Interview with Stephen Dodson

  • Stephen Dodson

    Stephen Dodson

    Meet Stephen Dodson, a freelance copyeditor currently living in western Massachusetts and author of LanguageHat blog. Stephen has a passion for hats, books and languages, hence, LanguageHat, a blog that explores the intricacies of the aforementioned.


    Please introduce yourself and provide some background information.

    My name is Steve Dodson; having a father in the U.S. Foreign Service meant that I grew up abroad (Japan, Thailand, Argentina) and had early exposure to other languages and ways of life.

    How did you first start blogging?

    My stepson introduced me to the world of blogs and encouraged me to start one myself.

    How long have you been blogging?

    Since July 2002.

    How many followers do you have?
    Don’t know; several hundred visitors a day.


    Why blogging instead of a more traditional approach?
    Don’t know what that means.

    Why do you do it?
    I enjoy it and learn a lot.

    What is it about “Language Hat” that has made it such a successful blog?
    Don’t know; maybe people get bored with politics and media chitchat and have a yen for less predictable fare.

    How has blogging changed language? How we get news? How we use language?

    No idea!

    What is so interesting about language/grammar to you?
    It just is, and always has been.

    What do you think is your unique contribution to the English language?

    I doubt I’ve made any.

    What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in the world of language/ grammar?

    Getting people to understand that grammar isn’t what they were taught in school, that language changes and that’s OK, and that people use language differently from each other and that’s OK.

    Why should anyone be more interested in linguistics/grammar?

    It’s an important part of human life.

    If you could change the way people speak or write what would you suggest? Why does it matter?

    I think people should speak and write the way they like; it matters a great deal that they not feel burdened by ignorant forms of language peevery/disapproval.

    What are the three most critical errors made most often?

    The critical error most often made is thinking “The way I speak and write is correct, and anybody who does it differently is wrong.”

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