The Web made pop linguistics possible. Nothing has done a better job popularizing language research than the basic technology of the homepage and blog. (The same is true for typography.) Then you run across people who don’t know what they’re taking about or are just in over their heads.

  • Marcus Gee managed to write an entire column about the pronunciation of “Toronto” without two necessary components: Field research to back up his claims and the phrase “nasal alveolar flap” – [ɾ̃], the phoneme before the last o. (It isn’t a D or a T.) I asked what gave, but Gee didn’t answer.

  • Take it from the man who tried to make a go of Canadian Word of the Year and couldn’t: Somebody who also won’t be able to make a go of it is Weisblott, especially since some of his candidates were from previous years.

  • I don’t know who Dana Wilson is, but that doesn’t mean anything – experts can come out of the blue. But someone who does not know how to read a dictionary entry is poorly qualified to threaten to write an ongoing column on Canadian English. (Wilson wouldn’t explain what his qualifications are.) And anyway, in an environment where stacking superscribed and subscribed characters on top of one another isn’t possible (as it was in WordPerfect 5.1!), sk(c)eptical isn’t how you notate a choice of letters. (Something like s{k|c}eptical would be.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2013.01.29 14:20. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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