Billy K. Baker on Language

 

Billy K. Baker — On Words and Up Words

By Editor | January 15, 2020 |

First, an apology: As I assay this essay, I see it being serious, not humorous. Its waggish title, therefore, is misleading … but I enjoyed the pun. Second, a confession: I’m no expert regarding words; so don’t expect scholarly “eptitude.” Fortunately, my singular lack of notoriety means there’s no chance I’ll corrupt the youth of…

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Billy K. Baker — On the Up and Up

By Editor | January 8, 2020 |

Listen up, people, and I’ll give you a heads up. This treatise discusses the importance of “up” in our language. So, perk up your ears … Grammarians, lexicographers, statisticians, and other crazy people claim that the English articles “a,” “an,” and “the” are our most commonly used words. Hah! I claim those aren’t even words,…

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The Truth about English Language Words

By The Publisher | December 31, 2019 |

Another glance into the peculiarities of our language — from Billy K. Baker Where did the words in the English language come from? Linguists and etymologists cite a hypothetical Proto-Indo-European language lightly sprinkled with Semitic tongues and laced with elderly Norse, French, Latin, Greek, and Brooklynese. What nonsense! The English lexicon was first created by…

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Billy K. Baker — On Grammar Rules and Rulers

By The Publisher | December 10, 2019 |

The next piece continues my glance into the peculiarities of our language. You probably learned grammar from a strict teacher like the prune-faced spinster, Miss Meanbottom. You remember her, the one who enforced grammar rules with a stout ruler. I can still hear Meanbottom instructing my class: “Every sentence must have a subject and a…

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Silence Please – Billy K. Baker on Language

By Editor | November 21, 2019 |

The following is a continuation of an earlier article titled, “It’s a Wonder.” English is certainly a rich language. Why so? Because we English-men toss letters away like so much confetti. It seems every other word has a silent E. Okay; that’s an exaggeration, but consider the title words of this topic. I do concede…

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Old-Timers Had It Easy

By The Publisher | November 19, 2019 |

by Billy K. Baker — Lots of people take it for granted that mountain men, pioneers, settlers, cowboys, and such folks led a hard life. I’m here to tell you that is romantic fiction. Take the Donner Party, for instance. Sure they ran into a bit of snow. But they didn’t have their ears pop…

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Billy K. Baker — It’s a Wonder

By The Publisher | October 19, 2019 |

When thinking about our language, written and verbal, I’m appalled at its incompleteness, its inconsistencies, its idiosyncrasies, appalled at how blithely we accept its flawed definitions and rules. I’m limiting myself here to what we laughably call “English”—the middle American version commonly spoken on television, commonly written on cereal boxes. Lacking expertise, I do not…

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