Posts Tagged ‘conference’

grammar day 2015

1 July 2015
Discussions of standard English and its discontents usually start with decline and fall. Standards are declining, civilization is falling – or at least someone else says so, giving us something to argue against. The second annual Grammar Day at the British Library was no exception. Prescriptivism was a stalking horse for speakers, and it also showed up in person, in the form of an audience member who commented in the final discussion in the trumpeting tones of the sterotypical letter-writing colonel from Tunbridge Wells. When I heard him claim affiliation with the Apostrophe Protection Society, I thought he might be a plant or a hallucination; but when he said dyslexia was a myth (and was quashed by the panel) he seemed genuine.

7 August 2000

I’m in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria at the Egg School, aka syntax camp. The school is being held at American University of Bulgaria, formerly the local communist party headquarters, now a fully functioning campus with a baseball team, gay and lesbian task force meetings, and productions of Our Town.  It’s, like, 100 degrees here. The showers in our hostel don’t work.  I’m facing a 12-hour train ride back to Romania on Saturday.  Other than that, everything’s fine and now I am going to go have a nutritious dinner of goat cheese and Pepsi-Cola.

PS 2015: The American University of Bulgaria appears to be thriving at “providing first-rate American education in the heart of new Europe.” It has expanded beyond the CP headquarters to a purpose-built campus. Egg School still exists too, same folks, held most recently in Debrecen.