See also Speaking for slides/video and Book for my biggest writing project of the past several years.
I’m the author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, a book about internet language with Riverhead (Penguin) which came out on July 23, 2019. See the Gretchen McCulloch author page on the Penguin Random House website and the book page for Because Internet, with more information and order links.
I’m the Resident Linguist at WIRED, where I write a column about internet language. (See all my columns at the Gretchen McCulloch author page at Wired.)
- Voldemorting: birdsite, cheeto, and other ways of hiding words in plain sight
- Why do some mid-sized languages, like Swedish, have extensive internet resources, while others with the same or larger speaker populations do not?
- Children are using emoji for digital-age language learning
- Predictive text presents the best version of you
- Coding is for everyone — as long as you speak English
- Fans are better than tech at organizing information online (about the Archive of Our Own)
- The meaning of all caps — in texting and in life (excerpt from Because Internet)
- New emoji are so boring — but they don’t have to be
- Boomerspeak is now available for your parodying pleasure
Assorted other bylines:
- We Learned to Write the Way We Talk (New York Times Op Ed)
- How Can You Appreciate 23rd-Century English? Look Back 200 Years (New York Times Op-Eds From the Future)
- We Will Have Meme Folklorists (New York Magazine)
- How to use irony on the internet (Wall Street Journal)
- Herefefe is why it’s toughfefe to say “covfefe” (Washington Post)
- Move over Shakespeare: Teen girls are the real language disruptors (Quartz)
- Code words (Globe and Mail Op Ed)
- The Big Idea: Writing towards the future (John Scalzi’s Whatever)
I’ve co-written many Language Files videos with YouTuber Tom Scott:
- why typing like this is sometimes okay.
- Why “No Problem” can seem rude: Phatic expressions
- The language sounds that could exist, but don’t
- What counts as a word?
- Long and short words: Language typology
- Why can’t adults learn languages like children?
- Crash blossoms and being drunk: Ambiguity
- Why computers suck at translation
- Can the words you read change your behaviour?
- Why do we move our hands when we talk?
I’m currently working on a linguistics Crash Course video series, along with Lauren Gawne and Jessi Grieser.
I was previously the Resident Linguist at The Toast: see all my articles on the Gretchen McCulloch author page at The Toast (note that if The Toast’s archive is down, you can also read my A Linguist Explains articles as pdfs here.)
A Linguist Explains the Rules of Summoning Benedict Cumberbatch (and follow-up post with a Histogram Cumbergraph)
- A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow.
- A Linguist Explains What Old-School British Accents Sounded Like
- A Linguist On the Story of Gendered Pronouns
- A Linguist Explains the Syntax of Fuck
- A Linguist Explains How We Write Sarcasm on the Internet
- A Linguist Explains Vintage Internet Slang
- A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Shipping
- Two Linguists Explain Pseudo-Old English in The Wake
- A Linguist Explains Emoji and What Language Death Actually Looks Like
On Mental Floss:
- What’s up with Exclamation!!! Marks!!! Between!!! Words!!!?
- Why the pronunciation of GIF really can go either way
- Why are your fav abbrevs totes legit hard to spell?
- Smol: the new social media word that’s like “small” but cuter
- 7 ways the internet is improving language
- 15 interesting things you can do with capital letters
- Can a computer make a meme?
- What 4 new snowclones like “X-ers gonna X” have in common
- There are two kinds of hashtags, index and commentary
- 16 old-school internet acronyms: How many do you recognize?
- The new meaning of “cheeky” that’s got Americans confused
- This is the best way of asking questions, y/y?
- How do you punctuate around emoticons and emoji?
- Some srs bsns: Are words without vowels rlly more efficient?
- The evolution of “that [NOUN] though”
- 15 ways to laugh online
- What’s the difference between “you” and “u”?
- Are incomplete sentences the new thing, or…?
- Will we all speak emoji “language” in a couple years?
- Why is it that you “can’t even” but you never find that you “can even”?
Assorted other bylines:
- The language of poetry: What do iambic pentameter in English, the alexandrine in French, and the haiku in Japanese all have in common? (Schwa Fire)
- Why singular “they” should be Word of the Year 2015 (Quartz)
- Can an inhaled word mean something? A surprising number of languages say yes (Dictionary.com)
- The future of the word “partner” (Dictionary.com)
At Slate’s Lexicon Valley (full list here):
- How Do You Rhyme in a Sign Language?
- 7 Ways to Fake-Pronounce Any Foreign Language
- Do All Languages Derive From a Single Common Ancestor?
- What Happens if a Child Is Never Exposed to Language?
- Why Do Sportscasters Use the Historical Present?
- “Look at All These Ducks There Are at Least Ten.” Why Is This Funny?
- When Your Eyes Hear Better Than Your Ears: The McGurk Effect
- There Are Two “Th” Sounds. Here’s the Difference.
- Ish: How a Suffix Became a Word
- Why Do You Think You’re Right About Language? You’re Not.
- Happy 25th Birthday to LOL
- What does “She” in Science Fiction Tell Us About Language On Earth?
- Making “Fetch” Happen: What Makes New Words Catch On?
- The Science of B-B-B-Beatboxing
- What Makes a Selfie a Selfie?
- Do You Ever Say Probly Instead of Probably? Here’s Why.
- Why Can’t We Agree on How to Pronounce Doge?
At Grammar Girl:
- Negation: When No Means Yes in Night Vale
- Your Subconscious Controls How You Speak
- Why Do We Call People Redheads Instead of Orangeheads?
- Why We Sing “fa la la” Instead of “fra spla spla”
- How Canadians Really Pronounce “About” (audio version)
- Scopal Ambiguity: Messing With Words To Make Things Funny
- Fun With Crash Blossoms
At The Week:
- Why so many people struggle with pronouncing doge
- What grocery stores can teach us about linguistics
- The linguistic lessons of Pig Latin
- The problem with positive answers to negative questions