Liked that:

No one doubts that Mr Obama can walk on water. (Washington was frozen over this week.)

Found it …

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The New York Times (28 Jan 2009):

NEW YORK (AP) — John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76. Updike, best known for his four ‘’Rabbit’’ novels, died of lung cancer at a hospice near his home

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When the most powerful man on the planet takes office and by doing so becomes just that (most powerful), how could it not draw all sorts of commentary from all sides. I’ll restrict myself to what one can learn from the pages of the Language Log.
There is an interesting discussion on the flub Obama, or […]

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In today’s New York Times, Wendell Jamieson writes about the classic Christmas movie, James Stewart and Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, and emphasizes how it’s not mainly a sugary-sweet feelgood movie, but
a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, […]

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Again, the Open Culture blog has something to make me watch and click and read: David Bowie and Bing Crosby Sing “The Little Drummer Boy”.
They link to the background story to that at the site of the Washington Post (20 Dec 2006) and include the embedded YouTube video which I’m also, gratefully, offering here – […]

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In a conversation with NYT Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus, John Updike uses an intriguing neologism to describe Obama’s social skills. Updike thinks that the president-elect displays a certain “reaching-outness” (approx. 3:50 in the following video). – How would you spell it, with or without the hyphen? Or put another hyphen in front of “ness”?
The […]

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Just two things (and one thing more) on the impressive success of Barack Obama:

An Economist article on the importance of being e…lected: Great expectations of Barack Obama.
A video on how Obama used the Internet to gather votes: Barack Obama and the Internet (see below).

Embedded video from CNN Video
One thing more: Wie wär’s mit einem kleinen […]

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Wie die Zeitungen (NYTimes, Guardian, ChicagoTribune) und andere Blogger (Herr Rau, Language Log) bereits schrieben, ist Studs Terkel am 31. Oktober gestorben. Der Economist hat in der aktuellen Ausgabe ebenfalls einen schönen Nachruf:
Studs Terkel, recorder of America’s voices.
Ein kurzer Ausschnitt:
Mr Terkel was a man on a mission. First, he meant to fix memories before they […]

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Nachdem man eine Reihe von Journalisten und Finanzfachleuten zum Thema Wirtschaftskrise gehört hat, tut es gut, mal eine Äußerung aus der Feder einer Schriftstellerin zu lesen. Margaret Atwood schreibt in ihrem Op-Ed-Beitrag “A Matter of Life and Debt” ( unter anderem (NB: smart allusion in the headline):
In “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” for example, human beings are […]

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I stumbled across today’s op-ed contribution, “The Great Iceland Meltdown”, by Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times, where he says a lot of clever things (as usual), but also this (emphasis added by me):

Globalization giveth — it was this democratization of finance that helped to power the global growth that lifted so many in India, China and Brazil out of poverty in recent decades. Globalization now taketh away — it was this democratization of finance that enabled the U.S. to infect the rest of the world with its toxic mortgages. And now, we have to hope, that globalization will saveth.

I was shocked – as I usually am when native speakers use the Shakespearean or Biblical -eth ending wrongly. But this time I decided I wanted to find out about this, and I wrote an e-mail to Prof. Arnold Zwicky (Stanford University), one of the contributors to the fabulous Language Log. I half expected to be ignored (who knows – does he even read the mails that are sent to that address? Does he care about a German reader’s questions?). Well, I wasn’t. Only a few hours later Arnold Zwicky replied and told me he had written a blog entry about my question.
And now for an explanation of the headline of this entry. Zwicky says in his post (my emphasis):

Modern speakers, for the most part, don’t appreciate that -eth is historically appropriate only for 3sg present tense verb forms, and so use it ornamentally.

Well. Hm. I really find this surprising. Even intellectuals like Friedman don’t realize that they are producing grammatical nonsense (sth. will *saves)? Amazing.
But please, have a look for yourselves. Prof. Zwicky’s post is full of good examples and also explains why the quotation in question is a snowclone:
Language Log: Giveth and taketh

This entry with proper links: TulgeyWood

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