Published Articles and Books

 

Academic Publications

Review of William Labov, “The Social Stratification of English in New York City,” Chicago Journal of Linguistics, Vol. 2, #1.

“Lexical and Derived Diphthongs in American English,” Linguistic Society of America Meeting Handbook (abstract), 1967.

This as a Third Article in American English,” American Speech, Vol. XLIV, #1, Feb. 1969, pp. 76-80.

“Particles, Topicalization, and Defocusing in Hawaiian English,” in From Meaning to Sound: Papers from the 1974 Mid-America Linguistics Conference (ed. Hassan Sharifi), Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska, 1975, pp. 147-62.

“Observations on Creolization and Decreolization: The Case of Hawaiian English DaKine,” in 1975 Mid-America Linguistics Conference Papers (ed. Frances Ingemann), Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Department of Linguistics, 1976, pp. 371-87.

(with Anna Lopez) “Indecisiveness and Elaboration in Women’s Speech,” in University of Michigan Papers in Linguistics (ed. Bailey, Hill, and Lockwood), vol. 2, #2, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Department of Linguistics, 1976, pp. 58-63.

“Samuel Greene: First Transformationalist?”

1) abstract, Linguistic Society of America Meeting Handbook, 1975.

2) The Informant, Vol. IX, #1, Fall 1976, Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University Department of Linguistics.

3) Historiographia Linguistica, Vol. III, pp. 293-314.

“Neuter Pronoun Variation in Hawaiian English,” in Papers from the Twelfth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (ed. Mufwene, Walker and Steever), Chicago: University of Chicago Department of Linguistics, 1976, pp. 516-522.

“-aholicism,” Verbatim: The Language Quarterly, Vol. III, #4, February, 1977, p. 14.

“Desperatives,” in Proceedings of the 1976 Mid-America Linguistics Conference, (ed. Robert L. Brown et al.), 1977, pp. 267-72.

“The Vernacular Writing Hypothesis,” in Papers from the 1977 Mid-America Linguistics Conference (ed. Lance and Guistead), Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri, pp. 481-90.

“The Role of Grammar in the Teaching of Writing,” Kentucky English Bulletin, Fall, 1978.

(With Daniel Greenblatt) “Noam Chomsky Meets Miles Davis: Some Observations on Jazz Improvisation and Language Structure,” in The Sign in Music and Literature (ed. Wendy Steiner), Austin: University of Texas, 1980.

Professional Publications

“Some Linguistic Components of Tone,” Technical Communication, Vol. 28, #2, Second Quarter, 1981.

In Speechwriter’s Newsletter:

“Speaking Prose” (2/4/83);

“Syntax for Speechwriters” (4/8/83);

“Cliche Redux” (7/1/83);

“Readability” (10/7/83);

“I Got Rhythm” (8/26/83);

“Writing for the Tongue” (8/31/84);

“Ready-Made Speeches: A Blast from the Past” (11/2/84); Review of The Chronicles of Doodah (1/21/86);

“A Speechwriter’s Life Is More Complicated” (1/23/87); “The Ethics of Quotation” (8/5/88);

“On Doublespeak, Triplespeak, and the ‘Misuse’ of Language” (10/19/90);

“A Few Good Metaphors” (4/16/93).

“Deciphering Your Speaker’s Style (9/15 and 10/1/97).

“Your Speeches Don’t Have to Bore Audiences,” Crain’s Detroit Business, 5/8/89.

“Politically Correct Language: Is It a Well-Meaning Idea Carried Too Far?,” Ragan Report Forum, 3/26/94; Speechwriters Newsletter Forum, 5/20/94.

“Speechwriters of the World, You’re Needed!”, The Toastmaster, August, 1994.

“How to Make Your Speeches Cogent and Memorable,” The Toastmaster, April, 1996.

“Why We Love to Hate P.C.,” The Toastmaster, June, 1996.

“Ready-Made Speeches: A Blast from the Past,” The Toastmaster, March, 1997.

“Not Another Boring Speech, Please!,” The Toastmaster, Dec. 1997.

“Finding the Lightning: Words as Labels,” The Toastmaster, Jan. 1998.

“Your Purpose, Your Audience, and Your Speech: Deciding What to Say,” The Toastmaster, May, 1998.

