About

I write about linguistics for a general audience, especially about language on the internet.

Notable internet linguistics topics I’ve covered include: the grammar of doge, whether emoji are language (spoiler: no), when you can and can’t even, the srs bsns of disemvowellment, the “because x” construction,  the constraints on synonyms for Benedict Cumberbatch, minimalist capitalization and punctuation on the internetlinguistics on tumblrthat feeling when you use a subordinate clause, vintage internet slang, and my entire series on internet language for Mental Floss. I’ve also got a proposal for a South by Southwest panel (SXSW Interactive 2016) on the linguistics of billions of emoji, in collaboration with SwiftKey, which you can vote for if you like.

Other favourite articles include:

I’ve done radio interviews with NPR (All Tech Considered, Youth RadioKojo Show), the CBC (Spark), the ABC (It’s just not cricket), and the BBC (Today Programme). A full list of my non-blog writing can be found here, and the most up-to-date source is always my blog, All Things Linguistic.

I’m interested in linguistics outreach and bridging the gap between linguistics and the general public. I have an Inspire grant from Wikimedia to organize a series of editathons at linguistics conferences to improve linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia. Events include: January 2015 at the LSA annual meeting in Portland, OR, March 28-29 via the #lingwiki hashtag on Twitter, May 2015 at the CLA annual meeting in Ottawa, four editathons in July 2015 at the LSA summer institute in Chicago, and October 2015 at NELS in Montreal and NWAV in Toronto. Interested in hosting a satellite event to get linguists editing Wikipedia? Please get in touch!

Until February 2015, I edited Slate’s Lexicon Valley blog, and while I’m no longer accepting pitches, you may be interested in my advice for writing pop linguistics articles and differences between teaching versus pop linguistics, and even other pop science. Or if you’d rather just explain linguistics to your friends and family.

When I’m not linguist-ing, I like swing-dancing, board games, and experimenting with new recipes.

Want to interview me, or have me write or consult for you? Feel free to get in touch! I’m also generally interested in linguistically interesting books for review, especially fiction.