Sometimes, some documents I read are so convoluted that I don't understand what they are telling me. I've found this to be true in for legal documents including terms of agreements and constitutions among others. Is there any kind of program that looks at the syntax of sections of text and converts them into block diagrams showing the relationships between subjects and objects with the verb, adverbs, adjectives, etc. showing how they are connected? For instance, if it was highlighting the sentence, "See Spot run", there would be two boxes, one labeled Spot and one labeled You with an arrow connecting the latter to the former. I'm thinking of something similar to sentence diagramming but graphically represented and not nearly as complicated. It seems to me that if something could lay out all of the relationships within a document, that would make it much easier for someone to understand what it means. Or is that magical thinking on my part?
I've recently noticed an irritating trend in English-language writing: sections that really should be written in the past perfect tense are instead in the simple past tense. I've seen this more in American English than in British English, but that might just be confirmation bias. Is there a reason for this, for example a new style of teaching in schools or universities? And is it really new, or am I just looking for things to get annoyed about? [more inside]
I was thinking the other day about "all Greek to me!" as I was reading a physics book w/equations (using the Greek symbols) And equations are a sort of language, of course. So I wondered if there's some sort of linguist who's ever looked at the grammar or syntax of math/physics equations and tried to derive, whatever the hell it is linguists derive! Does this sound like something anyone has heard of? If so, have any links?
I'm kicking around a concept for a theoretical piece I hope to work on in the near future, dealing with the way "femininity" and the "female" category are conceived of linguistically. Help me find some empirical data!
I'm kicking around a concept for a theoretical piece I hope to work on in the near future, dealing with the way "femininity" and the "female" category are conceived of linguistically. Help me find some empirical data! [more inside]
Extra! Extra! The verb "to be" missing from TV newscasts! Anchors and TV reporters omitting "to be," often favor using participles instead. Why? [more inside]
GrammarFilter: True/False -- The following sentence can be grammatically correct. There's rockets. [more inside]
I know I'm being a bit of a hypertext pedant, but are there any grammatical rules for linktext? Any stylistic rules for linktext? Linktext is the stuff that goes in between <a> and </a>. I know to never use "click here" as linktext but I'm interested in other rules about syntax and style. (more inside) [more inside]
What is the plural of "presence?" [more inside]