Blog Archives

Some thoughts about policing and race in the United States

Dear facebook friend, It saddens me to say that I find your views concerning recent police killings of Black men and not unrelated anti-police violence to be racist. Sorry to use the r-word on you. I know how much being accused of racism angers you. I

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Posted in Language and race

Denying language privilege in academic publishing

If you’re an academic anywhere in the world, you’re probably under pressure to publish to make progress in your career or just to keep your job. Increasingly, you’re probably also under pressure to publish “internationally”. Thanks to the global dominance

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Posted in Academia

Bashing Hillary Clinton’s voice: “Screeching”, “shrieking”, and “shrill”

The past week has seen quite a bit of discussion of Hillary Clinton’s voice. As I wrote about last week, numerous people have called her “shrill“, a clearly gendered word. Nonetheless, the sexism behind such criticisms continues to be denied. Ben

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Posted in Language and gender, Language and politics

‘Shrill’ women in politics

The United States once again has the opportunity to elect the first woman as President, Hillary Clinton. Her chances of getting the Democratic nomination are quite strong. Not surprisingly then, there’s a lot of talk about women in politics. 

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Posted in Language and gender, Language and politics

Can we please do better than “Y’all Qaeda”?

About a day ago, a bunch of white people took over a federal government building in Oregon. Some are pretty heavily armed. They claim that they are protesting the seizure of land by the federal government.

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Posted in Language and social class

Are we “citizens” or “taxpayers”?

In a recent discussion with Hilton Als at the New Yorker festival, Toni Morrison offered a lot of insightful commentary on topics about race, gender, writing, and other issues. I read about it in this Guardian article, and I found one of

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Posted in Language and politics

Trump fans aren’t spelling bee champions, but why do we care?

Grammarly is the worst. Seriously, it is. I don’t mean their silly little grammar and spelling checker thing. I’m sure that’s a perfectly adequate proofreading tool, doing its best to reinforce people’s deep-seated insecurities about writing every time they touch a keyboard.

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Posted in Language and education, Language and politics, Language and social class, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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