OUP goes to the crime movies

I recently discovered various university press blogs, and have been following one of them, the Oxford University Press blog. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when today I discover that it runs a monthly crime film round-up. This month, the film reviewed is  The Departed . I presume crime films are a personal sideline of the OUP official blogger(s), and not strictly "core" to a university press business.

I am allergic to Martin Scorsese, whose latest outing is reviewed this month at the link above, but previous films reviewed have included the very good "A history of violence" (disclaimer: anything connected with Mr V. Mortensen gets a minimum "very good" rating on this blog, even when he’s beardless, as in this particular case), and the intriguing-seeming "Babel", recently opened in the UK. As well as stand-alone reviews, there are thematic entries as well. Worth checking out.

An archive of the OUP crime-film column is at this link.

Persons of suntan

Link: Language Log: Not objectionable.

Geoff Pullum of Language Log takes issue with someone who has cited him as saying the phrase "person of color" is objectionable. He did not say that, writes Prof Pullum, he said that the phrase is correct grammatically. However, he hates it and would not use it, any more than he would use the phrase "persons of suntan" for people who had been on the beach all day.

"That’s what the worst of the grammar grumblers and usage whiners consistently fail to see: that their personal dislike of (say) split infinitives does not determine automatically that split infinitives are incorrect in Standard English. Your dislike of split infinitives might instead simply mean that you hate them: they might be (and in fact are) fully grammatical at all stages of the history of English, and often recommended as the best choice on style grounds, and sometimes obligatory if you don’t want to completely rephrase, and you still might hate them. In that case, don’t use them. End of point."

Robert Crais’s The Watchman

Link: BrothersJudd.com – Review of Robert Crais’s The Watchman: A Joe Pike Novel.

Spring reading

Some books that will be published in the USA over the next few months, via Publishers (sic) Weekly:

Nerve Damage by Peter Abrahams (March).  Described as a gripping suspense novel with first-rate action and suspense, "but fans may find fewer insights into human nature than in such brilliant earlier books as Oblivion and End of Story".

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (March). "Though Black makes an occasional American cultural blooper, he keeps divulging surprises to the last page so that the reader is simultaneously shocked and satisfied."

Cover Girl Confidential by Beverly Bartlett (March).  …"witty and irreverent, with a keen sense of what makes American pop culture simultaneously attractive and ridiculous".

Looking Good Dead by Peter James (March).  "The rapid-fire suspense builds to a terrifying, graphic conclusion that leaves tantalising room for future installments in the series".  (Reviewed on Eurocrime website.)

Glass Houses by Jane Haddam (April). A baffling serial murder case in Philadelphia "effortlessly melded" with the latest developments in the romance between her FBI profiler hero and his longtime lover, "the author deserves plaudits for making the long and complex Gregor-Bennis relationship accessible to first-time readers".

Lots more to choose from in the 15 January issue of Publishers Weekly.