INTERNET ARTICLES

Malicious obfuscation” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/malicious-obfuscation-alan-perlman

“Plagiarism: What it is and what it is not https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/plagiarism-what-alan-perlman

Review of Tom Wolfe’s The Kingdom of Speech

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/review-tom-wolfes-kingdom-speech-alan-perlman

“Another groundless plagiarism charge”  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/another-groundless-plagiarism-charge-alan-perlman

“The most overrated mind of the 20th century”  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/most-overrated-mind-20th-century-alan-perlman

“How not to use PowerPoint”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141117182153-169090-how-not-to-use-powerpoint

Other articles at http://www.language-expert.net/pages/notes.html and http://www.experts.com/Articles/By/Dr.%20Alan%20Perlman

Alan defends the humanities in the Keene Sentinel” (12/10/2013)

BOOKS

Write Choices: New Options for Effective Communication, Charles C Thomas, 1989.

“It Gives Me Great Pleasure…” — A Guide to Writing Ceremonial Speeches, Ragan Communications, 1992.

Writing Great Speeches: Professional Techniques You Can Use, Allyn & Bacon, 1997.

PERFECT PHRASES FOR EXECUTIVE PRESENTATIONS: Hundreds Of Ready-To-Use Phrases To Use To Communicate Your Strategy and Vision When The Stakes Are High, McGraw-Hill, 2006.


 

Recent Posts

  • Forensic linguistics featured in New Yorker piece - To introduce the next post, here’s my response to a New Yorker piece on forensic linguistics. The article is in the print version and at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/07/23/120723fa_fact_hitt . Dear Editor, As a practicing forensic linguist, I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the profession – but with mixed feelings. It was gratifying to see forensic linguistics, which is not... Read more »
  • The forensic linguist and the Artful Dodger: Can people deliberately fake their writing style? - Perhaps 25% of the cases I handle involve the authorship of anonymous, disputed, or forged documents.  The client wants to know who’s writing those nasty, threatening emails or letters.  I typically ask the client for writing samples from the suspected author.  Sometimes there’s more than one suspect, and I have to decide which of them... Read more »
  • “Google” goes generic - Some years ago, right around this time of year, a geek site, as an April Fools prank, launched a new product — unicorn meat – which it called “the new white meat,” and lawyers for the National Pork Board issue a cease-and-desist order, because they’ve gone to great lengths to copyright “the other white meat”... Read more »
  • Stylistic analysis/stylometrics – a concise statement - The following description is taken from an affidavit by Gerald R. McMenamin, one of the leading scholars in the field; the affidavit – from Case 1:10-cv-00569-RJA -LGF Document 50 Filed 06/02/11 As part of his expert witness statement, McMenamin describes the theoretical and practical foundation of the method by which he examined documents and determined... Read more »
  • When a lawyer needs a linguist - When does a lawyer need a linguist? As Roger Shuy, one of the most pre-eminent forensic linguists, has observed, the interpretation and application of the law are overwhelmingly about language.  Thus, there are many situations in which the expertise of a linguist – someone trained in the precise description and analysis of language (but not... Read more »
  • Basis forensic skills: How text-sensitive are you? - A forensic linguist must be exquisitely sensitive to nuances of text.  Where a synonym exists, the very choice of each word represents a decision on the part of the author.  Superimposed upon that is the way toward is spelled, abbreviated or capitalized. Truly, a text is a tangle of choices. The following are intended to... Read more »
  • I was wrong: p.c. can go even lower - Just when I thought the absurdity of political correctness/perceived insult exemplified by the contrived controversy over the “lighter is better” beer commercial could not be topped, along comes p.c.’s most ludicrous artifact yet: new pronouns. A couple of days ago, I watched in shock and awe as Tucker Carlson interviewed a woman who explained them:... Read more »
  • Trump, Trump, Trump: desperately seeking synonyms - Charles Dickens is famous for giving his characters whimsical names that often reflect their personalities.  “Scrooge” is probably the best-known, unmistakably conveying a grasping miserliness in almost tangible terms. If Dickens had written about a vulgar, aggressive billionaire intent on seeking power, crushing his enemies, and emblazoning his name around the world, he could hardly... Read more »
  • “Lighter is better”: Political correctness hits a new low - I have been bitching about political correctness for decades (e.g., “Why we love to hate p.c.,” Toastmaster magazine, June 1996; copies available on request) to no avail, and it keeps getting worse.  The list of offensive words has grown and grown.  New terms have appeared – “trigger words,” “hate speech,” “micro-aggressions” — as grievance groups... Read more »
  • For a quick — but accurate — summary of political rhetoric, read this - This is as good a summary of political rhetoric as I’ve seen: “Political speeches are rarely occasions for truth-telling. But the good ones combine a description of shared reality with the expression of a vision, or with words of celebration. The mediocre ones consist of platitudes—well-intentioned but lacking the force of inspiration or recognition. And... Read more »