June 15, 2006

Language Log apology book tour kicks off in Cambridge

Getting out there in front of the public to apologize is an exhausting business. Sitting at home having a glass of wine with Barbara tonight I have a new and unexpected sympathy with people like Pete Rose (except that if my analysis is right he did a lot of appearing in public but tended to cop out at the apology stage), and all those corrupt evangelists and politicians and CEOs who do bad stuff and have to do the humbly-beg-forgiveness thing. It does take it out of you.

I gave good apology, though: the full hour and a half. A talk about Far From the Madding Gerund, a frank apology for the reversed column heads on page 179, correcting people's copies by hand, initialling the correction, writing "Sorry!" in the margin, signing the title page, giving them their nickel refund, and re-explaining lie1, lie2, and lay once again for those who really seemed to need it. The place was packed, the audience was delightful, I really had fun. But it does take a lot of energy. After doing this in city after city across fifteen or twenty countries, I think I'm going to be ready for an incall (or is it outcall?) massage. Anyway,the tour is launched, that's the important thing. Thanks to the MIT Coop for hosting, and thanks to all the Language Log fans who were there today. It was so good to see you in the flesh. By the way, talking of flesh... You're a good-looking bunch, some of you, aren't you? I didn't know Language Log was reaching such an attractive crowd. We should have more social gatherings. Without apology.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at June 15, 2006 10:05 PM