Welcome to Larry Andrews' website.

Greetings and welcome to my blog spot.

I've written two novels since my retirement in 2008. The first is a romance, Songs of Sadness, Songs of Love. The second is an action/mysteryThe China-Africa Parallax: A Ryan and Gillian Mystery.

Among the textbooks I have written areLinguistics for L2 Teachers, Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 2001; and Language Exploration and Awareness: A Resource Book for Teachers, 3rd edition, Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 2006. This textbook was translated into Korean by Pagijong Press, Seoul, South Korea. 2010.

I am presently writing my third Ryan and Gillian novel, The Nathan Culper Brotherhood. You can follow my progress on novel #3 here at this blog site.

To order any of my titles please go either to nook.com or amazon.com (Kindle users can go to the Kindle Store.).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Parsing Dog Talk

It gives me no pleasure to record — though I must in light of my duties on the Stupid Animal Communication Stories desk here at Language Log — that a Hungarian scientist has created some software that is claimed to be able to actually understand the barking of dogs of the Hungarian Mudi breed. The barks can be decoded to discern the dogs' emotional state: "when a dog has seen a ball, when it is fighting, playing, meeting a stranger or when it wants a walk." This was accomplished through the analysis of 6,000 barks by 14 dogs. And if you truly have nothing the slightest bit valuable to do today, you can read about it here.

The scientist involved, Csaba Molnar, "told the BBC it may have applications for analysis of human communication", and of course the BBC immediately believed them. He told Reuters that "A possible commercial application could be a device for dog-human communication." I'm sure that if you are the sort of person to whom this has any appeal, you already believe that your dog understands every word you say. Now you can understand every word your dog says back. Just don't bother to report any of its opinions to me, OK? Oh, and I am fully aware that on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog; so to all our canine readers, let me just say: arf arf arf, woof woof. Thank you.

By Geoffrey Pullum, originally posted at Language Log.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

18 Unexpected Perks of Dating a Nonreader, by Ginni Chen (Barnes & Nobel Book Blog, 15 October 2014)

They say opposites attract, and that’s never truer than when a lifelong bookworm and an avowed nonreader lock eyes on each other. It happens unexpectedly and all too often. You finally meet someone who is in every way compatible with you, only to discover that they. Don’t. Read.
You panic silently, call all your literary friends, and bemoan your misfortune of falling for a bookless wonder, a nixer of novels, a literature-less Lothario/Lolita. You debate whether or not this fact is a deal breaker, but at the back of your mind you know—you still really kinda like them. Is Cupid just setting you up for failure, or could this be that crazy little thing called love?
Bookworms, give your book-spurning suitors a fighting chance. Don’t focus on the things you can’t share with a nonreader, focus on the new, exciting positives! To help convince you, here are the 18 unexpected perks of dating a nonreader:
1. More space for your growing book collection, because they don’t have any.
2. Your opinions about books are always right.
3. You can freely tell them the entire story of the book you’re reading, spoilers and all, because they probably aren’t going to read it.
4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads.
5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you
actually want to read.
6. They think you’re super smart because you read so much.
7. They encourage you to blog about books so you have an outlet to talk about your literary adventures and opinions (true story).
8. They never stay up all night reading like you do, so they can be counted on to wake you up when you sleep through your alarm.
9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.
10. They make sure you get fresh air by forcing you to put down the book and get out of the house.
11. They never borrow your books and forget to return them, or return them in poor condition.
12.All your literary friends like them because they don’t engage in pretentious literary one-upmanship.
13. They know a lot about other things like engineering, cooking, music, wilderness survival, how to change a lightbulb…
14. They won’t judge you for thinking that the movie version of the book was actually pretty good.
15. They’re never late meeting you because they got wrapped up in a novel and lost track of time.
16. They do all the driving, so you can read at your leisure in the passenger seat.
17. They never mess up the order of the books on your shelves.
18. They’re willing to learn about literature from you.
Above all, by dating a nonreader, you open yourself up to new experiences and life lessons you might otherwise never discover. So if your heart is telling you “yes,” but your brain is telling you that you have too little in common to make it work, remember what The Princess Bride taught us: “Love is many things, none of them logical.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Taken for granite

