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.

January 2016: LSA in DC, Explaining linguistics talks, Star Wars, twitter advice

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:

second story books dc

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

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

November 2015: internet hyperbole in NYT, explaining linguistics, and linguistics in fiction

I’m quoted in this New York Times column about internet hyperbole.

I’m also quoted about emoji in articles for Think Progress and for 24 Hour Toronto. I wrote about lowkey for Mental Floss.

My lingwiki activities were mentioned in a blog post announcing the partnership between the Wikipedia Education Foundation and the Linguistic Society of America, which is a new initiative I’m excited to be a part of.

 

I did a talk at the University of Ottawa about explaining linguistics to a general audience, and how that relates to getting a job with linguistics. You can see the slides at bit.ly/explainling-uottawa plus a roundup about how to do linguistics outreach. I also posted an extensive list of pop linguistics books and lingfic.

Several interesting things about analyzing linguistics in stories:

I did a livetweet of Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai, which you can read in full here via Storify.

Last month’s livetweet of Carry On came to the attention of Rainbow Rowell herself, so you can see her response here:

 

And finally, while I can’t claim credit for this directly, when I saw Todd Snider on tweeting about the linguistics of Hamilton, I suggested that he make it into a Storify so that I could post it on All Things Linguistic, and the same Storify eventually came to the attention of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.

Selected blog posts:

Here’s a photo I took of the linguistics section at the pun-tastically named bookstore Mona Lisait in Montreal.

mona lisait bookshelf

October 2015: SXSW accepted, Polyglot Conference, NELS & NWAV editathons, and storifies

My SXSW panel with SwiftKey about the linguistics of emoji was accepted!

I did three Wikipedia editathons, at NELS in Montreal, NWAV in Toronto, and at Queen’s in Kingston. Here’s a summary of all three editathons. The NELS editathon was my last under my Inspire grant from Wikimedia, and it also got picked up in Concordia’s news service which led to me doing an interview about it with CBC Homerun.

I attended Polyglot Conference in New York City, which I’ve storified the livetweets from. I also storified my livetweeting of Rainbow Rowell’s new book, Carry On, as well as a linguistic parody of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space that I wrote a while back.

Articles for Mental Floss:

I did interviews for a number of articles:

And several of my previous articles got picked up elsewhere:

Selected blog posts:

I took so many cute wugshots this month I couldn’t pick just one. Here’s a series of crocheted wugs which Concordia linguistics student Caitlin Stahl made and brought to NELS, a wug I drew on a children’s magnetic toy in a store in NYC, and a line of marching wugs from a blackboard in the University of Toronto linguistics department.

crocheted wugs wug toy wugboard

July 2015: Lingstitute, four #lingwiki editathons, and stub sorting

In July 2015, I attended the month-long LSA summer institute (aka lingstitute) at the University of Chicago. My primary purpose there was to run four, weekly editathons to improve linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia. There were a total of 76 participants and 50 articles improved in 5 languages — for more details, see the report here. Many thanks to everyone involved!

We also had a tumblinguist meetup at lingstitute, and here’s a picture of our hands with wugs drawn on them. I livetweeted many other lingstitute events, which can be found on twitter. Plus, a lingstitute-inspired survey about what your favourite vowel is.

Shortly before lingstitute, Emily Temple-Wood (Wikipedia User:Keilana) and I created a wug-tastic linguistics stub sorting guide, for those who may be interested in contributing to linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia but don’t know much about linguistics — and it’s already seen some use at the editathons!

Articles:

Selected blog posts:

I took this picture at the Seminary Co-op bookstore at UChicago. The linguistics and Marxism sections are right next to each other — I was told it’s so that all the Chomsky can be together.

seminary coop bookshelf linguistics+marxism

May 2015: Emoji interviews, 3rd blogiversary, Language Files videos, and CLA #lingwiki

I did several interviews on emoji this month: for Youth Radio on NPR, for The Fader, and for CNET, plus a few tweets about emoji that got quoted on News.Com.Au:

emoji language tweet

I organized the third #lingwiki editathon at the annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistics Association / Association canadienne de linguistique (ACL|CLA). We had 32 participants who edited a total of 43 articles – you can see the full report here. Many thanks to the sponsors, Wikimedia and the ACL|CLA, and of course to all the participants.

I launched a series of linguistics videos with YouTuber Tom Scott. We co-wrote five videos as a third season of his Language Files series — the first two went up in May, and the next three will go up in June.

The third video in LingVids, my previous collaborative videos project, also went up this month.

Articles for Mental Floss: Does this sentence sound incomplete, or?“You” versus “u” as a formality distinction, and 15 ways to laugh online.

It was my third blogiversary on All Things Linguistic, so I posted a roundup of my favourite posts from the past year. Selected blog posts from this month:

And finally, here’s a photo of the linguistics section in Strand Books, from when I visited New York City this month. I’m especially pleased that they have separate sections for linguistics and etymology!

strand bookshelf

Top posts from 3 years of All Things Linguistic

Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.

It’s my third blogiversary! Let’s celebrate by looking back at some of my favourite posts:

Explanations

Linguist Humour

Anti-prescriptivism

Language activism

Linguistics and pop culture

Internet Language

Gender pronouns

Things about languages

Linguistics videos

#lingwiki

Resources

Haven’t been with me this whole time? It’s okay — you can see the highlights of year one and year two right here.

April 2015: Wikimedia #lingwiki grant, language is open source talk, resources for high school teachers, and IPA Scrabble

IPA Scrabble set

I received a grant from Wikimedia to fund the upcoming #lingwiki editathons in May (at the CLA in Ottawa), July (at the LSA summer institute in July), and October (at NELS in Montreal). You can see the grant information here: Linguistics Editathon series: Improving female linguists’ participation and representation on Wikipedia. The grant was funded through Wikimedia’s Inspire campaign to improve the gender gap in Wikipedia editing, which was a great fit considering that a lot of fantastic female linguists have participated in previous lingwikis, and many articles about notable female linguists have already been added. I’m excited to see more articles in that area as well as our other two categories of under-documented languages and linguistics stubs improved in the three upcoming lingwikis.

I gave a lightning talk called “Language is Open Source” at AdaCamp Montreal, a conference for women in open source and open culture. You can read the full text here. I also facilitated a round-table session about linguistics at AdaCamp — turns out there are a quite a lot of former linguists in tech!

I wrote two articles for Mental Floss:

I compiled a resource post for high school teachers who want to do linguistics activities with their classes. Feel free to share with any high school teachers in your life!

The second episode of Ling Vids came out, on what “wanna” tells us about how sentences fit together:

Selected blog posts:

I also posted some gorgeous photos of an IPA Scrabble set that the Yale Undergraduate Linguistics Society made (see all the pictures here):

IPA Scrabble set
IPA Scrabble picture courtesy of YULS