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Bloggercon rules  

At the end of next week, I’m going to BloggerCon at Harvard Law School. After years of labouring under the restrictions of World Economic Forum rules — which generally strive for something like the Chatham House rule — I like the BloggerCon rules: “All conversations, whether to the entire room or one-to-one, unless otherwise stated, clearly and up front, are on the record and for attribution. You do not need to ask permission to quote something you hear at BloggerCon. Of course you may ask for permission to quote, and you may choose not to quote things you hear.”

Factive verbs 

We need a few more linguists: “In all the recriminations since the Iraq war, not a single news source has picked up on the semantic trick members of the Bush administration used to cover for the controversial Niger yellowcake allegation that President George W. Bush included the in his State of the Union address back in January 2003.”

Geoffrey Pullum, who posted this nice exposé, is the author of Brian Weatherson’s favourite academic book.

Hugo Young 

The Guardian’s invaluable political columnist Hugo Young has died at the age of 64.

Young had the knack of conveying strong ideas and opinions without ever descending to the shrill and petty, which seems to be the usual tone of political commentary these days. Even when I disagreed with him (not often), I found his columns demanded attention and thought.

Weblog tributes can be found here and here.

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