The Web of Language

blog navigation

Dennis Baron's go-to site for language and technology in the news
Results for "February, 2010"

blog posts

  • Sliced bread. Was it really so great?

    Sliced Bread 2.0: Is the internet all it's cracked up to be?

    You've heard the Luddite gripes about the digital age: computers dehumanize us; text messages are destroying the language; Facebook replaces real friends with imaginary ones; instant messages and blogs give people a voice who have nothing to say. But now a new set of complaints is emerging, this time from computer scientists, internet pioneers who once promised that the digital revolution was the best thing since sliced bread, no, that it was even better, Sliced Bread 2.0.

  • Nick George, who took three years of Arabic in college, says he made these flash cards -- the English translation is on the other side -- to help him read Arabic-language news sites

    Arabic flashcards bump student from plane

    In August, 2009, a 22-year-old Pomona College senior was questioned, handcuffed, and placed in a cell at the Philadelphia International Airport police station for five hours for carrying Arabic flash cards in his pocket as he tried to board his flight back to school in California.

  • Letter to a high school English teacher

    A note of explanation: from time to time, college English departments receive letters like the one below lamenting the disconnect between high school and college writing expectations. Although some names have been changed, this is an actual letter that came to me a few years ago, followed by my actual reply.