All the news that... May 17, 2007 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Huh. So the blog of a certain Mr. Language Hat is linked in the sidebar at the Village Voice books section (under "Bookmarks") now? Is this old news? Did I miss something? Cheers for Mr. Hat, in any case.
posted by jokeefe to MetaFilter-Related at 3:06 PM (79 comments total)

Erm, close brackets, close brackets, I always tell myself to check. Ah well.
posted by jokeefe at 3:07 PM on May 17, 2007


I'll close your brackets!

*shakes tiny fist*

No sign of exultant cheering on languagehat.com, but he may just be modest.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:20 PM on May 17, 2007


(He's also sidebarred—and regularly namechecked—over at Language Log. How I hate him!)
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:21 PM on May 17, 2007


That's nothing. I've had him in my bookmarks for years.
posted by OmieWise at 3:27 PM on May 17, 2007


Yeah, I started noticing the Voice sidebar in my referrer logs, what, maybe a year ago? It was pleasing, but didn't excite me the way my Snopes mention did. Languagehat: Popularizing trivia since 2002!
posted by languagehat at 3:36 PM on May 17, 2007


but didn't excite me the way my Snopes mention did.

Dude! Cranky old goat, AND responsible for popularizing a repeated friend-spam I get in my email on a continuing basis! Awesome!!!! You are my new (temporary) hero!
posted by The Deej at 3:39 PM on May 17, 2007


Yet another user trying to peddle his username into ad-blog link-form history.
posted by BeerFilter at 3:41 PM on May 17, 2007


That's nothing. I've had him in my bookmarks for years.

He's my friend on LibraryThing! OmieWise is too, come to think of it....
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:42 PM on May 17, 2007


Oh well, dang, I was hoping that my skiving off work by shaking my head over the sad decline of the Voice was going to result in something slightly more uplifting than year old news... but still, 'tis nice.

Back to clucking over the Voice, and avoiding work...
posted by jokeefe at 3:42 PM on May 17, 2007


PS Thanks for the brackets fix cortex!
posted by jokeefe at 3:42 PM on May 17, 2007


Way to go languagehat! I like your hats too.
posted by snsranch at 4:24 PM on May 17, 2007


The sidebar is well-deserved.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:38 PM on May 17, 2007


languagehat, if you wanted to promote your site here, why didn't you just add the .com to your username like everyone else does these days?
posted by dg at 5:25 PM on May 17, 2007


My fave thing about languagehat? This Stendhal quote from his userpage.

"My friends in 1830 would have done almost anything to get me out of a serious danger, but if I had gone out in a new set of clothes, they would have given twenty francs for someone to throw a glass of dirty water over me. Apart from Barral and Bigillion, I've only ever had, throughout my life, that sort of friend."
posted by vronsky at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2007


I nominate languagehat to be the next Miguel!
posted by shmegegge at 6:04 PM on May 17, 2007


Does that mean I have to start writing novels in Portuguese?
posted by languagehat at 6:08 PM on May 17, 2007


I vote we all combine our passions to form our user names, Like languagehat did.

My new name: SleepingFood.
posted by The Deej at 6:20 PM on May 17, 2007


Jesus Christ! His dome just reached the 100 meter mark and it's now rolling up office buildings and container ships!
posted by loquacious at 6:22 PM on May 17, 2007


then my new name shall be CreepydissatisfyingsexDonuts.
posted by shmegegge at 6:33 PM on May 17, 2007


What? Why is everyone looking at me?
posted by pussyfoot at 6:35 PM on May 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Just remember, his hat may be filled with language ...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:44 PM on May 17, 2007


God damn it. Every day I find out someone is more famous than me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:51 PM on May 17, 2007


My favorite thing about languagehat is his love for stratomatic baseball!!! No words can describe the sheer joy as a child and now grown man I experience while playing strat.

My new user name would be: Strat-o-Beer.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:55 PM on May 17, 2007


I'm going to register a sockpuppet called 'languagepants', consistently post in freeverse thomcatspike/clavdiv-isms, mangle the hell out of the language even more than I already do, and constantly refer to David Foster Wallace as the Ultimate Authority on all things linguistical. Hah!

