Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ad annum per gerras

Happy New Year one and all! And for our German friends, Dinner For One, a Silvester treat (link and link).


Friday, December 26, 2008

be all like

Two things about seeing Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York in a Berkeley multiplex cinema yesterday: (1) the small theater in which we saw the movie was furnished with a small number of comfy chairs and couches, and (2) I found myself drawn into the conversation of a couple of strangers sitting behind me. It started with one fellow’s lament about the abuse of like as a discourse marker, a quotative, and a linguistic hedge or filler (link, link, and link). I held my silence, but when they were all like: “And then there’s go for said!” Still I ignored them. Mainly because I could not remember the linguistics term quotative go for this grammatical feature of the informal register in my own ideolect. But, they did not stop there, and finally they wondered, just a bit too loudly, about using the present tense to report something that had happened in the past. “It’s called the historic present,” I said (link). And then after a awkward pause, I added: “It’s good to finally get some use out of my linguistic degree.” We all of us laughed nervously and then lapsed into silence and waited for the movie to begin. It was wonderful.

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