In the 1990s, The Economist ran a language column called Johnson, which I loved. In 2010, having been on the newspaper’s staff for a few years myself, I proposed reviving Johnson as a blog, and three years later, it became a weekly web column. Beginning in March, it has returned to the print edition, on a biweekly basis. It is the culmination of a lovely dream to have become the paper’s language columnist, having been such a fan of it back in its first incarnation, and having the chance (and the obligation) to say something new about language every two weeks.
My first three columns have been on what Samuel Johnson himself might say about today’s language controversies; what the demotion of the French circumflex and the demotion of Pluto have in common; and how the @-sign’s inclusion in e-mail addresses jostled a punctuation system that was already barely settled.
Stay tuned for more.