Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.
It’s my fourth blogiversary! Let’s celebrate by looking back at some of my favourite posts:
- A linguist explains how we write sarcasm online (The Toast)
- Wired Style: retro internet slang and how I became a descriptivist (The Toast)
- I can’t even / well I never
- BroT3, cinnamon roll, abbrevs
- What was it like before emojis? Analysis of a 💯 tweet
- A semantic map of emoji, an emoji miscommunication study
- 21 things a twitter favourite can mean
- The fascinatng…frustrating…fascinating history of autocorrect
- On typographical register and generational differences
- How people use tags on tumblr
- “p” as an abbreviation for “pretty”
- A thesis about tumblr language
- “Hashtag” in spoken English
- Overlooked subtleties of reaction gifs
- Obi-wan and Skywalker at Tatooine: Memes as intertextuality
- C#nsoring word$ in the era of search
- Linguistic features of the “snek” meme (gosh hecking darn it)
Selected Mental Floss articles on internet language:
- Does this sentence sound incomplete, or?
- “You” versus “u” as a formality distinction
- Words without vowels are rlly srs bsns
- What does “cheeky” mean?
- This is the best new way of asking questions, y/y?
- There are two kinds of hashtags, index and commentary
- Why the pronunciation of GIF really can go either way
- Smol: a word that’s like “small” but cuter
Livetweeted book reviews:
- The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (with a response from Rowell herself)
- The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- A linguistic parody of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space: “All the lonely Starbucks lovers / They’ll tell you I’m absurd / But I got a blank space baby / And it’s a function word”
- Linguist twitter had some fun riffing on the “Champagne toasts for my real friends” chiasmic toast
- Some thoughts that I and other twitter people had about how languages work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- I was the featured guest for a twitter #lingchat on internet language
- Can an inhaled word mean something? (Ingressives at Dictionary.com)
- A gif of the tongue moving through the vowel space
- Teaching phonetics using lollipops
- A diagram explaining modality (with reference to Hogwarts houses)
- Linguistic knowledge vs pedantry, a graph
- Yaasss, yusss, yisss and vowel chain shifts
- Pronoun typology and “the gay fanfiction problem”
- Tests for constituency, giffed
- A 3-minute grammar of knitting
- The inner ear bones, illustrated
- On the difference between coding and natural language (Vox)
- Memes: Language Gothic, Google Translate breadsticks meme, Your fave is problematic: adjectives, Schwa isn’t stressed. Be like schwa.
- Sexy linguistics costumes (comic)
- Someone dressed up as the Linguistics Gothic meme for Halloween
- Hwaet, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer in Anglo-Saxon
- The new shortest science paper is in linguistics
- The linguists strike back, from SpecGram
- Cuneiform cookies
- “Drive-by yogurt attack on crochet teacher’s haberdashery leaves her shaken”
- IPA song lyrics
- Strunk and White, hilariously rewritten using a predictive text generator
- Roses are red / Violets are blue / Ideas are green / And colourless, too
- XKCD: No “I” in “team”, on I could care less, podium vs lectern and sneaky elicitation techniques, and xkcd discovers biscuit conditionals
- Bad linguistics journalism bingo
- How do you spell descriptivism? A linguistics joke
- Several linguistics ~aesthetic posts
- Human-sized wug costumes at the University of Edinburgh
- Young women have been disrupting language ever since Shakespeare
- Backlash about criticizing “just”
- “No problem” vs “you’re welcome”
- On “sounding gay”
- “You” is plural, unless thou dost speak to an unfamiliar person.
- People who swear more have a bigger vocabulary
- Criticism of the anti-“sorry” apps
- Education: I have made a standard.
Linguistics: You have fucked up a perfectly good vernacular, is what you did.
- There’s no such thing as apostrophe logic
- All words are “made up” words
- Hedging is inserting extra words to be polite. It’s not “bad” language
- Aboriginal language rights in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report
- What if we talked about monolingual white children the way we talk about low-income children of colour?
