Archive for June 29th, 2007

A linguist reads Dawkins

June 29, 2007

Eric Bakovic at Language Log reads The God Delusion of Dawkins and has some comments to make:

I didn’t expect to find much about language in this book, but there’s actually a fair bit: some discussion of the Great Vowel Shift, a reference to the universality of “the underlying deep structure of grammar”, and at least a couple of instances in which an appeal is made to stress to clarify an important distinction in meaning (p. 215: the SELfish gene vs. the selfish GENE; p. 364: more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in YOUR philosophy vs. more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your phiLOsophy). Among all these bits about language, a couple stand out for me in particular because they are highly misleading (and could have easily been checked); one of these is discussed below the fold, and I’ll follow up with the second at some future date.

There are also links to some audio material to accompany the discussions. Take a look!

On a different note

June 29, 2007

This being a small post by Kieran, I am going to quote it in full:

Tyler Cowen is soliciting nominations for the most underrated books, beginning with mystery novels. But a free market for books makes it impossible ipso facto for something to be underrated or overrated. Arguing otherwise is either an effort to override the decision of the market with one’s own preferences — and thus of a piece with Stalinism — or a Bourdieuian exercise in symbolic violence by means of invidious distinction.

A couple of management books

June 29, 2007

Joel Spolsky recommends a couple of management books (and, suggests that you skip this one):

Take a look!