Category: skepticism (page 1 of 3)

Episode 293: A Computer Walks into a Bar

What kind of jokes would computers write?

Humour is a very human thing to do, but can computers learn to do it? They will, if the new generation of computational linguists has their way. But what would a computer find funny? And are computer scientists funny enough to pull this off?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie get serious about comedy on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Show notes

Can quantum theory explain why jokes are funny?
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170317102438.htm

447 people have been shot and killed by police in 2017.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2017/

Body cams reveal U.S. police use less respectful language with black drivers
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/body-cams-reveal-us-police-use-less-respectful-language-black-drivers

Paper: Language from police body camera footage shows racial disparities in officer respect
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/05/30/1702413114

How funny is this word? The ‘snunkoople’ effect
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151130131847.htm

Paper: Telling the world’s least funny jokes: On the quantification of humor as entropy (PDF)
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cyrus_Shaoul/publication/282817301_Telling_the_world’s_least_funny_jokes_On_the_quantification_of_humor_as_entropy/links/561d46d708ae50795afd7bcd.pdf

Paper: Unsupervised joke generation from big data (PDF)
http://aclweb.org/anthology/P13-2041

Paper: Humor Recognition and Humor Anchor Extraction (PDF)
http://aclweb.org/anthology/D15-1284

Paper: HAHAcronym: A Computational Humor System (PDF)
http://aclweb.org/anthology/P05-3029

Paper: Automatic Humor Classification on Twitter (PDF)
http://aclweb.org/anthology/N12-2012

Meet the Goopies
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/fashion/gwyneth-paltrow-in-goop-health-wellness.html

Gwyneth Paltrow advises women to ‘steam-clean’ their vaginas
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/gwyneth-paltrow-advises-women-to-steamclean-their-vaginas-20150130-131xsp.html

Gwyneth Paltrow Doesn’t Know What Goop Is Selling
http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/06/gwyneth-paltrow-goop-i-dont-know

Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products
https://www.fginsight.com/news/word-milk-banned-for-use-in-branding-of-plant-based-products-22024

The Battle Over the Word ‘Milk’
https://www.outsideonline.com/2152336/should-nut-milk-be-considered-milk

The surprisingly heated political battle raging over the word ‘milk’
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/10/the-surprisingly-heated-political-battle-raging-over-the-word-milk/

A block of “Greek text” found its way into a newspaper page.
https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/b25a98a2/files/uploaded/No%20Gains%20From%20Taking%20Drugs.pdf

Online Etymology Dictionary: ear
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ear

Online Etymology Dictionary: earth
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=earth


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Episode 287: What Is a Sandwich?

What exactly is a sandwich?

The question is tearing the internet apart. Is a hot dog a sandwich? What about a burrito? But how do we even know what a sandwich is? Or anything else?

We have an answer, but it’s going to take us through some weird semantic territory on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Carly Laden


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Show notes

Stephen Fry on God | The Meaning Of Life | RTÉ One

Stephen Fry faces blasphemy probe after God comments
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39830447

Police launch blasphemy probe against Stephen Fry for calling ‘God’ monstrous
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/05/06/police-launch-blasphemy-probe-against-stephen-fry-for-calling-god-monstrous/

BHA defends its patron Stephen Fry in face of Irish blasphemy probe
https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/06/bha-defends-its-patron-stephen-fry-in-face-of-irish-blasphemy-probe/

Swearing Makes You Stronger And Increases Stamina, Study Finds
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/swearing-stronger-more-stamina-strength-study-swear-words-university-keele-a7718981.html

Strong language: swearing makes you stronger, psychologists confirm
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/may/05/strong-language-swearing-makes-you-stronger-psychologists-confirm

Seebs, is a hotdog a sandwich?
http://glossylalia.tumblr.com/post/151262613501/seebs-is-a-hotdog-a-sandwich-i-mean-its-got-the

The sandwich alignment chart that’s tearing the internet apart
http://mashable.com/2017/05/03/sandwich-chart-hot-dog/

Kylie’s approach
Sorry, Merriam-Webster, but Hot Dogs Are Not Sandwiches
http://www.arrantpedantry.com/2016/06/15/sorry-merriam-webster-but-hot-dogs-are-not-sandwiches/

Cups and glasses: learning that boundaries are vague
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-child-language/article/cups-and-glasses-learning-that-boundaries-are-vague/4DE33B9F26DB68DB3FACBEB69DBB304B

Labov’s cups, mugs, glasses, and jugs
Google Books link

Family Resemblance in Wittgenstein
http://www.philosophy-index.com/wittgenstein/family-resemblance/

Wittgenstein: Language-games and Family Resemblance
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/#LangGameFamiRese

From Statistics to Meaning: Infants’ Acquisition of Lexical Categories
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865606/

