“The most used words in men’s vs. women’s basketball coverage” up at Mental Floss

March Madness has begun. If you’re like me, and you want to think about the language behind it all, and what it says about society, Mental Floss has got you covered. They’ve been kind enough to publish a piece by me on the topic. Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

Expats and immigrants: How we talk about human migration

expat_immigrant_linguisticpulse

On Friday, the Guardian published an article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin arguing that the word expat (short for “expatriate”) is a label “reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad”. According to Koutonin, the word immigrant is set aside for everyone else — those considered to be part of ‘inferior races’. Read more ›

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Posted in Language and race, Language and social class

Racism and the n-word are not the same thing.

The video above features Joe Scarborough and others making the claim that hip hop artists bear some responsibility for a bunch of University of Oklahoma fraternity members’ racist chant (surprisingly this show aired on MSNBC, the US’s allegedly left-leaning network). My immediate reaction to this was “I cannot even follow this argument. It bears absolutely no resemblance to the world in which I live”. If that’s your reaction, there’s nothing I will write here that you don’t already know. Feel free to navigate your browser ship to some other part of the Internet Sea. However, If your reaction is “I dunno I think Joe’s got a point”, well then hear me out. Read more ›

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Posted in Language and race

Linguistic inequality: Spanish on the job market

spanish_wages_linguisticpulse

I’ve taken a lot of foreign language classes in my life. At different times, I’ve studied German, French, Russian, Spanish, and Japanese. The teachers that I encountered in these classes, not to mention many of my colleagues now, frequently talk about the value of language learning and multilingualism. Among the many reasons we provide for why people should study languages is an economic advantage. Specifically, additional languages are supposed to serve as assets on the job market.  Read more ›

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Posted in Language and social class

Talking about men’s and women’s sports differently

ncaa_gender_linguisticpulse

So I guess it’s basketball season. For me, basketball is tied up with gender equity debates. I remember that what little discussion over gender equity took place at my high school largely centered around the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. Read more ›

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Naming whiteness: A data-driven history of the New York Times’ racial labeling (part 3)

In two previous posts, I examined the New York Times’ (NYT) use of racial labels for African Americans and Latin@s (Latinos or Latinas) using NYT Labs’ tool, Chronicle. I found that the NYT has changed the labels they’ve used for these groups over time and also gone through periods of more or less intense discussion of African Americans and Latin@s. One lingering question that I have is how the NYT’s discussion of these groups compares to their discussion of the dominant racial group in the US: White/European Americans.

Read more ›

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Posted in Language and race, Media discourse and media bias

What to call the Other: A data-driven history of the New York Times’ racial labeling (part 2)

In a previous post, I examined the New York Times’ (NYT) use of racial labels for African Americans using NYT Labs’ tool Chronicle. In this post, I expand on that work and look at another racial minority in the US: Latin@s. Latin@s is my preferred label for the group, although I have rarely seen it used outside of certain academic circles. The @ symbol here attempts to represent both men (Latinos) and women (Latinas). Read more ›

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Posted in Language and race, Media discourse and media bias
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