No, I'm not.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:13 PM on May 17, 2007


I dunno if it makes you feel better Astro Zombie, but I read the article about you in the City Pages today. So...you're quasi-famous.
posted by graventy at 7:22 PM on May 17, 2007


You're no languagehat, though.
posted by graventy at 7:22 PM on May 17, 2007


Anyone see the blurb about me in the "police blotter" section of the Billings Gazette?
posted by The Deej at 7:25 PM on May 17, 2007


He's in good company. Also on the sidebar:
Status Ain't Hood
Live: Dan Deacon Explores Spider-Man's Dickhole

posted by boo_radley at 9:02 PM on May 17, 2007


Chicken chicken. Chicken, chicken chicken chicken! Ch. chicken chicken - chicken Chicken. C., chicken.. chicken!

Chicken, chicken chicken. Chicken chicken chicken chicken, chicken. Chicken chicken chicken? Chicken chicken.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 9:39 PM on May 17, 2007


I was on Lifehacker last week. But that's not quite as cool as the Voice.
posted by acoutu at 9:40 PM on May 17, 2007


My wife grapefruitmoon and I had our picture on the front page of an Icelandic newspaper two weeks ago as bit players in a political scandal.

Also, on the subject of MiguelCardoso... for years I kept asking experts on Portuguese literature and Portuguese people if they'd heard of Miguel Cardoso, the author. When person after Portuguese person hadn't heard of him little voices in my head began to nag at me that he might not be real, a Portuguese Thorarinn Gunnarsson, if you will. Those voices where only quieted when I saw this video. Yeah, my voices admitted, that's MiguelCardoso. The rest of me was happy that the voices were wrong.
posted by Kattullus at 10:03 PM on May 17, 2007


I was on languagehat once. You might have read about it on languagehat.
posted by Ljubljana at 12:41 AM on May 18, 2007


I knew languagehat when he was only a pup. He used to ask my advice about grammar and what sort of sartorial device he could use to jazz his look. Sadly, Languagehat 2.0 has deleted any mention of these early origins, and entirely removed Languagehat issues 1-6 from the web presence. I was instructed not to mention any early discussion of linguistics and chapeaux as a nom de blog, and asked to stop phoning his house in the middle of the night. I didn't want to come out with these sleazy details, but I have to be honest with myself and the community. You can't just rewrite history, languagehat... I would have hoped that you had learned that by now.
posted by taz at 1:08 AM on May 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


Beat him at his own game, taz. I'm pretty sure wordhaberdasherr.com is available.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 AM on May 18, 2007


Check me out at ReadinAndBreedin.com y'all.
posted by Mister_A at 7:17 AM on May 18, 2007


I'm changing my username to analogbookelectronics.
posted by drezdn at 7:22 AM on May 18, 2007


or

Poppinandlockin
posted by drezdn at 7:23 AM on May 18, 2007


The apostrophes are implied.
posted by drezdn at 7:23 AM on May 18, 2007


he might not be real, a Portuguese Thorarinn Gunnarsson

Wow, what a story—thanks for linking to it!

Just so no one takes the lovely taz's plaint seriously, I will point out that right at the top of the LH page, beneath the splendid banner she designed for me, it says "banner by taz," and whenever anyone asks how the splendid banner was created I proudly point them in her direction (as I did in my first post after the move to MT). Love ya, babe!
posted by languagehat at 7:28 AM on May 18, 2007


:) ♥

and also, of course, this, for any lingering confuzzleation.
posted by taz at 7:39 AM on May 18, 2007


That string somehow also got all over Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furphy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Duff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidance_speech

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_Log

So now I get to be mutually antipathetic with a Publicly Recognized genius. I'm sure my Dad would've been proud of me. Ya ain't nobody till ya've called davy names!

(In short, who cares? What a freakin' circle jerk.)
posted by davy at 8:35 AM on May 18, 2007


what are you on about?
posted by shmegegge at 8:52 AM on May 18, 2007


We see you, davy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:05 AM on May 18, 2007


Three cheers for languagehat!

For his blog, for his posts, and for keeping us on the straight and narrow.

