Friday, September 23, 2005

The 22 Words for Snow and Pointless Incessant Barking

I remember the feeling of relief I felt when I discovered this book of essays by Geoffrey Pullum.
I had gone through my schooling in a period where people obviously seemed to think it was somehow important how many words the Eskimos had for snow - as a logician I was baffled by how 'snow' was defined in these discussions and even more by how 'word' was and why anyone thought it was important whether one had words or phrases to sort out snow, ice-rain, slush, etc. But I was taught that it mattered. I have come lately to understand how insane the commitment to the the primacy of the 'text' has become to some. Pullum's book made me realize my own nagging doubts made some sense. (And I now know that this is really just a matter of economics, as I actually sensed long ago.)
So now I learn he has a weblog. And I add the RSS feed to my feeds. And the first link I get is this and I feel the way I felt when I found his book 15 years ago! Laughing out loud.
It is almost as pleasant as stumbling across the Sokal hoax. Fooishness masked as sophistication knows few limits.

3 Comments:

At 9:37 AM, Blogger rondi said...

Oh, I used that from the New Yorker, as well!

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Great minds think alike ....

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger rondi said...

...and fools never differ!

 

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