January 2017: LSA panel, talk, #lingwiki and livetweets

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 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 (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.

The fourth episode of Lingthusiasm came to you from inside the Word of the Year vote and we got fanmail!

A linguistics jobs interview with Jane Solomon, a lexicographer at

I’ve added a helpful acrostic of how to spell my last name to my website and email signature.

Selected tweets:

Selected posts:

This month’s image is “lingthusiasm” sketched out in the sand, with the logo added by a helpful wave.

lingthusiasm wave beach logo.jpg


October 2016: Dawn or Doom talk on emoji, SXSW Word Curation accepted, #SpookyTalesForLinguists

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 livetweets!

Selected tweets:

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.


last bookstore LA art

April 2016: California talks, book rough draft, Idea Channel & Science Friday on emoji


I took a trip to California! I gave a keynote address at the 25th annual CSU Fullerton Linguistic Symposium (my slides at A few days later, I went into the offices of 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!

seminary coop bookshelf linguistics+marxism

July 2015: Lingstitute, four #lingwiki editathons, and stub sorting

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.

seminary coop bookshelf linguistics+marxism

montague bookmill linguistics shelf redux

June 2015: Top 25 blogs, Internet sarcasm on The Toast, emoji interviews & more videos

All Things Linguistic made’s list of Top 25 Language Professionals Blogs.

I’m back on The Toast, writing about internet sarcasm. I also started writing for – 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:

montague bookmill linguistics shelf redux