Walking the dog

Language Log contributor Geoff Nunberg explores new crannies of curmudgeonliness. My kind of guy:

I have this notion that “gingerly” shouldn’t be used as an adverb, as in, “She hugged the child gingerly,” because there’s no corresponding adjective “ginger” — you wouldn’t say, “She gave the child a ginger hug.” I’ll concede that “gingerly” has been used as an adverb for 400 years, and nobody’s ever complained about it before. But so much the better: Every time I see the word used as an adverb, I can take a quiet satisfaction in knowing that I’m marching to a more logical drummer than the half-billion other speakers of English who haven’t yet cottoned to the problem.

Now let me explain how to pronounce the names of the years of this past decade…