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

 

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.

 

September 2016: Second book draft, #Wulf4Ham, linguistics jobs interviews

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 tweets:

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.

reykjavik-bookshelfie

August 2016: SXSW words proposal, Twitter verified, Wikipedia & jobs advice

I proposed a South by Southwest panel for 2017 about Word Curation: Dictionaries, Tech, and the Future with Erin McKean, Ben Zimmer, and Jane Solomon. There’s still a few days left to vote for it (you do need an account, but you can vote even if you’re not necessarily planning on attending SXSW – we’ll be putting whatever we can online afterwards).

I did interviews on #TheFeed on Sirius XM about emoji and for Wired about Apple’s new squirt gun emoji. I was also quoted in an Atlas Obscura article about singular “they” and a Jakarta Post article about internet language.

I livetweeted a linguistically interesting newish science fiction book, Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, and also got into a conversation on twitter about the history of “ship” and “slash” which turned in to this article by Flourish Klink.

I contributed to a WikiEd guidebook to editing Wikipedia for linguistics students and re-started a series of linguistics jobs interviews for the blog (Do you have a linguistics background and a job, even if it seems unrelated? Want to advise some budding linguists? Here’s one way to do it!)

I finally met Nicole Cliffe, former Toast editor, in person, as well as other toasties at a meetup in Kingston!

Selected tweets:

 

Selected blog posts:

August’s featured photo comes from a random Montreal festival that was encouraging people to draw with sidewalk chalk. I have dubbed this a wugritte. wugritte

July 2016: Lexicon Valley podcast on emoji & public linguistics, Science Friday on expressive punctuation

I did an interview on the Lexicon Valley podcast with summer host John McWhorter, talking about emoji, internet language, and being a public linguist. It was a treat to get to do a long interview with a fellow linguist, so I’d definitely recommend that one!

I did a live interview on Science Friday, talking about about expressive punctuation and internet tone of voice.

I livetweeted N.K. Jemisin’s latest book, The Obelisk Gate, from a linguistics perspective. (See also my livetweet of her previous book, The Fifth Season.) I also tweeted a bit about the linguistics of the new Ghostbusters movie.

I changed the colour of the logo for All Things Linguistic from black & white to teal.

Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet month with lots of book writing and editing happening behind the scenes. Nothing official to announce there yet, but you can check out my #amwriting tweets for cryptic snippets of the writing process (mostly me fighting with spellcheck).

Selected tweets:

Selected blog posts:

This month’s bookshelfie is a literal selfie that I took in the window of Elizabeth’s Books in Lunenburg – yes, that’s my hair in silhouette! lunenburg window bookshelfie

June 2016: Old English & Emoji on The Toast, #lingwiki at #CoLang2016 in Alaska

In June, I had two new articles that I wrote go up on The Toast before it closed:

I’m sad to say goodbye to The Toast, but was rather amused to notice that I now get a very oblique claim to fame: my last article seems is up on the front page in perpetuity, alongside Hillary Clinton.

I did an interview with The Ringer about the AP Stylebook’s decision to lowercase “internet”, which turned into a sneak peak from my book proposal and why I’d always intended to keep internet lowercase in the book.

Other media:

I spent the latter two weeks of June in Fairbanks, Alaska, at CoLang, the Institute on Collaborative Language Research, where I co-taught a weeklong mini-course on Wikis and Wikipedia for Endangered Languages with the fantabulous Lauren Gawne (aka Superlinguo).

I also found out that I’m officially going to be teaching a course about linguistics outreach at the 2017 Linguistic Summer Institute (Lingstitute).

Selected tweets:

Selected blog posts from All Things Linguistic:

This month’s bookshelfie was taken at Gulliver’s Books in Fairbanks, Alaska. It didn’t have a proper linguistics section, but it was still a lovely bookstore, so here’s the languages section and some bikeshare Fairbikes with books outside.

 

May 2016: UK trip, SCOSYA, ExplainLing talks, emoji podcasts, 4th blogiversary

In May, I went on a trip to the UK, the primary purpose of which was to consult on the public outreach component of the Scots Syntax Atlas (SCOSYA). There’s not much to share about that online yet, because they’re still in the process of interviewing people from 200 communities in Scotland, but it’ll make a really interesting interactive map that I’ll be sharing it once it’s up!

While I was in the UK, I also ran a Wikipedia editathon at Queen Mary London, which had 11 participants who edited articles in 5 languages (9 or 72 articles, depending on how you count).

I did talks about explaining linguistics to the public at SOAS and the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Kent. Here’s the summary blog post about getting linguistics out of the ivory tower – see also the full storify of all the tweets by Laura Bailey, and my slides at bit.ly/explainling-kent.

I also met in person many UK linguists who I’d only known via the internet, including David Crystal, Laura Bailey, Heather Froehlich, Tom Scott, Lane Greene, and Lynne Murphy (plus an interesting museum exhibit). It was lovely to meet you all (as well as all the new folks and people I’d met already, who I’m not going to list because we’d be here all day).

I was interviewed in several places, mostly podcasts:

It was my fourth blogiversary on All Things Linguistic! I wrote a roundup of my favourite posts from the past year of blogging. Plus two advice posts:

Selected blog posts:

Selected tweets:

This month’s bookshelfies are from the Waterstones near SOAS/UCL, which has such an extensive linguistics section that it’s divided up by subfield and it took me two pictures to get it all.

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 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!

March 2016: SXSW talk about emoji and many emoji interviews

March was a month of emoji!

I gave a talk at SXSW about the linguistics of emoji in collaboration with SwiftKey. You can see our slides with notes, listen to our full talksee pictures, and view the livetweets on #EmojiLang. The talk was a lot of fun and we had a full audience of 275 people.

There was a lot of media from my SXSW talk from around the world:

I also had two print interviews go out, both about emoji: in WIRED with Clive Thompson and in the Austin Chronicle’s SXSW Interactive special edition. I also met a lot of great people and went to some fantastic talks at SXSW – you can see a list of other interesting things to check out at the bottom of this post.

Other media included:

I also participated in the Art+Feminism Wikipedia editathon for the 3rd year.

Selected blog posts:

Here are photos the two print interviews plus a bonus picture of the linguistics section at The Last Bookstore in Austin, Texas (shelved, interestingly, next to public speaking).

wired emojiIMG_ovuwdsIMG_-fdml5d

 

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