Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

OK, I admit it

November 12, 2015

We need the Oxford Comma.

Oxford Comma


Lenin Lives Next Door by Jennifer Eremeeva

March 21, 2015

See my review on

Exegeting the US Constitution

August 27, 2014

Did you know that official German and Dutch translations of the United States Constitution came out while the states deliberated whether to ratify it? I didn’t know that either. A recent article highlights this little-known fact and suggests that the translators’ word choices can shed light on the Framers’ intent in certain obscure parts of the canonical English document.

This claim has a parallel in biblical studies, where the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, known as the Septuagint (LXX), sometimes sheds light on the textual history or the meaning of the original text. I suppose hermeneutics are hermeneutics, whether we try to understand religious or historical or political documents.

Mulligan, Christina and Douma, Michael and Lind, Hans and Quinn, Brian Patrick, Founding-Era Translations of the United States Constitution (August 24, 2014). Available at SSRN:

The Authorized Version and I

August 9, 2013

All right; I confess. Today I gave up on the King James Version of the Bible.

Over the past nine months I’ve read 55% of a free ebook called The Chronological Bible. It’s been a good experience but today it’s over. Lost in the wilds of the prophet Isaiah as translated by 17th century divines, I realized I wasn’t understanding enough to justify the effort.

Why does this matter to anyone but me? Because over the past months I’ve experienced what some minority-language Christians around the world experience all the time: reading the Bible in a language or dialect not their own. God bless Wycliffe Bible Translators, Pioneer Bible Translators, and other good people who give their lives to produce Scripture in people’s heart languages.

The importance of bilingualism

April 25, 2012

Hat tip Ryan Sliwoski.

Atheist chart

October 10, 2011

Here’s a helpful chart from the blog Atheos-godless.
The discussion is interesting too.

Dead Sea Scrolls online

September 26, 2011

More than 60 years after their discovery, some of the major finds at Qumran now appear online. Hat tip to Jack Weinbender.

Stranded in London . . . or not

July 13, 2011

Here’s a Facebook chat from a while back that might amuse some readers.

Real Kyle, a former student of mine, knows this answer in his sleep. Fake Kyle didn’t respond. A few weeks later I saw Real Kyle and confirmed my impression.

Me and my Kindle

June 8, 2011

Recently I bought an Amazon Kindle for the Woman, and in helping her set it up I learned enough to get interested for myself. Instead of buying another unit, I signed up for Kindle for PC–for free–and I’ve been reading books on the computer.

Kindle for PC has many of the advantages of the Kindle itself, plus the ability to read the same books on more than one computer. Right now I’m reading historian David Hackett Fisher’s Paul Revere’s Ride (Oxford, 1994). Earlier I enjoyed his Albion’s Seed, which shed a lot of light on American customs and speech patterns as derivatives of British ones.

Letter frequency in English

June 7, 2011

funny graphs - Letter Frequency
see more Funny Graphs

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