Many talks and travel in March! I began the month in Hawai’i, where I ran several lingwiki editathons at the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (#icldc5) and also got to attend the Hilo Field Study and learn about Hawaiian language revitalization.
I then headed directly to South by Southwest, where I moderated a panel called Word Curation: Dictionaries, Tech and the Future with Erin McKean (Wordnik), Jane Solomon (Dictionary.com), and Ben Zimmer (Wall Street Journal). We also stayed in a house together and played word games, and Erin, Jane, and I judged an emoji spelling bee organized by Jenny 8 Lee and other people from EmojiCon.
While the conferences themselves were very different, fortunately the weather in Hawai’i and Texas was very similar – warm and sometimes rainy!
My final talk of the month was at the Princeton linguistics department, where I gave a colloquium talk entitled How I Became An Internet Linguist. I also livetweeted Kory Stamper’s new book, Word by Word, and then got to hang out with her and several other cool lexicography people in NYC on the way to Princeton.
In the meantime, I was quoted in two articles in the New York Times, on Snapchat and phatic communication by Farhad Manjoo and on The communicative function of emoji (Gaymoji) in Grindr by Guy Trebay. The first episode of Lingthusiasm was also featured in NY Mag’s Science of Us and on #SciFriLive (Science Friday on NPR).
The sixth episode of Lingthusiasm came out, about the International Phonetic Alphabet. Listen to the episode on SoundCloud (or wherever you get your podcasts), read the transcript, or check out the links in the shownotes. My cohost Lauren Gawne and I also launched a Patreon to help keep the podcast growing, with a bonus episode about swearing and a video featuring a cameo from our producer.
- Check out the #icldc5 hashtag for tweets about language revitalization, especially about this year’s theme: its link to health
- An open letter from linguists to Neil Degrasse Tyson about Arrival
- There’s no reason not to have gender-balanced quotes in linguistics-related media
- PIE day is just a fake holiday created by linguistics companies to sell more historical linguistics
- I livetweeted a Public Astro Night talk by Jessica Coon on linguistics and Arrival, which I believe you can still watch at the link
- Verbal use of “hashtag” among kids
- Specific vs nonspecific singular they
- Discussion on emoji vs old-school emoticons and emoji as more than playful
- I rewrote my blog’s FAQ and ended up talking about reworking citation standards for the 21st century
Selected blog posts:
- An interview with Alexandra D’Arcy about why “like” is so interesting
- Hating Comic Sans is ableist
- “What” in phonetic notation
- The surprising connection between Proto-Indo-European and pi day
- Pink Trombone, an interactive simulation of the vocal tract
- A list of linguistics and language podcasts
- “The very things speech coaches advise women to cut out of their speech are actually signs of highly evolved communication” from an article featuring Robin Lakoff
- Synesthesia and learning new writing systems
- “Double negatives” in language are older than logic as a field
- “Becoming conscious of previously unconscious phenomena is one of the principle joys of linguistic work”
- Linguistics jobs: Project manager at a language learning software company
This month’s featured image is from playing word games at the words house at SXSW. This particular game is known as Codenames and it was great fun.