:)
posted by hadjiboy at 10:18 AM on May 18, 2007


Ps. Thanks again for the advice.
posted by hadjiboy at 10:23 AM on May 18, 2007


I prefered reading his stuff when John Bryne was writting it.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:44 AM on May 18, 2007


Every now and then I'll read languagehat.com; he's not a total idiot and when he sticks to matters he knows something about he can produce intelligent output. I see no reason to publicly kiss his ass here like y'all're doing though. It's unseemly.
posted by davy at 12:27 PM on May 18, 2007


The ass-kissing, I mean. I have no knowledge of the ass itself.
posted by davy at 12:27 PM on May 18, 2007


well, we might be kissing his ass or we might be congratulating someone who we consider a friend inasmuch as someone you only know through metafilter can be a friend.

as for unseemly, i can't help but feel like it's rather more unseemly to chime in with "whatever, he's not THAT great."
posted by shmegegge at 12:36 PM on May 18, 2007


As I already recognise Monsieur Chapeau's celebrity and all round intrinsic value, I can only assume that these Village Voice people are trying to increase their stocks by association.
posted by peacay at 1:28 PM on May 18, 2007


Every now and then I'll read languagehat.com; he's not a total idiot and when he sticks to matters he knows something about he can produce intelligent output.

*dies laughing* Oh, my.

Nevermind.
posted by jokeefe at 3:20 PM on May 18, 2007


Now peacay was funny, while I can't help feeling that the late (but still able to hit Post) jokeefe is no great loss. As for shmegegge's comment, I'll happily conceed I'm bitter, even that the only thing I really have against languagehat is that he's spent 2.5 years insulting me and putting himself above me as if he has to prove he never really belonged in our trailer park to begin with, but I suppose when one's scraped and clawed one's way through life one justifies it how one can. Recognize at least that I didn't say Monsieur Chapeau is sans worthiness: to repeat, as a sort-of intellectual, within the parameters of his field and his competences, he's entertaining in his way. Nor do I really begrudge him the attaboys he gets from y'all, all that time he's spent in that barrel ought to pay off for him somehow.
posted by davy at 7:37 PM on May 18, 2007


Was that over the top enough or shall I have to try to be sarcastic?
posted by davy at 7:38 PM on May 18, 2007


the only thing I really have against languagehat is that he's spent 2.5 years insulting me and putting himself above me

You really really need to leave this alone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on May 18, 2007


As I already recognise Monsieur Chapeau's celebrity and all round intrinsic value, I can only assume that these Village Voice people are trying to increase their stocks by association.

Exactly right.
posted by Wolof at 8:02 PM on May 18, 2007


davy, I'm sorry if this has stirred things up for you. And I shouldn't have pointed and laughed and made things worse.

Okay now?
posted by jokeefe at 8:14 PM on May 18, 2007


And to think that I made a couple of comments at languagehat.com back when it was neither popular nor profitable.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:14 PM on May 18, 2007


Wow.
posted by OmieWise at 8:34 PM on May 18, 2007


Alright, I'll leave him alone if he leaves me alone. I did just recommend him as a Metafilter Mentor (in public yet) before I even knew this thread was still open. For that matter I wasn't being entirely "left-handed" complimenting his intellectual talents. And I doubt he could afford to pay Wikipedians to mention him all over that site, nor do I think he'd stoop to putting in all those references to him and his site himself.
posted by davy at 1:28 AM on May 19, 2007


(Is there a better way to describe something like that than "left-handed"? My Mom's left-handed, that's no sin.)
posted by davy at 1:31 AM on May 19, 2007


"davy, I'm sorry if this has stirred things up for you. And I shouldn't have pointed and laughed and made things worse.

Okay now?"


Accepted. And you might be right. And I've lived through far worse than being 'mutually antipathetic' with a metaphorical 'distant cousin.'
posted by davy at 1:34 AM on May 19, 2007


I sure haven't noticed any more negativity from languagehat directed your way other than what a number of other people also say and, in any case, languagehat is almost always far more mild and evenhanded than most.

Frankly, your knee-jerk and usually simplistic contrarianism is often, as it is in this thread, willfully maladroit and deserves ridicule. In careful moderation it might be tolerable and it's true that you occasionally have something worthwhile to say in the process of playing your role of the fool; but usually it's just become tiresome.

