Many talks and travel in March! I began the month in Hawai’i, where I ran several
lingwiki editathons at the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation ( #icldc5) and also got to attend the Hilo Field Study and learn about Hawaiian language revitalization.
I then headed directly to South by Southwest, where
I 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). We also stayed in a house together and played word games, and Erin, Jane, and I judged an emoji spelling bee organized by Jenny 8 Lee and other people from EmojiCon.
While the conferences themselves were very different, fortunately the weather in Hawai’i and Texas was very similar – warm and sometimes rainy!
My final talk of the month was at the Princeton linguistics department, where I gave a colloquium talk entitled How I Became An Internet Linguist. I also
livetweeted Kory Stamper’s new book, Word by Word, and then got to hang out with her and several other cool lexicography people in NYC on the way to Princeton.
In the meantime, I was quoted in two articles in the New York Times, on
Snapchat and phatic communication by Farhad Manjoo and on The communicative function of emoji (Gaymoji) in Grindr by Guy Trebay. The first episode of Lingthusiasm was also featured in NY Mag’s Science of Us and on #SciFriLive (Science Friday on NPR).
The sixth episode of Lingthusiasm came out, about the International Phonetic Alphabet. Listen to the
episode on SoundCloud (or wherever you get your podcasts), read the transcript, or check out the links in the shownotes. My cohost Lauren Gawne and I also launched a Patreon to help keep the podcast growing, with a bonus episode about swearing and a video featuring a cameo from our producer.
Selected blog posts:
This month’s featured image is from playing word games at the words house at SXSW. This particular game is known as Codenames and it was great fun.
collaborations, conferences, dictionary dot com, editathon, emoji, faq, internet linguistics, interviews, lingthusiasm, lingwiki, livetweets, NPR, reviews, speaking, storify, sxsw, talks, tweets, twitter
Apr · 18
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.
fourth episode of Lingthusiasm came to you from inside the Word of the Year vote and we got fanmail!
linguistics jobs interview with Jane Solomon, a lexicographer at Dictionary.com.
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.
collaborations, conferences, dictionary dot com, editathon, interviews, lingthusiasm, linguistics jobs, lingwiki, livetweets, lsa, podcasts, politics, speaking, talks, twitter
Feb · 09
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.
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.
emoji, fanguistics, internet linguistics, interviews, linguistics jobs, lingwiki, livetweets, radio, reviews, sxsw, tweets, twitter, wugs
Sep · 02
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.
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.
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 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.
Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.
It’s my fourth blogiversary! Let’s celebrate by looking back at some of my favourite posts:
Selected Mental Floss articles on internet language:
Livetweeted book reviews:
Memes: Language Gothic , Google Translate breadsticks meme , Your fave is problematic: adjectives , Schwa isn’t stressed. Be like schwa.
Sexy linguistics costumes (comic)
Someone dressed up as the Linguistics Gothic meme for Halloween
Hwaet, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer in Anglo-Saxon
The new shortest science paper is in linguistics
The linguists strike back, from SpecGram
“Drive-by yogurt attack on crochet teacher’s haberdashery leaves her shaken”
IPA song lyrics
Strunk and White, hilariously rewritten using a predictive text generator
Roses are red / Violets are blue / Ideas are green / And colourless, too
XKCD: No “I” in “team” , on I could care less , podium vs lectern and sneaky elicitation techniques , and xkcd discovers biscuit conditionals
Bad linguistics journalism bingo
How do you spell descriptivism? A linguistics joke
Several linguistics ~ aesthetic posts
Human-sized wug costumes at the University of Edinburgh
Linguistics and pop culture
Things about languages
I collaborated on five Language Files videos with Tom Scott, the first of which technically went up last year:
Haven’t been with me this whole time? It’s okay — you can see my favourite posts of year one , year two , and year three right here . Or if you’d like monthly highlight posts, you can read and/or subscribe in the News section of my website .
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:
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.
I gave two talks in Washington DC, one at the LSA sister society meeting of The Association for Linguistic Evidence about explaining linguistics for forensic linguists (slides at
bit.ly/explainling-lsa2016) and one at Georgetown about Writing, Talking, and Working Linguistics (slides at bit.ly/explainling-georgetown).
In the leadup to the LSA, I posted
this advice post on how to “get” twitter. Also at the LSA annual meeting in DC, I held a # lingwiki Wikipedia editathon (see the report on articles edited) and did the LSA’s public relations for the weekend, including liaising with media attendees and running social media on the @ LingSocAm twitter account with LSA intern Kat Starcevic. I’d also recommend checking out John Rickford’s LSA presidential address about linguistic injustice in the courtroom ( in video and livetweet form).
I was quoted in several articles:
I also watched the new Star Wars movie and
storified some thoughts that I and other twitter people had about how the languages make sense (spoiler: they don’t, really).
Selected blog posts:
Here’s a photo I took of the linguistics section at Second Story Books in DC:
bookshelfies, conferences, editathon, explainling, internet linguistics, interviews, linguist humour, lingwiki, lsa, pop culture, twitter
Feb · 03