Twelve-Month-Old Infants Benefit From Prior Experience in Statistical Learning
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967014/

Agate Rooms (Agate Chamber or Cold Baths)
http://saint-petersburg.guide/pushkin/agate-rooms-(agate-chamber-or-cold-baths)

A linguistic prejudice called native-speakerism (annoying ads)
https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/politics-of-grammar/a-linguistic-prejudice-called-native-speakerism/180756.html

Relevant Reddit thread
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/69j8ya/a_linguistic_prejudice_called_nativespeakerism/

Native and Nonnative Teachers of L2 Pronunciation: Effects on Learner Performance (paywall)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesq.272/full

TEFL Equity Advocates
https://teflequityadvocates.com

Stephen Fry blasphemy probe dropped after gardaí fail to find ‘substantial number of outraged people’
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/stephen-fry-blasphemy-probe-dropped-after-garda-fail-to-find-substantial-number-of-outraged-people-35692915.html


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Episode 267: Shakespeare and Marlowe (featuring Eve Siebert)

Looks like Shakespeare’s got some company.

A new edition of Shakespeare’s works credits another author — Christopher Marlowe — with some of the Bard’s work. But how can you tell? Is this just another Shakespearean conspiracy theory? And what does this mean for Shakespeare’s legacy?

Scholar and skeptic Eve Siebert talks with Daniel, Kylie, and Ben on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Show notes

Facebook cartoon (discussed in promo)
https://www.facebook.com/editorial.political.cartoons/photos/a.422173394529544.98539.422169184529965/1153341188079424/?type=3&theater

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‘He’ vs ‘she’ in Australian media coverage: what the language of news tells us about gender imbalanc
https://theconversation.com/he-vs-she-in-australian-media-coverage-what-the-language-of-news-tells-us-about-gender-imbalance-67139

Julie Sedivy: Donald Trump Talks Like a Woman
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/10/trump-feminine-speaking-style-214391

John McWhorter: When linguistic analysis goes horribly wrong: no, Donald Trump doesn’t “talk like a woman”
http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/27/13437050/donald-trump-linguistics-politico-female

Tyler Schnoebelen: Trump does NOT talk like a woman (BREAKING NEWS: gender continues to be complicated and confusing)
https://medium.com/@TSchnoebelen/trump-does-not-talk-like-a-woman-breaking-news-gender-continues-to-be-complicated-and-confusing-4c0d28b41d7#.w4y2lj8oz

A Linguistic Analysis Of Donald Trump Shows Why People Like Him So Much
http://digg.com/video/donald-trump-linguistics-answer-question

For presidential hopefuls, simpler language resonates
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2015/10/20/donald-trump-and-ben-carson-speak-grade-school-level-that-today-voters-can-quickly-grasp/LUCBY6uwQAxiLvvXbVTSUN/story.html

Christopher Marlowe credited as one of Shakespeare’s co-writers
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/oct/23/christopher-marlowe-credited-as-one-of-shakespeares-co-writers

New Oxford Shakespeare Edition Credits Christopher Marlowe as a Co-author
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/25/books/shakespeare-christopher-marlowe-henry-vi.html

Skeptical Humanities
https://skepticalhumanities.com/about/

HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS
http://www.sirbacon.org/gallery/karl.html

Texas sharpshooter fallacy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_sharpshooter_fallacy

The Strange History of the October Surprise
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/strange-history-october-surprise-180960741/

Yes, Bernie Sanders Will Become President. Hillary Clinton’s FBI Investigation Isn’t a ‘Nothingburger’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/yes-bernie-sanders-will-become-president_b_9726650.html

urbandictionary.com: nothingburger
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nothingburger

Early reference to “nothing-burger” in 1983
Google Books reference (see #26)

Remote communities are ‘lifestyle choices’, says Tony Abbott
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/mar/10/remote-communities-are-lifestyle-choices-says-tony-abbott

Are the creative arts a ‘lifestyle choice’?
http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/are-the-creative-arts-a-lifestyle-choice/7964662

No minister, creative arts are not a “lifestyle choice”
http://indaily.com.au/arts-and-culture/2016/10/24/no-minister-creative-arts-are-not-lifestyle-choice/

I was surprised to learn my career is actually a ”lifestyle choice”
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/i-was-surprised-to-learn-my-career-is-actually-a-lifestyle-choice-20161020-gs7ega.html


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Episode 264: Spurious Etymologies (live at Camp Doogs)

With words, things are not always what they seem.

