Blog Archives

‘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

Expats and immigrants: How we talk about human migration

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 —

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Posted in Language and race, Language and social class

Talking about men’s and women’s sports differently

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.

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Formality of language, power, and African American English

Yesterday, I read Jamelle Bouie’s great article on Slate responding to arguments about the notion of “talking White” (or “acting White”), or the idea that African Americans are opposed to things like ‘standard’ English or even academic success because they are associated, in our collective

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Posted in Language and race

We call men abrasive. Except when it matters.

Over the past several months, I’ve been looking at the gendered way we portray leadership qualities. This has included looking at words like bossy and pushy which we assign with much greater frequency to women than men. Today, I saw a new word pop

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Posted in Language and gender

Beyond bossy: More on our gendered characterizations of leadership and authority

You may have heard that Jill Abramson the former executive editor of the New York Times, was recently fired. I’ve been living the life of an academic hermit for the past couple of weeks, so thankfully Lynne Murphy (Reader in Dept. of Linguistics, University of Sussex)

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Do we talk and write about men more than women?

As I’ve been researching the gendered nature of bossy, I’ve gotten a lot of important feedback from fellow linguists, who have helped to strengthen the argument in favor of viewing bossy as a word that is applied to women and girls more than

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Posted in Language and gender

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