Category Archives: Sunday Shout-Out

Sunday Shout Out 12/1/13

A new Meme that I am all about.  I read so many books but getting reviews done for all of them is a challenge. You can participate too, just check out the Meme rules below, and check my Shout Out!

SHOUTOUT

Is there ever such a thing as too many books? I don’t think there are too many books to read, but there can definitely be too many to review. If you are sent more books than you can review or read or the TBR pile is a mountain than Sunday Shout-Out allows us to acknowledge books and the publishers.

Sunday Shout-Out is a bookish meme hosted by Monique of Write Note Reviews. If you’re a book blogger and you want to join in, just:

  • Share the title, author, blurb and image from a book (or more than one) you want to acknowledge.
  • Share the genre, price and link to the publisher so readers can follow-up if they like the sound of the book.
  • Ping back to Write Note Reviews in your post. And if you can pingback to me, thank you.

This week I want to give a shout out to a book stacked in my TBR. I have scanned this book, want to read and but haven’t as yet. There are certain non-fiction books I am a fan of, one category is language. Years ago I read The Mother Tongue – English And How It Got That Way
and thoroughly enjoyed. But many linguists believe Bryson, while an excellent travel author and storyteller, has it wrong. There are not 24 or whatever number of words for snow in the ‘Eskimo’ language as Bryson asserts. If you enjoy learning about word origins, as I do check out this book.

The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax and Other Irreverent Essays on the Study of Language
by Geoffrey K. Pullum.

How reliable are all those stories about the number of Eskimo words for snow? How can lamps, flags, and parrots be libelous? How might Star Trek’s Commander Spock react to Noam Chomsky’s theories of language? These and many other odd questions are typical topics in this collection of essays that present an occasionally zany, often wry, but always fascinating look at language and the people who study it.

Geoffrey K. Pullum’s writings began as columns in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory in 1983. For six years, in almost every issue, under the banner “TOPIC. . .COMMENT,” he published a captivating mélange of commentary, criticism, satire, whimsy, and fiction. Those columns are reproduced here—almost exactly as his friends and colleagues originally warned him not to publish them—along with new material including a foreword by James D. McCawley, a prologue, and a new introduction to each of these clever pieces. Whether making a sneak attack on some sacred cow, delivering a tongue-in-cheek protest against current standards, or supplying a caustic review of some recent development, Pullum remains in touch with serious concerns about language and society. At the same time, he reminds the reader not to take linguistics too seriously all of the time.

Pullum will take you on an excursion into the wild and untamed fringes of linguistics. Among the unusual encounters in store are a conversation between Star Trek’s Commander Spock and three real earth linguists, the strange tale of the author’s imprisonment for embezzling funds from the Campaign for Typographical Freedom, a harrowing account of a day in the research life of four unhappy grammarians, and the true story of how a monograph on syntax was suppressed because the examples were judged to be libelous. You will also find a volley of humorous broadsides aimed at dishonest attributional practices, meddlesome copy editors, mathematical incompetence, and “cracker-barrel philosophy of science.” These learned and witty pieces will delight anyone who is fascinated by the quirks of language and linguists.

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Sunday Shout – Out 11/24/13

A new Meme that I am all about.  I read so many books but getting reviews done for all of them is a challenge. You can participate too, just check out the Meme rules below, and check my Shout Out!

SHOUTOUT

Is there ever such a thing as too many books? I don’t think there are too many books to read, but there can definitely be too many to review. Often I’m sent books and, with an already sagging review shelf, these unsolicited books often end being overlooked – I just can’t fit them in to my schedule. Sunday Shout-Out aims to acknowledge these books and the publishers who have sent them to me.

Sunday Shout-Out is a bookish meme hosted by Monique of Write Note Reviews. If you’re a book blogger and you want to join in, just:

  • Share the title, author, blurb and image from a book (or more than one) you want to acknowledge
  • Share the genre, price and link to the publisher so readers can follow up if they like the sound of the book
  • Ping back to Write Note Reviews in your post.

A Midnight Clear: A Novel by William Wharton. Literature, Fiction. Kindle $9.78 and paperback $11.12.  Originally published in 1983.
Set in the Ardennes Forest on Christmas Eve 1944, Sergeant Will Knott and five other GIs are ordered close to the German lines to establish an observation post in an abandoned château. Here they play at being soldiers in what seems to be complete isolation. That is, until the Germans begin revealing their whereabouts and leaving signs of their presence: a scarecrow, equipment the squad had dropped on a retreat from a reconnaissance mission and, strangest of all, a small fir tree hung with fruit, candles, and cardboard stars. Suddenly, Knott and the others must unravel these mysteries, learning as they do about themselves, about one another, and about the “enemy,” until A Midnight Clear reaches its unexpected climax, one of the most shattering in the literature of war.

I read this stellar book years ago then watched the movie that was also good. Well written and thought-provoking. A recommended read!

Also available and recommended the movie from 1992.

NTSC/Region 0. Director Keith Gordon based his excellent script for “A Midnight Clear” on the book by William Wharton, who had been seriously wounded in the Battle of the Bulge towards the end of WWII. He wrote of an American Intelligence team which came upon a team of young German soldiers, desperate to surrender to the Americans, in order to survive Germany’s last offensive. He wrote of fear and suspicion, pain and loss, friendship and hope and a snow-ball fight. And of the agreement to save the lives of the Germans, which went horribly wrong. A haunting, disturbing war movie without much war, looking tenderly at those who go to kill and be killed, and gently painting a truth: There are no real victors; all are wounded by war’s inherent, random cruelty. DVD info.: A special slip-case presentation imported from S. Korea, with Dolby 5.1 sound doing justice to Mark Isham’s beautiful score, the movie is in the original English, with optional English and Korean subtitles, with the original 107 minutes .

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Filed under Meme, Reviews, Sunday Shout-Out