guess. Different, non-fun-in-the-way-I-like people

3. Again may I say, I hate my class. I used to hate it when linguistics profs would sidestep an issue by saying that it was too involved to go into just now, or poo-poo/dismiss/carefully set to the side as legitimate but nevertheless irrelevant errant grammaticality judgments. Now I am totally with them. Students just generate these sentences just to give the analysis problems; they can find them for anything you're trying to make a generalization about, it's not systematic, they're usually much more complicated than a native speaker would ever guess, and to touch them with a 10-foot analytic pole takes you way off track. And I mean, what do you want to say, "oh, you're right, there is no structure to langauge at all. Sorry, my bad. Let's just go to the beach now and drink mai-tais, shall we? (actually that doesn't sound so bad)

3'. So, no class didn't go so well today. For one thing I was tired, flustered, and when I get that way I'm nearly incoherent. My sentences become very long and complicated. Wednesdays are always bad like this. Let's hope tomorrow is better. 4. Bee sting update: I will try the toothpaste as suggested (nod to Dangerspouse). If nothing else, it will be amusing for the cats to watch. Do you think the vanilla mint flavor will work? Seriously, I now have this 3" wide spreading itchy red bumpy rash on my leg around the area of the sting (which itself remains a small island of normal, non-gross skin for some reason). It reminds me of when I had poison ivy, except I swear I did not touch any plants when I was fleeing the bees.

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