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

2015 Year in Review

Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic

I started 2015 as usual at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, where I talked about the linguistic community on Tumblr on the Popularizing Linguistics via Social Media panel. I was also a mentor at a linguistics careers networking event, ran the first linguistics Wikipedia editathon, and livetweeted on #lsa2015.

Book announcement

In December, I announced that I’m writing a book on internet language for Riverhead (Penguin). Details are still to come, but I’m excited to finally be able to talk about this project I’ve been working on all year!

Online Writing

I wrote three articles for The Toast, on internet sarcasmthe linguistics of ship names (how names like Johnlock and Brittana and Dramione get put together), and revisiting the classic handbook of cutting-edge nineties internet language, Wired Style.

In February, I ended my writing and editing for Slate’s Lexicon Valley, and in March I started writing a series on internet language for Mental Floss. Here are some of my favourite pieces for Mental Floss:

I started writing for Dictionary.com (Can an inhaled word mean something?) and for Quartz, about how young women have been linguistic disruptors ever since Shakespeare and 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 continued writing for Strong Language, the sweary blog about swearing, about how the new voice transcription feature in Google Docs censors some swear words (which got picked up by a lot of news outlets: Wired, Gawker, The Register, Fusion, The Daily Dot, and Business Insider), and two posts about expletive infixation, on why you can’t say “abso-jesus-lutely” or “abso-hallelujah-lutely“.

Interviews

I did a lot of interviews this year, especially about internet language. Highlights:

Radio:

I was on NPR Youth Radio and All Tech Considered on emoji, and the Kojo Nnamdi Show on internet dialects?, plus two national Drive programs, in Canada (CBC), talking about emoji and Australia (ABC), talking about language on Twitter.

Lists:

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

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 was profiled in Unravel Magazine about popularizing linguistics and writing about internet language.

#lingwiki

Including both Wikimedia-sponsored and non-sponsored grants, I ran 10 #lingwiki editathons in 2015, in which over 200 Wikipedia articles were created or edited by over 200 linguists.

Speaking & Conferences

Videos

I collaborated on four LingVids videos with Caroline Andrews, Josh Levy, and Leland Paul Kusmer, which went up in March-June:

I co-wrote five Language Files videos with Tom Scott, which went up in May and June:

Top Posts

All Things Linguistic got a new theme in January, with a big header image featuring a photo I took of the linguistics section at the Montague Bookmill. Here are some of my favourite posts of the year, loosely organized by category:

Language and Society

Linguistic Fun

Internet Language

Roundups and Advice posts

Book reviews

Meetups

We had a tumblinguist meetup at the LSA annual meeting in January and at Lingstitute in July (here’s a picture of our hands with wugs drawn on them from the lingstitute meetup).

At the end of August, I started a linguistics meetup group, Linguists@Montréal, loosely inspired by Linguistics in the Pub, and we met up twice a month thereafter. If you’re a linguist living in or visiting Montreal, feel free to join the Facebook group or check it out to see if there’s an event happening when you’re around!

In January, I’m heading to the LSA annual meeting, this year in Washington DC, where I’ll be livetweeting on #lsa2016, attending the Word of the Year vote #woty15, and running an editathon. New this year, I’ll also be doing media relations 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 — do feel free to say hi if you know me from the internet!) I’ll also be sticking around afterwards to give a talk at Georgetown about explaining linguistics.

Curious about what I did and posted about in previous years? Check out my highlight posts from 2014 and 2013

February 2015: On writing, Unravel interview, and March & July editathon plans

I wrote about the differences between teaching, pop linguistics, and pop science, in which I also bid farewell to editing for Lexicon Valley, although you’ll still see my writing popping up there occasionally.

I did an interview in Unravel Magazine about popularizing linguistics and writing about internet language.

Lingstitute editathon news

The second #lingwiki will take place online on the last weekend of March, the 28-29, with the peak online hours being 7-10pm US/Canada-EDT = 7-10am Singapore time, etc. Lauren Gawne of Superlinguo is also organizing an in-person editathon in Singapore, and Hedvig of Humans Who Read Grammars is organizing one in Canberra, Australia. I’m also in touch with organizers in Spain, who are translating my original slides (benefits of Creative Commons licenses!) and planning an editathon for the first weekend of April.

For more in-person events, I confirmed with the organizers of the 2015 summer institute in Chicago that they’re interested in hosting some #lingwiki events. So we’ll be having four editathons, one each Wednesday afternoon, and I’ll also be running a seminar on guiding your class to edit Wikipedia during the first week, in case any Lingstitute instructors want to take advantage of it. If anyone who’s not going to be in Chicago wants to take advantage of the July linguistics energy around Wikipedia and edit yourself or organize an editathon, you can follow along the #lingwiki hashtag and do feel free to get in touch with me for organizing tips.

Selected posts from All Things Linguistic:

I also finally finished my linguistics in Cabin Pressure series, with a post on the final episode, Zurich.

A giant outdoor wug brite, courtesy of Montréal en Lumière.
A giant outdoor wug brite, courtesy of Montréal en Lumière.

January 2015: Tumblinguists, LSA editathon report, WOTY, interviews, and an excellent shelf of books

Powell's linguistics section, continued

I started the year at the Linguistics Society of America’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, where I spoke on a panel about popularizing linguistics in online media. I represented tumblr and tumblinguists, and you can view my slides online here; I’m told there will also be a video online eventually, so I’ll link to that whenever it’s up. I also organized a Wikipedia editathon to improve linguistics-related articles, which had 27 participants and improved at least 41 articles. Editathon links:

I’m currently organizing a second editathon to take place online around the #lingwiki hashtag. Please fill out the doodle poll here if you want your time preferences/timezone to be taken into consideration when scheduling it.

Several interviews with me (and various other linguists) are now online:

And I’m not interviewed, but I’m one of the many linguists that you can spot in this Word of the Year newsclip from Al Jazeera.

I also wrote several posts about the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year vote on Lexicon Valley:

Selected blog posts

[Update: I forgot to mention that All Things Linguistic also now has a new theme, with a large header image like all the cool kids these days.]

Here’s a picture that I took in Portland at Powell’s Books — I’ve never seen such a large linguistics section at a general-audience bookstore (and this picture doesn’t even include all of it!). The linguistics section was pretty picked-over by the time I got there on Sunday, but I heard that several linguists found some good deals!

Powell's Portland linguistics section
Part of the linguistics section at Powell’s Books in Portland. They even separate out linguistics from usage guides and “fun facts about language” books. I’m a fan.

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!