So you will assume that this would be warming the cockles of my heart like a family pack of super strength heart-cockle warmers. The article starts magnificently:
There's some recent evidence that President George W. Bush really does believe in morphological regularization of toponymic adjectives.Those Yanks and their fondness for the letter 'Zee'. Doncha just love 'em?
It then displays the Venn Diagram about which we have posted. Excellent! A little more mathematics and slightly less sociology. Hurrah!
The table that places adjectives against proper nouns is an amusing diversion. But then disaster strikes. A correspondence ensues and the author sees fit to post an addendum from one Lora Totten-Schwartz:
I'm emailing you to pester you (as I'm sure others are/will be) about calling people from Great Britain "British."WHAT? What in the name of Arse? Did I hear that right?
I'm trying very hard not to say, "G'wan, say that to a Scotsman!" with a giggle. People who live outside of England are not British.
That's why they have that "United Kingdom" thingy in the official name of the country. Scots are Scottish, Welsh are Welsh, Irish are Irish, English are either English or British.??????
That Prof Liberman sees fit to post this at all is frankly staggering. What comes next is beyond the pale. From the author himself, by way of explanation:
Of course she's talking about people, whereas Aidan is talking about places and political institutions. So my ignorance is becoming deeper and more nuanced by the minute.Oh no it isn't. Deeper I grant you, but nuanced? No. Just plain ignorant.
A Custard Pie for Ms Totten-Schwartz. Prof Liberman will be lucky to escape a thorough application of the birch if he is ever so unwise as to get within range of the Gentleman Usher of the Cat-o-Nine-Tails....
UPDATE: Welcome to Language Log readers. Prof Liberman's profuse apology is very much accepted. The Gentleman Usher of the Cat-o-Nine-Tails has been informed and instructed to offer tea and cake, as opposed to the birch, should the noble and learned Professor ever wish to come and discuss Correctness Conditions, gerundives or any other matter.
But Ms Totten-Schwartz should still watch her back....