This is the site of Mark Schaefer, attorney, author, educator, pastor, language scholar, and wordsmith. This site contains content from Mark’s writings, sermons, articles, and other material.


Learn more about Mark’s books:

The Good News
according to Mark
The Certainty of
Religious, Not Spiritual
Read moreRead moreRead more


Read some of Mark’s academic papers and articles on language and religion.

To read or download a copy of any of the articles, visit the Articles page.


Visit some of Mark’s other sites:

Schaefer Wordsmithing, Editing, and Translation Logo
Writing, Editing, and Translation Services

Schaefer Wordsmithing

Good writing is more important than ever. At a time when texting, social media, and other informal forms have risen to prominence, good writing can help you stand out. If you need help with your writing—whether simple proofreading or in-depth editing—I can help. I also offer translation services from and into English for a number of languages.

Mark’s 2018 book, a reflection on the unavoidable nature of uncertainty and why embracing uncertainty and doubt are vital for a healthy faith and meaningful life.

Mark’s long-running blog of sermons, theological reflections, and occasional linguistic musings.

A site to record and celebrate the creativity of human language by allowing visitors to submit sentences they believe have never been uttered before.

map of the lands under the sun
Creative writing project

The Lands Under the Sun

An attempt to create the world’s first (or at least best) crowd-sourced fantasy epic. Members of the site can help to develop the world or write stories that take place in this world.

Recent Posts

  • How to Foil the AI Uprising It turns out they stink at jokes and crosswords
    Is humor an aspect of sentience? I wouldn’t necessarily think so since animals we consider not to be sentient appear to understand humor or at least find things funny. But there is something about real intelligence and humor; it would seem. And ChatGPT doesn’t have it.
  • The Photo That Proves the Earth Isn’t Flat
    I kept wondering what evidence could possibly convince a Flat Earther, short of a ride into space on a rocket (a trip I would gladly pay for if I had the means—one-way, of course). And then I came across the following photo.
  • The Good News according to Mark
    Who knew that what would be a fun little side project as a seminary student would take over two decades to complete?
  • Between You and I: The Emergence of a Nominative Absolute in English
    Coordination phrases (CPs) like between you and I and give this to your mom or I, wherein the nominative/subject case is substituted for the expected accusative/object case, have been increasing in frequency in contemporary spoken English. Such constructions are generally assumed to result from a hypercorrection to avoid constructions like Me and Bob went to the movies. However, hypercorrection alone cannot account for all the instances of this construction. To explore possible root causes for this construction, I examined instances of spoken and recorded speech and surveyed speakers to draw out the underlying rules governing the case used by speakers when forming coordination phrases. Initial results suggest that hypercorrection is unlikely to account for the use of the subject case in all such instances, and instead, there is evidence for the emergence of a nominative absolute construction creating coordination phrases that are unaffected by the syntactic demands of the surrounding sentence.
  • A Song for Beny
    This little dog came into my life three years ago, but in that short time, he became a cherished companion. When he died this week at the age of thirteen, he left us who knew him with broken hearts but with fond memories of the unique little guy he was.
  • Shop Talk
    I recognized my antagonist right away; I didn’t know who he was, but I recognized him. Or her. Too early to tell. He walked in out of the night into the bar, wearing a long woolen winter coat. The locals thought this was cold weather, and to fit in, people like my antagonist and I dressed the part. I sat at the far end of the bar, right near the corner, with a view toward the door for reasons exactly like this. Although, in decades of doing this job, I’ve never once run into my counterpart. Or anyone from the other side, for that matter. But when my antagonist walked in, I knew right away who he was. We can always recognize each other, no matter how good the disguise. If the humans were paying attention, they might have noticed the telltale signs, but they rarely noticed people like us.

Featured Posts

Below are some highlights from some of Mark’s writing on this site and elsewhere.