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Dennis Baron's go-to site for language and technology in the news
Results for "March, 2008"

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  • Owner of veggie fast food stand bans English

    April 1, 2008 Special to the Web of Language.

  • Speak English, get out of jail free

    A Pennsylvania judge has sentenced three Spanish-speaking men to learn English or go to jail. The three, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, will remain free on parole for a year, then take an English test. If they fail, then according to Judge Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., it’s go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. And they’ll stay in jail for the remaining 20 months of their two-year prison term.

  • Second Amendment grammar -- the Framers parsed it one way, but will the Supreme Court agree with their analysis?

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week in a case that could decide whether the Second Amendment – the one about the right to bear arms – permits or prohibits gun control.

    In 2003, Dick Heller and five other plaintiffs challenged Washington, D.C.’s, tough gun control law, claiming that its ban on handguns violated their Second Amendment right to tote a gun. Last Spring, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld Heller’s claim. The Supreme Court then agreed to hear D.C’s appeal of the Heller case.

  • Happy Birthday, Henry Fowler: inventor of that/which rule is 150 today

    Today, March 10, 2008, is the 150th birthday of Henry Watson Fowler, high school Latin teacher, lexicographer, and author of the Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), the most important book on English usage of the 20th century (sorry Strunk and White, you lose hands down).