Thursday, November 29, 2007

Buy Local? or Buy Locally?

Thanks to Serious Eats [] for the tip about our use of our language:

The Language of 'Local'

Posted by Adam Kuban, November 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM

If you're a stickler for grammar, the phrases "eat local," "buy local," "shop local," etc., no doubt grate on your ears. They should, of course, use the adverb "locally." Language Log takes a look at these neologisms and makes a case for their use.

November 16, 2007
Think globally, protect amorphously

Because of earlier Language Log posts on constructions like "Drive Safe" and "Think Different", a reader in Ridgefield CT thought we might be interested in the latest episode in this grammatical saga:

Recently, there's been a slight fracas at my local planning and zoning commission over signs saying "Shop Local". The board almost denied permits to put up the signs, with one member of the board saying they were "horrific grammar" and should instead say "shop locally." One board member (John Katz) was quoted in the local paper as saying "Just as art is amorphous, so is the concept of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public. I believe exposing people to the horrific grammar of these signs is in direct opposition to protecting the public's welfare."

There's a related case, highlighted by the recent spread of locavorosity, where the distinction between local and locally seems to me to make a difference. Many of the 1,130,000 Google hits for {"buy local"} seem to come from the movement to buy locally-produced food. The top hits for {"buy locally"} are connected to the same movement, but there are only 353,000 of them. Some of these are from phrases like "buy locally-grown food"; some come from the catchphrase-substitution "think globally, buy locally"; others may be the result of a copy-editor's intervention to correct someone's attempt to write "buy local". But it seems to me that "buy locally" commits me only to carrying out the transaction of purchasing in the local area, without any implication about where the stuff I buy comes from. In contrast, "buy local" is naturally interpreted to mean "buy local stuff".

to read more, copy and paste in:
Posted by Mark Liberman at November 16, 2007 08:12 AM

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