2014 Year in Review

Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.

What a year! I finished my MA in linguistics at McGill at the end of 2013, so in 2014 I started writing linguistics for a general audience full time. By comparison, here’s 2013’s (much shorter!) highlights post.

I started the year at the LSA in Minneapolis, where “because x” — which I’d written several posts about — was voted Word of the Year for 2013.

I wrote A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow. It was my second article for The Toast and currently has nearly 50k shares (wow.) Related: the article summarized as a doge image, the second generation of internet language, Dogeblanca, French doge, wuge, and my interview with the BBC.

Further Toast pieces included:

In the spring, I became the editor of Slate’s language blog, Lexicon Valley. Here are a few of the posts that I wrote (full list here).

I also had the privilege of working with many great writers on Lexicon Valley. It’s hard to pick, but here are a few posts by other people. (See also this summary of top Lexicon Valley posts from 2014.)

I continued writing for Grammar Girl, and also started writing for The Week and Schwa Fire. Selected posts:

I did an interview with Steven Pinker and reviewed his recent book The Sense of Style

I wrote several series of blog posts:

I wrote several individual advice posts:

Notable posts on language and society:

On language, the internet, pop culture, and fan-guistics:

General interest:

In the “linguists gonna ling” category, I became part of the group blog Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing. In addition to the LSA annual meeting, I gave a keynote on internet syntax at McCCLU and attended SULA, NWAV, and NELS.

At a meta-blog level, I celebrated my two-year blogiversary and 1000th post on All Things Linguistic, and wrote an FAQ. I also started publishing monthly summary posts of my linguistic activities, blog-related and not, on my personal website, so you can check those out if you’re worried about missing anything major.

Upcoming: I’ll be starting next year as usual at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Portland, Oregon in early January, where you can catch me on the Popularizing Linguistics via Social Media panel, at a linguistics careers networking event, running a Wikipedia Editathon, and of course generally in the hallways and on #lsa2015. I’m bringing my copy of linguistsagainsthumanity and I hear there may be a few other ling-games brought, so feel free to bring any games you have and/or join us (probably in the lobby or other common area) if you see people playing!

August 2014: Crowdsourced linguistics and plans for a Wikipedia editathon

In August, I organized a project on Crowdsourced Linguistics, to help bridge the gap between common questions people have about linguistics and linguists who can answer them. The three organizational posts with the plans and summary of the series are here:

I’d also like to highlight a few of the more in-depth explanations that people wrote:

As a result of the Crowdsourced Linguistics project, I’ve also begun working with the LSA to organize an editathon at the January 2015 Linguistics Society of America annual meeting, where linguists can learn how to edit Wikipedia and tackle a few of the many linguistics stubs. More details to follow as we work them out, but if you think you might be interested in helping out, do get in touch!

I also wrote about crash blossoms for Grammar Girl and marked my 1000th post on All Things Linguistic.

Highlights of my recent writing for Lexicon Valley:

Selected blog posts:

July 2014: Ling Camp wrapup and crowdsourced linguistics

I’m starting a new way of getting updates about my linguistic activities: summary blog posts on my website approximately once a month. My blog, All Things Linguistic, continues to update daily, and I continue to write for Slate’s language blog, Lexicon Valley, and elsewhere, but if you’d rather get a highlights version or you prefer to subscribe to things via email, that’s what these posts are for. They’ll also be a useful record, as All Things Linguistic by now has a considerable archive. You can subscribe via email using the “follow” button at the side, via rss, or just check my website and probably other social media profiles.

In July, I taught two linguistics sessions to 9-14 year olds at Explorations summer camp in Montreal. I wrote summary blog posts each week with the activities we did and some reflections on the experience.

Highlights of my recent writing for Lexicon Valley:

Selected blog posts:

For August, I’m starting a new project on crowdsourced linguistics, which you can read about here.