Although some other people in addition to yourself have the same impulse to pooh-pooh any "congrats" threads like this one and claim that what they perceive as "ass-kissing" is "unseemly", I do think the example is instructive. What kind of person thinks any praise is "ass-kissing"? What kind of person doesn't recognize pats on the back from friends and aquaintances? What kind of person looks upon such and invariably finds it irritating and complains about it? What kind of person likes either harrumphing in the corner about how most everyone else are fools or taking the contrary position from the group and arguing heatedly with everyone? Someone, I think, who's not entirely emotionally healthy.1

But that's just my opinion. It may be more fair and accurate to simply say that you are often really damn annoying and it seems like you do it on purpose. If languagehat calls you on that, he's right to do so.

1. Having said all that, one of my closest friends whom I love dearly is exactly this sort of person. He's a good guy; and he's smart and thoughtful. But this compulsion to be contrary and the obvious delight he has in alienating everyone else while he argues positions you aren't even sure he really believes is, I think, his worst personality trait. We've had numerous conversations about it, but he's not going to change. He enjoys playing this role too much. My point is that my criticism shouldn't be taken, and is not intended to be, some sort of comprehensive claim that you're a bad person and not worth talking to. It's about a specific kind of thing you do and (suppositions about) why you do it. I'm sure that otherwise you're probably a mensch.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:32 AM on May 19, 2007


he's spent 2.5 years insulting me and putting himself above me

I honestly can't tell if you're being sarcastic/ironic or whether you actually think this, but you'll just have to take my word for it that I in no way consider myself "above" you, that I have never knowingly insulted you as a person, and that in general I enjoy your contributions here and have from the beginning. I always welcome fellow contrarians and fighters against anti-Southern bigotry. It's true that I have occasionally called you on your "look at me!" antics, but that's not because I think ill of you, it's because I thought you'd have a better time around here and be better liked if you cut it out. (I gave similar advice to dios and look at the result: he's now a MetaFilter god!) Then I realized that you took it the wrong way, and I assure you I won't try it again. Anyway, whatever you've got against me, I hope you can bring yourself to let it go, because I've got nothing against you except that you feel compelled to take random potshots at me for no reason I can see.

And needless (I hope) to say, I had nothing to do with those LH links on Wikipedia and was as surprised as anyone else to see them; I was about to say "why am I linked in the Furphy article? I've never even heard of Furphy!" but then I had the bright idea of doing a LH site search on it and discovered I'd actually posted about it a few years ago. What a drag it is getting old...
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on May 19, 2007


EB: I have friends like that too. I'll take "interesting and annoying" over "nice but boring" any day.
posted by languagehat at 9:22 AM on May 19, 2007


I'll take "interesting and annoying" over "nice but boring" any day.
posted by languagehat


Awesome! I think LH once referred to me as "intensely annoying" so I will extrapolate that into "intensely interesting" as well.

Woohooo!!!!!
posted by The Deej at 9:25 AM on May 19, 2007


I don't remember calling you annoying but I do consistently find your comments interesting, so there you go.
posted by languagehat at 9:51 AM on May 19, 2007


Ah, I think it was related to a specific thread, and probably deserved in that context. But thanks! :)
posted by The Deej at 10:29 AM on May 19, 2007


Aside: The "intensely annoying" comment was when a FPP of mine got derailed. Jessamyn asked the derailers to take it to MeTa a couple times, so I started the MeTa thread. Within the MeTa thread I did defend my post... yadda yadda... I may not have come off so well.

The main point to others: never take anything too personally here. That MeTa thread, even though I took some grief, had me laughing hysterically at the time, and still does when I look at it now.

posted by The Deej at 11:06 AM on May 19, 2007


Bligh, if I ever post anything I don't sincerely believe in it's so obviously in jest that nobody could miss it (e.g., your willful misreading of damn near everything I say in every direction but the way it's meant PROVES that you and I were Meant To Be).

As for my hurt feelings over languagehat, well, jessamyn's already publicly bitchslapped me over it and he himself has been almost conciliatory at me so I'd better not rehash it in excruciating detail. Maybe it's one of those "symptoms" I'd best get over. (I occasionally can, like I'm now able to get through an entire day without spending literally half of it washing my hands.) And (in case anybody's wondering) I will gladly admit that I do envy languagehat and wish I had figured out how to be A Recognized Intellectual, but that that's not the core of what's going on; I can also say that his erudition, and the clear and witty way he expresses it, matters more to me than our Secret Hate -- as long as he's not jumping in my shit aggravating my temperamental defensiveness.

