October 2016: Dawn or Doom talk on emoji, SXSW Word Curation accepted, #SpookyTalesForLinguists

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 tweets:

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.



August 2016: SXSW words proposal, Twitter verified, Wikipedia & jobs advice

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 tweets:


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. wugritte


March 2016: SXSW talk about emoji and many emoji interviews

March was a month of emoji!

I gave a talk at SXSW about the linguistics of emoji in collaboration with SwiftKey. You can see our slides with notes, listen to our full talksee pictures, and view the livetweets on #EmojiLang. The talk was a lot of fun and we had a full audience of 275 people.

There was a lot of media from my SXSW talk from around the world:

I also had two print interviews go out, both about emoji: in WIRED with Clive Thompson and in the Austin Chronicle’s SXSW Interactive special edition. I also met a lot of great people and went to some fantastic talks at SXSW – you can see a list of other interesting things to check out at the bottom of this post.

Other media included:

I also participated in the Art+Feminism Wikipedia editathon for the 3rd year.

Selected blog posts:

Here are photos the two print interviews plus a bonus picture of the linguistics section at The Last Bookstore in Austin, Texas (shelved, interestingly, next to public speaking).

wired emojiIMG_ovuwdsIMG_-fdml5d



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