I went to New York City for a planning meeting of the Planet Word Advisory Board and to meet with my publisher. The details of both are top secret for now but will be really exciting once I can talk about them!
Lingthusiasm aired our very first interview episode: What Does it Mean to Sound Black? Intonation and Identity Interview with Nicole Holliday (transcript). The bonus episode was a recording of our Montreal impromptu liveshow about like, um, hark, and other discourse markers, so you can check that out on Patreon if you want to feel like you’re right there in a room of friendly Lingthusiasts!
We also ran a review and recommend campaign in order to reach 100k listens by our anniversary episode in November, so if you needed an excuse to start listening, get caught up, or recommend the podcast to anyone who needs some fun linguistics in their life, now would be a great time! (Since this post is going up a bit later than usual, I can say that we did in fact meet that goal and that you may also want to know about these IPA scarves now, rather than waiting until their official appearance in November’s news post!)
I did an interview with the Macquarie Dictionary podcast on doggo, and I was quoted in several blog posts on the Oxford Dictionaries blog, about doggo speak, birbspeak, and the history of animal meme lects.
I also updated my two linguistics grad school advice posts: Part I and Part II, and there was a Linguistics Jobs interview about a project manager a language tech company.
Selected blog posts:
This month’s featured images are some fun sketches I drew of schwa dressing up for Halloween (schwa-lloween), because, after all, it’s the spookiest vowel.
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!
I went from Lingstitute to Washington DC, where I did some internet linguistic consulting work, and met up with some DC linguists, including Ann Friedman and several members of the Planet Word Advisory Board, which I am now on as well! I’m excited to be getting involved with this project to create a linguistics museum.
I then went to SpaceWitchCon, in the woods of North Carolina, where I ran a very fun session about internet linguistics (and also did a lot of singalongs and crafting and other excellent nerdery).
Later in the month, I was on live TV with Al Jazeera’s The Stream, talking about emoji (watch here), and a post of mine, about how to talk with your academic heroes and other people you admire, was featured on Thesis Whisperer.
This month’s Lingthusiasm episode was about Layers of meaning: Cooperation, humour, and Gricean Maxims, and the bonus episode was about language play. We also reached our Patreon interview goal, so you can look forward to hearing guest linguists on Lingthusiasm shortly!
Selected blog posts:
This month’s photo is a sign from SpaceWitch: the rooms were divided into even and odd sections, so I took this picture for those times when you can’t even anymore: here’s some even!
I was quoted in this article in NY Magazine: The Internet Tilde Perfectly Conveys Something We Don’t Have the Words to Explain. I was also in an episode of CBC Spark about digital tools revitalizing minority languages.
I spent a bunch of time behind the scenes working on the book: here’s an #amwriting tweet about meme formatting.
Lingthusiasm posted its ninth regular episode: The bridge between words and sentences – Constituency and a bonus episode about the linguistics of the doggo meme. I made a page about the podcast for this website and we put the Space Pidgin quote on Medium for easier reading. Lingthusiasm hit our equipment goal and bought a new recorder: here’s a picture of it!
I also announced a class twitter account @LingComm and class hashtag #lingcomm for the course on linguistics outreach/communicating linguistics that I’m teaching at the Linguistic Summer Institute (Lingstitute) in the month of July. Feel free to follow along!
Selected blog posts:
This month’s featured image is a photo of the new linguistics section at Argo Bookshop in Montreal, which was just reopened by linguists Moti Lieberman and Adele-Elise Prevost, from when I went to their opening party this month.
I wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post: Herefefe is why it’s toughfefe to say “covfefe”, which was inspired by a twitter thread of mine that became massively popular and was picked up by the Guardian, Longreads, and El Pais (Spanish).
I moderated a panel about careers in linguistics at the annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistics Association, part of the Canadian Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Toronto.
It was my 5-year blogiversary! Here’s a list of some of my favourite posts on All Things Linguistic from the past year.
Episode 8 of Lingthusiasm was about People who make dictionaries, and contained our thoughts about Kory Stamper’s new book, Word by Word. We also posted a new Patreon bonus about selling your linguistics skills to employers, a follow-up Space Pidgin quote, and officially reached our sustainability goal on Patreon, so now we can start expanding!
Selected blog posts:
This month’s featured image is from making a couple Lingthusiasm buttons at the Scholar’s Portal booth in the Congress Expo! Now I just need to get one of them to Lauren and find us an occasion to wear them…
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.
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 Dictionary.com.
I’ve added 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.
Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.
In 2016, I met Lauren Gawne of Superlinguo in person for the first time and by the end of the year, we’d created a podcast called Lingthusiasm. It’s a podcast that’s enthusiastic about linguistics and you can listen to it on iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play Music, YouTube or most other podcast apps via rss, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. We launched it with the first three episodes – stay tuned for more in 2017!
- Speaking a common language won’t lead to world peace
- Pronouns: singular “they”, other languages, and solving the gay fanfiction pronoun problem
- A lingthusiastic review of the alien linguistics movie Arrival
I also collaborated on two episodes of PBS Idea Channel with Mike Rugnetta:
All Things Linguistic turned four! I also got verified on twitter, which has not really changed anything, but here’s a reminder that you can follow me there as a person @GretchenAMcC or this blog at @AllThingsLing.
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 called Making Sense of Language.
I did a lot of behind the scenes writing on my upcoming book about internet language for Riverhead at Penguin. Here are the update posts so far:
- I’m writing a book about internet language!
- I have a (very rough) draft
- I talked with The Ringer about why I’m lowercasing “internet” in the book
- I have a full draft, with chapters and paragraphs
I also made an email list for book updates, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss it on social media.
- I gave a talk at South by Southwest on emoji, in collaboration with SwiftKey
- Workshop at the first Emojicon on the mistake people make in assuming that emoji are a language, and three paralinguistic things that emoji do instead
- Forensic linguistics panel at the sister society of the LSA
- Talks about linguistics outreach and careers in linguistics at Georgetown, University of California Fullerton, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, SOAS, University of Kent, and Swarthmore. Here’s a summary blog post about getting linguistics out of the ivory tower
- Talk in conversation with Jane Solomon at Dictionary.com. Audio excerpt, where I talk about the idea of an “internet era” of English.
- Talk about emoji at Dawn or Doom, a conference at Purdue University about technology and culture.
I did a lot of interviews, but here are some of my favourites:
Top blog posts of 2016
Novel sentences & ambiguity
It’s not often that linguist is the main character in a movie. Highlights:
Other books and movies:
I restarted the linguistics jobs series, with the assistance of Elena Russo, and created a handy linguistics jobs overview page. New interviews:
Missed out on previous years? Here are the summary posts from 2013, 2014, and 2015. If you’d like to get a much shorter monthly highlights newsletter via email, you can sign up for that on my website.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.