Geoff Pullum is Language Log's saltiest denizen, and my favorite. He is at his finest in curmudgeonly rant mode, as in a series of postings ripping into Dan Brown. Yesterday I stumbled across this hysterical Pullum post in Language Log's archives - I laughed so hard that tears were running out of my eyes and I couldn't breathe. Here Prof. Pullum confesses his true feelings about the sort of word puzzles purveyed by Will Shortz on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday:
I suppose some people would imagine a grammarian is the sort of pointy-headed dweeb who would simply love to wake up on a Sunday morning to hear someone answer a series of questions about names of cities that sound like Latin names for ecclesiastical garments or two-word phrases for types of criminal activity where each word begins with the letter the other one ends with and then be told that since they got 3 out of 10 they will get an NPR lapel pin and a paperback college dictionary. Well those people would be dead wrong....
The expressive power of human language is barely adequate to convey the profound level of apathy word puzzles provoke in me. I despise them.
Read the rest of the post for more.