Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Happy Birthday to Noam and Willa

Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent, Hegemony or Survival), often called the “father of modern linguistics” was born on this day in 1928. From a 2008 January Magazine interview with Chomsky by contributing editor, Richard Klin:
There has not been much examination of Chomsky’s actual writing style. One could argue that much of its effectiveness is owed to a welcome lack of jargon or windy polemic. There is a sort of just-the-facts approach that not only isn’t dry but veers toward the colloquial. How intentional is this?

As it turns out, there is a reason his writing does often sound conversational. “Most of what I write is mostly written-up talks” and attendant notes. “I rarely have time to sit down and write an article” -- the writing “often woven together from the background” of speaking appearances, frequently using the same phraseology. Quite simply, there is “no time” for laborious rewriting and multiple drafts. “In fact, they prepare the talks usually on the fly.”
The interview is here.

Worth noting, also, that Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Willa Cather (My Antonia, The Song of the Lark) was born on this day in 1873.



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