Blog Archives

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

The word negro makes me uncomfortable. I never hear it, but I occasionally read it. There’s a pretty famous book by sociolinguist Walt Wolfram (Professor of English, North Carolina State University) called A Sociolinguistic Description of Detroit Negro Speech published in 1969. Every time

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Posted in Language and race, Media discourse and media bias

Who is articulate?: Biased perceptions of language

A while back, I read H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman‘s excellent book Articulate While Black. The book takes an in-depth look at racialized public reaction to Barack Obama especially as a candidate for president. One phenomenon they explore is the use of the

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Posted in Language and politics, Language and race, Media discourse and media bias

Gizoogle: Amusing tribute or racist caricature? – NSFW (part 5)

For over a month now, I’ve been taking a look at Gizoogle, a website that parodies the search engine Google by rendering web content in language resembling Snoop Dogg‘s speech. In a series of posts, I’ve been trying to arrive at

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Posted in Language and race, Technology and language

Gizoogle: Amusing tribute or racist caricature? – NSFW (part 4)

For several weeks, I’ve been writing about the website Gizoogle, which ‘translates’ internet search results and webpages into language modeled after the hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg (see my first post for more details). Specifically, I’ve been looking into the question: Is

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Posted in Language and race, Technology and language

Gizoogle: Amusing tribute or racist caricature? – NSFW (part 2)

In my last post, I took up the question of whether the website Gizoogle (see the previous post for an explanation of it) is an amusing tribute to hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg, a racist caricature of African American English (AAE),

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Posted in Ideology and social change, Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Technology and language

Hearing skin color: The connections between language and race

What is race? What does it mean to be White, Black, Asian, Latina/o, or any other identifiable race? Most of us probably think of it as something marked on our bodies. It’s the pigment of our skin, the shape of

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Posted in Human migration, Ideology and social change, Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Linguistic diversity in the classroom (part 1): African American English and academic writing

Summer is coming to an end. Many teachers in the US are preparing for a new school year (and some have already started). As I get ready myself to head back into the classroom, I’ve been thinking about the ideas

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Posted in Language and education, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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