We had a
Lingthusiasm liveshow at Argo Bookshop in Montreal, because my cohost Lauren Gawne was in town for a conference. We sold out the bookshop (in fact, we had to buy them a couple extra chairs!). It was great to meet so many new listeners and to introduce Lauren to friends I already know! If you missed out on the liveshow due to the vicissitudes of geography, you can now listen to it online: So like, what’s up with, um, discourse markers? Hark, a liveshow!
This month’s Lingthusiasm main episode was about
sounds you can’t hear – babies, accents, and phonemes, and the bonus is about linguistic research and how to become the go-to person among your friends for language questions. We also made a snazzier website for the podcast.
Book update: I’ve
progressed into line edits for my book on internet language. (Not sure what line edits are? I’m really happy with the metaphor I came up with to explain them.)
I was interviewed in
an episode of the World in Words about “aliebn-speak” or the linguistic style of jomny sun.
I was also interviewed on
the Macquarie Dictionary podcast about the history of singular “they” and how “language is an open source project”.
Selected blog posts:
Here’s a photo from the liveshow at Argo Bookshop!
book, collaborations, dictionary dot com, internet linguistics, interviews, lingthusiasm, linguistics jobs, linguists@montréal, liveshow, memes, podcasts, pop culture, selfies, speaking, talks, tweets, twitter, wugs
Oct · 07
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 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
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 took a trip to California! I gave a keynote address at the 25th annual CSU Fullerton Linguistic Symposium (my slides at
bit.ly/explainling-fullerton). A few days later, I went into the offices of Dictionary.com and gave a talk in conversation with Jane Solomon. You can hear an audio excerpt here, where I talk about the idea of an “internet era” of English. (If you want to see some non-linguistic updates from California, mostly food pics, you can check out my instagram.)
I hit a book milestone: 100k words of a (very rough) draft. You can see
a celebratory screencap and read a few thoughts about the writing process. I also made an email mailing list specifically for very occasional book updates, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss any important internet language book news on social media, you can sign up for that here.
I collaborated on
an episode of PBS Idea Channel about emoji with Mike Rugnetta:
I was also on NPR with a live
interview on Science Friday, talking about the recent study finding that many emoji get misinterpreted, especially 😁, with the study’s lead author Hannah Miller. You can listen to the interview on souncloud.
In other media, I’m quoted in a
Daily Dot article about the “snek” meme, a Daily Dot article about dialects of internet communities, and a BBC Future article about why we’re talking differently about the web/internet/cyberspace.
Selected blog posts:
Here’s my favourite tweet of the month:
Photos are from the Last Bookstore in LA, which has an ordinary-looking linguistics section but and then some gorgeous book art. 😍😍😍
Agenda for May: Scotland!
book, bookshelfies, dictionary dot com, emoji, internet linguistics, interviews, NPR, radio, speaking, talks, tweets, videos
May · 02
In July 2015, I attended the month-long LSA summer institute (aka lingstitute) at the University of Chicago. My primary purpose there was to run four, weekly editathons to improve linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia. There were a total of 76 participants and 50 articles improved in 5 languages — for more details,
see the report here. Many thanks to everyone involved!
We also had a tumblinguist meetup at lingstitute, and
here’s a picture of our hands with wugs drawn on them. I livetweeted many other lingstitute events, which can be found on twitter. Plus, a lingstitute-inspired survey about what your favourite vowel is.
Shortly before lingstitute, Emily Temple-Wood (Wikipedia User:Keilana) and I created
a wug-tastic linguistics stub sorting guide, for those who may be interested in contributing to linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia but don’t know much about linguistics — and it’s already seen some use at the editathons!
Selected blog posts:
I took this picture at the Seminary Co-op bookstore at UChicago. The linguistics and Marxism sections are right next to each other — I was told it’s so that all the Chomsky can be together.
All Things Linguistic made Bab.la’s list of
Top 25 Language Professionals Blogs.
back on The Toast, writing about internet sarcasm. I also started writing for Dictionary.com – my first article was about ingressives: Can an inhaled word mean something?
Articles for Mental Floss:
I’m quoted in
this article on emoji by the Canadian Press, which appeared in CTVnews, Metro, and many other newspapers in Canada. I also did radio interviews about emoji for ABC (Perth, Australia) and CKTB 610 (Niagara, Canada), although I don’t think they’re online yet.
The three remaining videos that I co-wrote with Tom Scott went up:
The fourth video in LingVids went up, about reflexive pronouns and anaphora:
Selected blog posts:
In July, I’m heading to the LSA summer institute in Chicago where I’ll be running four linguistics Wikipedia editathons, on Wednesday afternoons. Follow the
#lingstitute hashtag for general updates and the #lingwiki hashtag for the editathons — and feel free to participate from online!
Here’s a picture of the linguistics section at the Montague Bookmill, which was originally where I took the cover photo I use everywhere and which I revisited a while back: