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Book meme

2006-08-9 @ 5:42

Okay, Thinking Girl got me (just as I was reading Nerdine’s answers). So, here more or less goes.

1. One book that changed your life?
I remember Anna and Mister God, way back when I was a teenager. It had a strange (not really religious) effect on me. Also, the Tout connaître series, because those were the first I devoured. More recently, Carla Fine’s No time to Say Goodbye.

2. One book you have read more than once?
Like Nerdine, I’ll have to say Pride and Prejudice. It’s actually better the second time around.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
The works of Alessandro Baricco. Marvelous author for taking it slow.

4. One book that made you laugh?
Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Gallaxy and Gaiman and McKean’s The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish. Also, Machiavelli’s Prince.

5. One book that made you cry?
No time to Say Goodbye. It’s been a “open the floodgates” book for me when things got bottled up.

6. One book you wish had been written?
I’m not that impatient, I’m sure it’ll be written one day.

7. One book you wish had never been written?
Syntactic Structures. Big disservice to linguistics.

8. One book you are currently reading?
An historical altas, actually. Full of wonderful information. I’ve always had a thing for history.
9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Actually, there’s a few of those in my bookshelves, like Three Short Novels by Dostoevsky, or A Brief History of Time. There’s also a few Austins and Barriccos and The Strange Story of the Dog in the Night (someone’s supposed to lend it to me tomorrow).

10. Now, let’s tag three people…
I’ll go with Martin, IbaDaiRon, Mom on a Wire, Nana (in French) and the Language Guy.

3 comments to “Book meme”

  1. Hey M-A!

    great answers!

    I read that dog in the nighttime book. Let me know what you think about it - I don’t want to say one way or the other befor eyou actually read it…

  2. As an MIT trained linguist, I strongly disagree about your feeling toward Syntactic Structures. Without it I would not be a linguist and would have had no reason to go to MIT. The fact is that Chomsky set linguistics on a more scientific and mathematical course than it had had in the past and that was a great service to linguistics. If he screwed it up with his later thinking, as I think he did, that doesn’t in any way imply that the content of Syntactic Structures was at fault. Indeed, had he stuck more closely to the scientific standards he set forth in that early book, he would not have taken syntax on such a nonscientific path.

  3. “a more scientific and mathematical course than it had had in the past” That is true (at least for the U.S.), I mean, it’s much more scientific than, say, Bloomfield. But it’s the whole “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” argument which led to the view that grammar is meaningless that sent linguistics, in my view, down the wrong path, with top-down arbitrary structures and transformations, and things like the LAD.

What do you think?