Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.
In 2017, podcasting turned from a fun new experiment into a real, self-sustaining project, I checked off half of the American states on my have-visited list thanks to conference rotation (lifetime, not just in this year), and I got my book way closer to being a real thing you’ll get to see soon.
4. Inside the Word of the Year vote
5. Colour words around the world and inside your brain
6. All the sounds in all the languages – the International Phonetic Alphabet
7. Kids these days aren’t ruining language
8. People who make dictionaries: Review of Kory Stamper’s book Word by Word
9. The bridge between words and sentences — Constituency
10. Learning languages linguistically
11. Layers of meaning — Cooperation, humour, and Gricean Maxims
12. Sounds you can’t hear – Babies, accents, and phonemes
13. What Does it Mean to Sound Black? Intonation and Identity Interview with Nicole Holliday
14. Getting into, up for, and down with prepositions
15. Talking and thinking about time
We also launched a Patreon for the podcast, and released 10 bonus episodes there:
- Swearing and pseudo-swears
- How to teach yourself linguistics
- How to explain linguistics to employers (text chat)
- Doggo linguistics behind the scenes
- Language play
- DIY linguistic research
- Hark, a liveshow! So, like, what’s up with discourse markers?
- Is X a sandwich? Solving the word-meaning argument
- Liveshow Q and eh
In addition, we launched some lingthusiastic merch: scarves with a subtly nerdy IPA print on them, stickers with our logo, and various items that say NOT JUDGING YOUR GRAMMAR, JUST ANALYSING IT.
I did a lot of behind the scenes writing on my book about internet language, which will be published by Riverhead at Penguin. All you got to see about it for 2017 was this update about line edits and a few cryptic tweets, but stay very much tuned for more updates about it in 2018!
You can sign up for very occasional email updates about the book here, if you want to make sure you don’t miss it on social media.
Talks, workshops, and teaching
A linguistics museum called Planet Word was announced for Washington DC. I’m on the Advisory Board, and I went to New York City in October for a planning meeting
- Internet linguistics at SpaceWitchCon, in the woods of North Carolina
- How I Became An Internet Linguist: Princeton linguistics colloquium talk
At the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Austin, Texas:
- Stumbling into linguistics via blogs and Wikipedia at a panel on Getting High School Students into Linguistics which I co-organized with Moti Lieberman. Panel slides and abstracts.
- How people lengthen words on Twitter, co-authored with Jeffrey Lamontagne – slides at bit.ly/longggg.
- Judge for the Five Minute Linguist talks
At South by Southwest in March:
- 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).
- Erin, Jane, and I judged an emoji spelling bee organized by Jenny 8 Lee and other people from EmojiCon.
At the LSA institute in Lexington, Kentucky in July, I taught a four-week class on communicating linguistics or LingComm Here’s the class notes as blog posts:
- Day 1: Goals
- Day 2: Terminology and the explainer structure
- Day 3: The Curse of Knowledge and short talks
- Day 4: Myth debunking and in-person events
- Day 5 & 6: Events, self-promotion, and charades
- Day 7 & 8: Pitching and final projects
I also livetweeted the Lingstitute plenary talks:
- Using games to measure how people match the conversational styles of their interlocutor
- Children should be educated in a language they actually speak: Haitian Creole and linguistic colonialism
- Come for the sociolinguistics; stay for the lumbersexuals
- Combatting stereotypes about Appalachian English
- Expanding historical linguistics beyond standardized print texts and into non-standard varieties
- The linguistics of talking to sheepdogs
- “Verbal Gestures” often include sounds that aren’t in a language’s words but which are very important for communication
I did lingwiki Wikipedia editathons at the LSA annual meeting, Lingstitute, and the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC) in Honolulu, Hawaii in March.
- I wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post: Herefefe is why it’s toughfefe to say “covfefe”, which was picked up by the Guardian, Longreads, and El Pais (Spanish).
The first episode of Lingthusiasm was also featured in NY Mag’s Science of Us and on #SciFriLive (Science Friday on NPR).
A few articles I was quoted in:
- New York Times: on Snapchat and phatic communication, on the communicative function of emoji (Gaymoji) in Grindr, on how we type laughter online.
- NPR All Tech Considered: on the linguistic style of doggo, pupper, and the rest of the dog rates/dogspotting meme, on twitter threads (tweetstorms).
- NY Magazine: The Internet Tilde Perfectly Conveys Something We Don’t Have the Words to Explain.
- CBC Spark: on digital tools revitalizing minority languages
- Al Jazeera The Stream: on emoji (watch here)
- The World in Words: on “aliebn-speak” or the linguistic style of jomny sun.
I moderated a panel about careers in linguistics at the annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistics Association in Toronto. Linguistics jobs interviews that aired on the blog:
- Jane Solomon, lexicographer at Dictionary.com
- Project manager at a language learning software company
- Project manager a language tech company.
- Digital humanities librarian
- Speech pathology
- User experience research
- Text analyst
- Communications consultant
- Quote from Bringing Linguistics to Work
Selected blog posts
I hit my 5-year blogiversary on All Things Linguistic! Here are a few of my favourite posts from 2017: