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…
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.
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.
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.
I did a nice long interview on internet language and fandom language on the podcast Fansplaining, episode 15 ~fanspeak, which you can listen to on soundcloud or read the transcript of on tumblr. Key quote: “Your language is not my language but your language is okay.”
I was also the featured guest for a twitter #lingchat on internet language, which you can read on storify. I also storified my twitter comments about the novel The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. And linguist twitter had some fun riffing on the “Champagne toasts for my real friends” chiasmic toast, also storified.
I did several interviews:
This month was a pretty quiet book-writing month, but I’ve got a lot of travel lined up for the spring, starting with South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in March where I’m giving a talk about the linguistics of emoji.
Selected blog posts:
This is a picture that I took in Trident Books in Halifax a while back. They didn’t have a linguistics section, but I was struck by them having an entire label for “impermanence”.
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.