You, Sir Bligh, may feel free to ignore this comment, even my very existence, because you'll be happier if you do. Life really can be as simple as you wish: just plug your fingers in your ears and sing!
posted by davy at 12:16 PM on May 19, 2007


A Recognized Intellectual

Ah, there's the problem. My friend, if I were A Recognized Intellectual I wouldn't be hanging out here at the MeFi Saloon, now would I? The Recognized Intellectuals spend their time at faculty parties and the New York Review of Books. I'm just a flat-broke freelance editor who rants about language. Come, let us curse Recognized Intellectuals together!
posted by languagehat at 1:54 PM on May 19, 2007


God what a thread.. I think I just came.
posted by vronsky at 2:24 PM on May 19, 2007


So vronsky, my check's in the mail, eh?
posted by davy at 10:28 PM on May 19, 2007


But languagehat, I recognize you!

So anyway, what about them Straussians? Are they a hoot or what?
posted by davy at 10:30 PM on May 19, 2007


::: walking around... minding my own bidniss :::

::: sees a couple familiar faces... stops with a sense of awe :::

languagehat?
davy?

I recognize you!!!!!! You're... intellectuals!!!!

::: stomps on languagehat's foot... kicks davy in the shin :::

::: walking around... minding my own bidness... smiling :::
posted by The Deej at 7:33 AM on May 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


And anyway, languagehat, like I said it's NOT your Eggheadhood that bugs me, but your penchant for stepping on my 'temperamental defensiveness.' It might be that it hurts when YOU do it because I regard you as a 'metaphorical distant cousin,' and that might be because we do have some important similarities (all those Mefites who've read Hagarism raise your hands), or because I'm a deluded fruitcake, or maybe even both. (Besides that I'm aggravatedly defensive, of course.) But anyhow, I'm really not interested in a permanent feud, and it looks like you're not either, so I'll try to do better on my end. (Can I get a HOORAY! from the peanut gallery?)

Incidentally, while reading an LRB piece on autism it struck me that I'm not autistic: what I have instead is a Theory of Deficient Mind. I.e. I think most people are stupid. And whaddaya know, I'm quite often right.
posted by davy at 10:53 AM on May 21, 2007


And by the way: languagehat, it WAS petty and unseemly of me to crap in a thread devoted to congratulating you, and I apologize to you if it bugged you. Like I said, I'll work on it; at the very least I can avoid going out of my way to pick on you, which'd actually suit me way better most of the time because I am a lazy bum.

And for what it's worth, when I think about it I actually do hope you and/or your site get favorably mentioned and bookmarked even more often, especially if it helps you make a few bucks. I just can't see you tramping the alleys collecting cans in your virtual mandarin robes, IYKWIM; being multilingual, erudite and witty ought to be worth more than that. (I'm thinking of something I saw someplace, allegedly a quote from an ancient Egyptian's advice to his young son urging him to work hard at his studies so he won't have to work in the fields all his life; if anybody knows what I mean well enough to point me to it I'd be much obliged.)
posted by davy at 1:43 PM on May 21, 2007


To quote MF Doom:

"it ain't all about the dollar bill
you can be dead broke and be a scholar still"

MF Doom... still the only person to rhyme Father Guido Sarducci with donkeypunch me.
posted by Kattullus at 3:48 PM on May 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks, davy, much appreciated. It did bug me a little, not so much because of what you said as because I honestly couldn't figure out what I'd done to get so firmly in your bad books. (And "metaphorical distant cousin" is a good way of describing how I saw you as well.) In token of my appreciation, I think this is the Egyptian text you're looking for. (But this is a good one too, full of wisdom like "Do not jeer at a blind man nor tease a dwarf" and "As for bread, he who has it becomes a dog.")
posted by languagehat at 5:52 PM on May 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


MF Doom... still the only person to rhyme Father Guido Sarducci with donkeypunch me.

also the only rapper to predominantly use feminine couplets in his rhymes.
posted by shmegegge at 9:02 PM on May 21, 2007


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