Sometimes I am taken for granite. Everybody is taken for granite sometimes but I am not in a mood for being fair to everybody. I am in a mood for being fair to me. I am taken for granite quite often, and this troubles and distresses me, because I am not granite. I am not sure what I am but I know it isn’t granite. I have known some granite types, we all do: characters of stone, upright, immovable, unchangeable, opinions the general size shape and pliability of the Rocky Mountains, you have to quarry five years to chip out one little stony smile. That’s fine, that’s admirable, but it has nothing to do with me. Upright is fine, but downright is where I am, or downwrong. ~~ Ursala K. LeGuin

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't confuse "Christian crazies" with Christianity.


I’m in an insane hurry right now (getting ready for my wife Cat’s first photo exhibition!! If you’re a Facebooker, share the heck out of that event page, if you would, please–and invite your San Diego friends, etc. please please please! thanks!).  And I don’t usually/ever post quickly. But right now I wanna, cuz:
In yesterday’s post, I wrote:
And don’t make the mistake of confusing bullshit “Christian” leaders with Christianity. (Yes, I’m a Christian who curses.) Jesus Christ wouldn’t know most of Christianity today from a McDonald’s. Washington is packed with politicians so crooked they can’t take two steps in any one direction. But does that mean that democracy or the Constitution is invalid? Of course not.
When someone pees in the pool, you don’t blame the water.
         Lately I’ve been getting a lot of notices from Christians telling me that they no longer want to be Christian. It’s remarkable how many people I know—people who for years if not their whole lives have been Christian—who have been so beaten into the ground by the relentless toxic rhetoric of the Christian right that at this point they’re just … giving up on Christianity.
         Their hearts have turned away from the faith. They feel like, “If Christianity is so good, how come so many Christians are such complete idiots? If the Holy Spirit is supposed to be at work in the hearts and minds of Christians, why isn’t the Holy Spirit doing a better job of making a lot more Christians be at least decent human beings?”
         As one of the kindest, most patient and intelligent Christians I know put it in a comment to yesterday’s post: “Is the whole thing [Christianity] just BS?”
Ouch. (If you’re Jesus, anyway. Or … well, me, for one, given what I believe.)
And it’s happening all at once, too. That’s the astounding part. I’ve been Joe Online for a long time now, and, as far as I can tell, ditching Christianity is going viral. 
         In the last two weeks I’ve heard the same thing from I’d say thirty Christians, who’ve written to me either, “I give up; I’m no longer Christian,” or, “I’m about to give up; I don’t think I can take being Christian any longer.”
So I really, really want to talk about that.
For now, though, I just wanted to say, about that “Fence Around Your Pool” thing: To hell with other people.
Didn’t Jesus say something pretty much just like that?
Didn’t Buddha?
know Gandhi said it. Somewhere along the line, he must have. And I’m pretty sure Martin Luther–King or a 16th century monk—is on the record for having said it.
Anyway, I’m saying it.
And it is, of course, the hyper-abbreviated version of what I would say if I had a bit more time.
The idea of letting other people tell me, or in any way decide for me, who God is, or what the nature of God is, is … repelling to me.
         I mean, I get why eventually any sane person would just sau, “Something’s wrong here. Christianity appears to be a solid FAIL. I gave it my all. But enough is enough. I’m out.”
         But, for me, screw that. If people keep peeing in my pool, I don’t abandon the pool. I refresh the water, and then build a fence to keep people the freak out. I stop letting strangers in my … pool area. (Um … to be clear: I’m not advocating keeping people away from Christianity–as if anyone in this culture could, given that, you know, it’s everywhere. What I mean is that I have no interest in … letting, well, pee-ers—by which I mean toxic people whom I don’t know or don’t respect—to … sully my waters, pee in my pool, get into my yard, define for me my Christianity–which, for the record, is unimpeachably rational and militantly non-invasive.)
Life is entirely too short to suffer fools. 
Now I know somebody’s said that before.
Anyway, this is a real conversation that needs to be had. Jump in if you’ve anything to say, and let’s at least start having it.