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

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

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

Multilingual Atlanta: Mapping the languages of tweets

This year, I have a research fellowship at my university researching New and Emerging Media. I’ve thus been working on a number of different projects related to computational ways of looking at language and discourse (for example, this one). However,

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Posted in Human migration, Linguistic diversity, Multilingualism

Are you even listening to me?: Miscommunication and the performance of attention

We spend a lot of time talking everyday, much of this in face-to-face communication (yes, even in spite of the rise of digital technologies). When we do so, we rely on the cooperation of another person. One way we expect

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Posted in Language and gender, Linguistic diversity, Miscommunication and communication difficulties

“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 table manners and spelling errors: How we use grammar to discriminate

Recently, I’ve come across a number of articles by self-proclaimed language experts trying to sell business leaders on the idea that being aware of their current and potential employees’ grammar and spelling is important.  This article calls written language problems

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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