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 internet, linguistics on tumblr, that feeling when you use a subordinate clause, vintage internet slang, ship names, and my entire series on internet language for Mental Floss. I’ve also got a upcoming panel at South by Southwest panel (SXSW Interactive 2016) on the linguistics of billions of emoji, in collaboration with SwiftKey.
Other favourite articles include:
- Move over Shakespeare, teen girls are the real language disruptors (Quartz)
- “Look at all these ducks there are at least ten.” Why is this caption funny? (Slate)
- A linguist explains the syntax of “fuck” (The Toast)
- Haiku vs iambic pentameter: How the structure of a language influences its poetry (Schwa Fire)
- How Canadians really pronounce “about” (Grammar Girl)
- Can an inhaled word mean something? (Dictionary.com)
- A linguist explains gendered pronouns (The Toast)
I’ve done radio interviews with NPR (All Tech Considered, Youth Radio, Kojo Show), the CBC (Spark, Drive), the ABC (RN Drive Twitterati, It’s just not cricket), and the BBC (Today Programme). A full list of my articles can be found under writing, my appearances elsewhere are under media and speaking, my blog is All Things Linguistic, and what I’ve been up to lately is under news and on twitter.
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.
I have a master’s in linguistics from McGill University and I’m the former editor of Slate’s Lexicon Valley blog, so I’ve written several posts on bridging the gap between academic linguistics and the public. Notably: 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 fancy hats, epic ice cream, and fiction that expands my horizons. Here are some notes on pronouncing and spelling my name.