The UK edition of Because Internet came out this month! It will also be replacing the US edition in Australia, New Zealand, and other places that typically get UK versions of books. In celebration, I re-recorded a tiny portion of the Because Internet audiobook in a very posh, very fake British accent. You can get the real audiobook, featuring my normal voice, as well as all other versions of Because Internet here (or scroll to the bottom for a comparative photo of the US and UK editions!).
There was also some UK media around the UK publication! I did interviews in The Times (yes, that Times, the Times of London), the Observer/Guardian, BBC Science Focus, the Financial Times. Here’s a quote from my interview in the Guardian:
Like many linguists, I have a difficult time turning the linguistics part of my brain off. If you get me at the pub, I may be trying to listen to what you’re saying and then get distracted by your vowels. So to be interested in the way people talk on the internet is just a natural extension of being interested in how people talk around me on an everyday basis. […]
I think it’s easy to see people doing something different from you, and assume it must be haphazard, random, or they must not know “the right way” to do it. In reality, people are acting for deliberate reasons, and I’m figuring out what those reasons are.
I was on panels at two conferences this month! I did threads about adding linguistics programming to not-explicitly-linguistic conferences and about how making public-facing work leads to interesting opportunities.
Sound Education is a conference about educational podcasts in Boston, and I was on a panel about busting language myths through podcasting.
Scintillation is a small speculative fiction convention in Montreal, which I participated in for the second year now, and I was on panels about Using Language for Worldbuilding (moderator) and “What did we say before we said Cool?”
The main episode of Lingthusiasm was about smell words, both real and invented, and the bonus episode was about surnames. We were also recommended by Buzzfeed (!!), which called Lingthusiasm “joyously nerdy”.
Lingthusiasm also released new merch, including socks with our International Phonetic Alphabet, tree diagram, and esoteric symbols prints; greeting cards that say “thanks” or “congrats” on them in IPA; the pun-tastic “glottal bottle” and liquids for your liquids bottle/mug; and shirts/mugs/bags that say Linguistic “Correctness” is just a lie from Big Grammar to Sell More Grammars. (See photos of the all the Lingthusiasm merch here.)
I got inspired by the “ok boomer” shirts that have been going around to make “ok pedant” shirts (and people have actually bought them!)
Finally, but perhaps most excitingly, someone dressed up as my book for Halloween! I am ded.
Long list of all media from this month:
National Print/Top Online:
- The Times – interview – 10/1
- The Observer/Guardian – interview – 10/5
- The Financial Times – review – 10/7
- Real Simple– roundup “Best Books of 2019” –10/1
- Capstone Communications – mention – 10/9
- Lifehacker– mention – 10/10
- The Week– roundup “Randall Monroe’s Book List” –10/18
- Without Bullshit– mention – 10/17
- GeekDad– mention – 10/21
- Mashable– roundup “10 books about tech for every kind of person in your life” –10/21
- Considerable– review – 10/23
- BuzzFeed News– mention – 10/24
- The Daily Kos– review – 10/26
- Philosophy Tube– mention – 10/28
- Vogue – mention – 10/30
- Ars Techninca – review –11/4
- Crooked Reads Newsletter – mention – 10/1
- Nerdette podcast– interview – 10/18
- KJZZ “The Show” – interview – 10/25
- The representation of the cat walking across the keyboard in Because Internet was produced by a real cat, who is duly credited in a footnote
- Someone found the Unicode joke in Because Internet
- Poll/replies threads on “and” versus “&” and about your early internet usernames and why (especially how you chose the numbers)
- A publishing meta thread about “Schedule A” countries
- The most frequent words make up the majority of ANY English corpus (a thread that led into the Inverse Upgoer Five Challenge)
- If you @ me being grumpy about language change, you will be blocked
- The 1909 equivalent of “did u get my text???”
- codes witching
- The ebook edition of Because Internet is a tiny bit multicolour
- What happens when “machine learning” looks at your book with a yellow and black cover and decides what other products are relevant
- “I’ve never skated the internet”
- Structural ambiguity: “Hospitals named after sandwiches kill five”
- ad-hoc transcription systems vs the International Phonetic Alphabet
- Despite the first four letters of our names, and twitter’s autocomplete dropdown, I am not Greta Thunberg
- Oh you’re a phonetician? Name every sound in human lang–wait.
- Cross-generational texting dialogue
Selected blog posts:
- “linguist with questions” as the goose in Untitled Goose Game
- Duolingo and smaller languages: useful, but also complicated
- Linguistics jobs: Product manager
- A review of Language Unlimited by Superlinguo
- Smartphone keyboard support for under-represented languages
- You Look Like A Thing And I Love You, a book by Janelle Shane which I’m very excited is coming out soon
- Falkland Islands – new favourite example of pronunciation ambiguity from TikTok
- Language family maps around the world
- Linguistics Halloween photos
This month’s photo is of the new UK edition of Because Internet (left) hanging out with the US edition (right) and a small stuffed wug.