See also Speaking for slides, including academic work.
I have an upcoming book about internet language with Riverhead (Penguin). You can sign up for very occasional email updates about the book here.
My writing has appeared at The Toast (note that while The Toast’s archive is down, you can read my A Linguist Explains articles as pdfs here instead of the links below. Please link back to gretchenmcculloch.com if using.)
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
At Washington Post:
- Move over Shakespeare: Teen girls are the real language disruptors
- Why singular “they” should be Word of the Year 2015
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”?
In Schwa Fire:
- The language of poetry: What do iambic pentameter in English, the alexandrine in French, and the haiku in Japanese all have in common?
- Can an inhaled word mean something? A surprising number of languages say yes
- The future of the word “partner”
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