During the last months, I’ve been assisting in compiling the Bridging the Unbridgeable project’s database of usage guides and usage problems – which will be launched at a lunch lecture this Friday. This has been a wonderful and interesting experience in all sorts of ways. I’ve noticed that, in spite of the sometimes very different approaches to language taken by their author(s), these usage guides share at least two characteristics. First, they are informative; and second, they crack me up. For some excellent examples of humor in H.W. Fowler’s Modern English Usage, check out freelance copy editor and guest blogger Paul Bennett’s previous post, Fowler is Funny.
Wry wit is a difficult thing to quantify. But the usage guide database will no doubt provide intriguing and surprising information on myriad topics – perhaps including this one. Meanwhile, it seemed appropriate to blog about the joy of codification today as it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. If you would like to join the nautical fun, this site contains some ideas about ways to celebrate. There is also advice on various aspects of Pirate usage (also available in German and Dutch) and links which deal with Pirate phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, and politeness.
The idea of playfulness with regard to language and codification also reminded me of the folks at The Bureau Chiefs. They created the amusing Twitter handle Fake AP Stylebook which I can recommend to lovers of (occasionally irreverent) language and laughs.