Monthly Archives: May 2013

What does it mean to be “political”?: Politeness, taboo, and implicit support for the status quo

“When I was a kid, we were taught a few rules among which was never talk about religion or politics in polite company”. This quote is the first sentence of a 2004 editorial in the Kentucky New Era. The author goes on to admonish

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Posted in Language and politics

Google searches reveal stereotypes. Do they also challenge them?

If you’ve ever started typing something into Google and been disgusted by the suggested results, you’re not alone. Take a look at this screenshot from a search I just did: The seemingly tautological first result aside (although I think people

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Posted in Technology and language

“Texting complaints come from stereotypes” printed in Gulf News

A newspaper out of the United Arab Emirates, Gulf News, printed a brief article by me on texting and attitudes toward it. You can check it out here or I’ve posted the original text (before their edits) here

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice, Technology and language

Internet explanations for crime: Seriously now, racism isn’t dead

What causes violent crime? It’s an important question, and one that is at the heart of criminology. A large number of factors have been suggested as possible causes and found to correlate with criminal activity (check out this book for

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Posted in Human migration, Media discourse and media bias, Technology and language

“It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it”: Delusions of grandeur among language elitists

How close would we come to the apocalypse without grammar snobs’ friendly reminders that we don’t use language “properly”? My never-ending fascination with the minds of grammar snobs has led me to an interesting finding. At least in the minds

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice

On the logics of language (yes, logics with an s)

In a couple of previous posts, I talked about how powerful people’s pet peeves about others’ language were being used to justify prejudices.  As I pointed out, some educators and some business leaders are utilizing arbitrary ideas about language to draw unwarranted

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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