Epic Grammar Fails
Tue, 09/03/2019 - 8:38am
When: July 24, 2019 at Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
Do you feel compelled to correct everything you read or hear: signs, menus, emails, web pages, song lyrics, fortune cookies? Or have you been the target of such "Grammar Police"? This lecture traces protests over English usage, such as the non-literal use of "literally" and when to use an apostrophe in "its" vs "it's." We discuss what merit such complaints might have, as well as what problems they might pose, especially to speakers of non-standard varieties of English.
Ezra Keshet is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. He studies semantics, especially examining how we figure out what a particular pronoun like "it" or "her" means in context. Ezra lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and their two tiny linguists, aged 4 and 1.