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.
Selected blog posts:
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.
collaborations, conferences, dictionary dot com, editathon, emoji, faq, internet linguistics, interviews, lingthusiasm, lingwiki, livetweets, NPR, reviews, speaking, storify, sxsw, talks, tweets, twitter
Apr · 18
I was quoted in this article on Broadly at Vice:
The History of Petty Memes.
Episode 5 of Lingthusiasm went up! It’s about
Colour words around the world and inside your brain. We also posted a quote about Space Pidgin from episode 1 that became very popular.
I also did a short survey about
what the winky face emojicon and/or emoji means to you (see also the twitter thread about it for comments).
Selected blog posts:
This month’s featured image is a wug that I drew on a volcanic beach near Hilo, Hawai’i, as part of my trip to the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC5) at the very end of February. Most of the conference activities happened in March though, so they’ll be in next month’s very travelly update.
I gave a talk about Stumbling into linguistics via blogs and Wikipedia at a panel on Getting High School Students into Linguistics which I co-organized with Moti Lieberman at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Austin, Texas. My slides are at
bit.ly/lingwiki-lsa2017 and our whole panel’s slides and abstracts are available here.
I also gave a talk about how people lengthen words on Twitter at the LSA, co-authored with Jeffrey Lamontagne – you can check out our slides at
bit.ly/longggg. ( Here’s a fun example that came up later.)
I ran a Wikipedia editathon for the third year in a row at the LSA –
here’s a report on the articles edited (and a bonus post on Wikipedia rabbit holes).
I also did
PR for the LSA again this year and was on the judging panel for the 5 Minute Linguist competition. If you missed the livetweets, you can relive the LSA using the hashtag #lsa2017.
fourth episode of Lingthusiasm came to you from inside the Word of the Year vote and we got fanmail!
linguistics jobs interview with Jane Solomon, a lexicographer at Dictionary.com.
a helpful acrostic of how to spell my last name to my website and email signature.
This month’s image is “lingthusiasm” sketched out in the sand, with the logo added by a helpful wave.
collaborations, conferences, dictionary dot com, editathon, interviews, lingthusiasm, linguistics jobs, lingwiki, livetweets, lsa, podcasts, politics, speaking, talks, twitter
Feb · 09
I launched a podcast called Lingthusiasm with the fantastic Lauren Gawne of the linguistics blog Superlinguo. It’s a podcast that’s enthusiastic about linguistics and you can listen to it on
iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play Music, YouTube or most other podcast apps via rss, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr for updates. We launched it with the first three episodes:
Speaking a common language won’t lead to world peace
Pronouns: singular “they”, other languages, and solving the gay fanfiction pronoun problem
A lingthusiastic review of the alien linguistics movie Arrival
I consulted on
this video for the PBS Idea Channel about the “words for snow” myth and I was quoted in this article for the New York Times: On the internet, to be “Mom” is to be Queen.
I also wrote book things! Nothing to announce yet, but here’s a few #
my yearly summary for 2016 on All Things Linguistic.
In January, I’m heading to the annual conference of the Linguistic Society of America, where I’ll be
doing a panel and a talk and an editathon and lots of other things!
Selected blog posts:
This month’s bookshelfie is the linguistics section of Foyles in London, a photo I took when I was in the UK in May.
conferences, consulting, internet linguistics, interviews, lingthusiasm, linguist humour, movies, podcasts, pop culture, reviews, tweets, videos
Jan · 02
This month, I attended
the first EmojiCon in San Francisco. I gave a talk about the mistake people make in assuming that emoji are a language, and three paralinguistic things that emoji do instead ( in column form, and here’s a visualization of it), and met a lot of interesting people. You can see livetweets from the event at the #EmojiCon hashtag and I’m quoted in this article about it for TIME.
article on teen girls as language disruptors, which I wrote for Quartz last year, was republished in a print textbook from Oxford University Press, Making Sense of Language, and my copy of the book finally arrived in the mail.
I revised and updated
my annual guide for explaining linguistics to your friends and family this holiday season. See also: my archive of linguistmas posts and 2016 linguistics merch.
Like all linguists this month, I went and saw the linguistics sci fi movie Arrival. Here are
a few comments from me, another linguist’s twitter thread, linguistics cut scenes from the screenwriter, and a full list of linguistics media coverage. I also wrote a guide to more linguistics for people who liked Arrival, which I cross-posted to Medium. (Plus: an Arrival recruitment poster and meme.)
Selected blog posts:
This month’s image is a bunch of emoji-themed art by Yiying Lu from the exhibit at EmojiCon. I spent much of the conference deeply embedded in Unicode geekery but the art definitely makes a better photo.
book, christmas, conferences, emoji, explainling, internet linguistics, movies, quartz, reviews, sociolinguistics, speaking, talks, tweets, twitter
Dec · 08
In October, I gave a talk about emoji and why they aren’t language at the Dawn or Doom conference at Purdue University. You can see
slides here or just look at the fantastic visualization that The Ink Factory made of my talk. I also got to meet Jorge Cham and many other cool people.
I found out that our South by Southwest panel proposal was accepted, so you can look for me in Austin, Texas in 2017 with Ben Zimmer, Jane Solomon, and Erin McKean talking about
Word Curation: Dictionaries, Tech, and the Future.
Linguist Twitter had a lot of fun making #SpookyTalesForLinguists happen –
see highlights or just go for the whole hashtag.
I’m quoted in several articles:
I ran a linguistics jobs
interview with a health writer and noted with great excitement that plans are beginning for an AP linguistics course. I’ll be doing a panel about high school linguistics outreach at the LSA annual meeting in January.
I’m currently heading to EmojiCon in San Francisco, where I’ll be giving a workshop, so stay tuned for
Selected blog posts:
This month’s bookshelfie comes from Von’s Book Shop near Purdue University, but really, let’s just look at that visualization again. Amazing.
bookshelfies, conferences, consulting, dictionary dot com, emoji, internet linguistics, interviews, linguist humour, linguistics jobs, politics, selfies, speaking, sxsw, talks, tweets
Nov · 02
I hit a book milestone: I finished the second major draft!
Details and sneak peaks into the writing process. I also made a central information page for the book.
I was quoted in two articles,
That time when “That time when” took over the Internet (Washington Post) and the evolution of emoji from emoticons (Japan Times). I also storified the Beowulf/Hamilton crossover, #Wulf4Ham.
I restarted the series of interviews for the linguistics jobs series on All Things Linguistic, with the help of Elena Russo, and also created
a handy linguistics jobs overview page. New interviews: with a book publicist, science fiction writer, and policy analyst.
I’m currently heading to
Dawn or Doom, a conference at Purdue University about technology and culture, where I’ll be giving a talk about the linguistics of emoji, so you can keep an eye on #DawnOrDoom for livetweets! I also announced this month that I’ll be giving a workshop at EmojiCon in November in the Bay Area.
Selected blog posts:
This month’s bookshelfie is a photo I took when I stopped in Reykjavik briefly on my way back from the UK in May.
Mál og Menning didn’t have much of a linguistics section, but the balcony and hanging bird cutouts were charming anyway.
book, bookshelfies, conferences, emoji, internet linguistics, interviews, linguistics jobs, pop culture, speaking, storify, tweets
Oct · 02