November 2016: EmojiCon, Arrival movie, and language disruption in OUP

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.

My 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 meanother linguist’s twitter threadlinguistics 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 tweets:

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.

img_20161112_134409

 

December 2015: Book announced, singular “they” for WotY, expletive infixation, and wug cookies

This month, I announced that I’m working on a book about internet language! I’ve signed a publishing deal with Riverhead, a division of Penguin – stay tuned for more information on title, publication date, book cover, and so on once I have it.

I wrote an article for Quartz, nominating singular “they” for Word of the Year 2015 – we’ll see how it goes when I’m at the official American Dialect Society vote in January!

I also wrote two posts about expletive infixation for Strong Language, on why you can’t say “abso-jesus-lutely” or “abso-hallelujah-lutely“.

I was quoted in Wired talking about the tears of joy emoji which was Oxford’s Word of the Year, as well as in Slate by Ben Zimmer talking about Bob Dylan’s use of “can’t even”, which was picked up in The Atlantic as Did Bob Dylan Invent Millennial Catchphrase “I Can’t Even”?  I also did interviews with Digiday and the LA Times.  I did an interview about emoticons, emoji, and other linguistic trends on the live podcast The Geekly Chronicles.

My articles appeared on several roundup lists of best posts, including my grammar of shipping piece on The Toast’s 2015 list, and my grammar of doge and syntax of fuck pieces on The Electric Typewriter’s 2014+2015 list.

I published my grant report for the Inspire grant I got from Wikimedia to run six linguistics Wikipedia editathons at conferences in 2015. Including both Wikimedia-sponsored and non-sponsored grants, I ran 10 #lingwiki editathons in 2015, in which over 200 articles were created or edited by over 200 linguists.

As usual, at the beginning of January, I’m headed to the LSA annual meeting in Washington DC, where I’ll be livetweeting, attending the Word of the Year vote, and running an editathon. New this year, I’ll also be doing PR for the LSA at the meeting, so you can catch me on the LSA’s official Twitter account in addition to my own (and, of course, in person). I’ll also be sticking around afterwards to give a talk about explaining linguistics at Georgetown.

On All Things Linguistic, I posted a 2015 year in review post. Here are a few other highlights from this month:

The photo is some delicious-looking wug cookies which Laura Beaudin made for a bake sale at the McMaster Linguistics Society and later tweeted at me for the linguistics baked goods file.

wug cookies laura beaudin

December 2014: Swearing, explaining linguistics, and more Cabin Pressure

I wrote an article on the syntax of fuck for The Toast, reviving the classic paper, “English Sentences Without Overt Grammatical Subject”. I also joined Strong Language, a new blog about the language of swearing, and wrote a post about this delightful bilingual sticker that I snapped a photo of in Montreal. The comments on both the original wordpress post and my subsequent cross-post to tumblr are very much worth it for further commentary.

Il est interdit de faire smashy-smash. It is forbidden to fuck shit up.

Il est interdit de faire smashy-smash.
It is forbidden to fuck shit up.

I made a link round-up with resources for how to explain linguistics to your friends and family this holiday season, which was resoundingly popular on facebook (perhaps from linguists hinting to their friends and family!)

I continued my blog series on the linguistic aspects of Cabin Pressure, which ultimately came to the attention of John Finnemore, who writes and acts in the show.

For Lexicon Valley highlights, see this list of the top posts of 2014.

Selected blog posts:

Upcoming: Wikipedia editathon and panel about popularizing linguistics online (I’m representing tumblr) at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Portland, Oregon next week.

November 2014: Editathon slides, FAQ, Cabin Pressure, and early Christmas posts

A draft of my slides for the linguistics Wikipedia editathon is now online at bit.ly/lingwiki and comments are welcome. This short url will allow participants to follow the slides at their own pace during the workshop, or indeed participate in the editathon from anywhere online during the weekend of the LSA annual meeting. More on the structure of the editathon here.

I made an FAQ for All Things Linguistic and a final part 8 to last month’s how to draw syntax trees series: A step-by-step guide to tree drawing, with gifs.

I started a blog series analyzing linguistic aspects of the BBC radio comedy Cabin Pressure:

Selected posts from Lexicon Valley:

Selected blog posts:

Note that I have departed from my usual practice and included some links from early December above, specifically the Christmas-related ones, because by the time the December summary post comes up in early January, they’ll be rather out of date.