Sunday, November 25, 2007

Double modals

A number of people who attended my TESL Ontario presentations on Thursday and Saturday seemed skeptical that modal auxiliary verbs co-occur in southern dialects. Ben Zimmer comes to the rescue with a perfect example, and from a US presidential candidate nonetheless. As far as I know, however, there are no dialects that allow multiple coordinator constructions like "and but" (which was the point I was making in my presentation).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More large-scale testing problems

I've commented before on problems with large-scale test problems at ETS. Now, Sam Dillon, writing in the New York Times reports on a case in which incorrect page numbering on test booklets led to the disqualification of 5,600 reading test scores, an embarrassment that led to a half-million dollar penalty for RTI International, the company that handled the tests.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The grammar of physical exhaustion

I wonder if Shatner ever felt that he was hyphenating his words. Likely this is more of a cartoonist's thing.