- Deaf interpreters
- Toggle Talk: codeswitching in the classroom
- How voice recognition systems discriminate against people with accents
- Indigenous languages, literacy, and the myth of the “unwritten language”
- A lazy dog was involved in a jumping-related incident with a quick brown fox
- Rising Voices / Hótȟaŋiŋpi, a documentary about revitalizing the Lakota language
- The problem with “economically useful” as a reason for language learning
- Merriam-Webster adds “genderqueer” to its dictionary, pushes back against critics
Linguistics and pop culture
- The linguistics of ship names — how names like Johnlock and Brittana and Dramione get put together (The Toast)
- Why “Baltimore” and “Voldemort” sound basically the same in Spanish
- The linguistics of the “pop-punk voice”
- The bizarre syntax of “sexiest man alive”
- A forensic linguist who used to be a member of the Sha Na Na
- An example of count/mass nouns from the Simpsons
- The attention-grabbing tricks of “YouTube voice”
- Nominating singular “they” for Word of the Year 2015 (which it won)
- Bernie Sanders’s accent, explained
- A linguistic analysis of #PronouncingThingsIncorrectly
- Parseltongue from a linguistic perspective
Things about languages
- Particles in Ancient Greek (and modern slang)
- A linguistic biscuit (cookie) map of the languages of Australia
- Zero copula in African American English and other languages
- New Zealand syntax in Lovely Little Losers
- Myth-busting about sign languages
- Signily, an ASL keyboard app
- Phoreus: a new font for the Cherokee syllabary
- The long, incredibly torturous, and fascinating process of creating a Chinese font
- Two posts about expletive infixation for Strong Language, on why you can’t say “abso-jesus-lutely” or “abso-hallelujah-lutely“.
- Marvel, Wakanda and the problem with “an African dialect”
- John McWhorter on what it means for him to “sound black”
- Words that sound like their meanings are easier to learn
- Learning classical versus modern languages
- Parsey McParseface
- Why technology that supposedly turns sign languages into speech misses the point
I collaborated on five Language Files videos with Tom Scott, the first of which technically went up last year:
- Why computers suck at translation
- Crash blossoms and being drunk: ambiguity
- Why can’t adults learn languages like children?
- Long and short words: Language typology
- What counts as a word?
- I did a long interview on internet language and fandom language on the podcast Fansplaining, episode 15 ~fanspeak, which you can listen to on soundcloud or read the transcript of on tumblr. Key quote: “Your language is not my language but your language is okay.”
- I gave a talk at SXSW about the linguistics of emoji in collaboration with SwiftKey. You can see our slides with notes, listen to our full talk, see pictures, and view the livetweets on #EmojiLang.
- I gave a talk at Dictionary.com in conversation with Jane Solomon. You can hear an audio excerpt here, where I talk about the idea of an “internet era” of English.
- I did several talks about explaining linguistics to a general audience. The one with the most internet presence is my talk about getting linguistics out of the ivory tower at University of Kent – see the full storify of all the tweets by Laura Bailey, and my slides at bit.ly/explainling-kent.
- A wug-tastic linguistics stub sorting guide with Emily Temple-Wood
- The fourth LingVids video also went up, on reflexive pronouns and anaphora
- I collaborated on an episode of PBS Idea Channel about emoji with Mike Rugnetta
- I announced that I’m working on a book about internet language!
- I hit a book milestone: 100k words of a (very rough) draft. You can see a celebratory screencap and read a few thoughts about the writing process. I also made an email mailing list specifically for very occasional book updates, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss any important internet language book news on social media, you can sign up for that here.
- How to have a conversation about language differences without being a prescriptivist
- Linguistic approaches to language learning: link roundup
- A wug-tastic linguistics stub sorting guide
- A back-to-school link round up with links to a lot of posts useful for intro students
- A career advice post, Linguistics + X
- A roundup about how to do linguistics outreach
- An extensive list of pop linguistics books and lingfic
- Roundup link post about linguistics & fandom
- 20 linguistics blogs that I recommend following
- An advice post on how to “get” twitter for linguists.
- How to remember the IPA consonant chart, with keywords
- Linguistics jobs: interview with a copywriter and fiction author
- Should you go to grad school in linguistics? Maybe
Haven’t been with me this whole time? It’s okay — you can see my favourite posts of year one, year two, and year three right here. Or if you’d like monthly highlight posts, you can read and/or subscribe in the News section of my website.