An etymology is a story about how a word or phrase got to be that way. How did your favourite phrases come about? Is it possible that the origins you’ve heard are not quite true? And how can you spot a fishy story?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie are coming at you live for this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


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Show notes

Pinjarra
http://www.boodjar.sis.uwa.edu.au/boodjar-placenames/Pinjarra

Pinjarup | Ethnologue
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/pnj

Google’s Quest To Design A Typeface For Every Language On Earth
https://www.fastcodesign.com/3064379/googles-quest-to-design-a-typeface-for-every-language-on-earth

Google Fonts: Noto Sans
https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Noto+Sans

What’s new in Unicode 9.0?
http://babelstone.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/whats-new-in-unicode-90.html

13912551_10153802558073527_633204098457369152_n

Good luck takes a reverse
http://www.news.com.au/national/good-luck-takes-a-reverse/story-e6frfkp9-1111118083194

Wiktionary: chock
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chock#Etymology_1

List of common false etymologies of English words
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_false_etymologies_of_English_words

Was ‘tip’ formed from an acronym of ‘To Insure Promptness’?
http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/tip.asp

Folk etymology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_etymology

The Word Detective: False etymologies
http://www.word-detective.com/2013/03/false-etymologies/

More about Break A Leg
http://www.theatrecrafts.com/pages/home/glossary-of-technical-theatre-terms/more-about-break-a-leg/

The Phrase Finder — a great resource.
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/b.html

Wiktionary: global weirding
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/global_weirding

Global Weirding Is Here – The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/opinion/17friedman.html?_r=0

Global warming vs climate change
https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=326

Orthorexia: when healthy eating turns against you
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/26/orthorexia-eating-disorder-clean-eating-dsm-miracle-foods

Orthorexia nervosa: when righteous eating becomes an obsession
https://theconversation.com/orthorexia-nervosa-when-righteous-eating-becomes-an-obsession-36484

Orthorexia nervosa – when healthy eating is no longer healthy
http://www.eufic.org/article/en/artid/orthorexia-nervosa/

Pete Evans is clueless about nutrition
http://scepticalnutritionist.com.au/?p=1523

Pete Evans slammed for ‘potentially damaging’ paleo diet advice to osteoporosis sufferer
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-29/pete-evans-slammed-for-advice-to-osteoporosis-sufferer/7793572

Doctor criticises chef Pete Evans for giving ‘potentially deadly’ diet advice
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/doctor-criticises-chef-pete-evans-for-giving-potentially-deadly-diet-advice-20160829-gr3ydb.html

Clean eating trend can be dangerous for young people, experts warn
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/01/clean-eating-trend-dangerous-young-people-food-obsession-mental-health-experts

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online
http://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Health/CSIRO-diets/CSIRO-Total-Wellbeing-Diet-Online

The Butterfly Foundation
https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Etymonline: helicopter
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=helicopter

Bully: A Vicious, Cowardly Word With a Long History
https://www.good.is/articles/the-history-of-the-word-bully


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Episode 244: Brain Thesaurus (featuring David J. Peterson)

Where’s the language in your brain? Researchers have constructed a kind of brain atlas, showing the patterns of neural activation when we hear words.

And Klingon is at the centre of a legal battle. Can a language be under copyright — even if it’s a constructed one?

David J. Peterson, language creator for Game of Thrones, talks to Daniel, Kylie, and Ben on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Show notes

Language Creation Society press release
http://conlang.org/axanar/

The amicus brief (PDF)
https://popehat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/035-1-Brief-of-Amicus-Curiae.pdf

Brief aims to convince court that Klingon’s a real language – in Klingon
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article74873867.html

Star Trek’s Klingon Language Is At The Center Of A Bizarre Legal Fight
http://uproxx.com/gammasquad/klingon-lawsuit/

KlingonWiki: Axanar Lawsuit
http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/AxanarLawsuit

Speech means using both sides of brain
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115132635.htm

Dogs Process Speech the Same Way as Humans
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/dogs-process-speech-the-same-way-as-humans

A brand new ‘atlas’ shows where different ideas live in our brains
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/04/28/a-brand-new-atlas-shows-where-different-ideas-live-in-our-brains/

Neuroscientists create ‘atlas’ showing how words are organised in the brain
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/27/brain-atlas-showing-how-words-are-organised-neuroscience

This giant ‘brain dictionary’ reveals where your mind stores thousands of words
http://www.sciencealert.com/this-giant-brain-dictionary-reveals-where-your-mind-stores-thousands-of-words

Brain’s ‘thesaurus’ mapped to help decode inner thoughts
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/uoc–bm042616.php

What Is Biohacking?
http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/what-is-biohacking/

Body-hackers: the people who turn themselves into cyborgs
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2015/aug/14/body-hackers-the-people-who-turn-themselves-into-cyborgs

Bodyhackers are all around you, they’re called women
http://fusion.net/story/294770/women-body-hackers/


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Episode 243: Synaesthesia

Can you hear colours? Or smell sounds?

We’re starting to understand synaesthesia — the blending of senses that some people experience. Now language researchers are using synaesthesia to understand how we process language, and even how language got started in the first place.

Linguist Daniel Midgley finds the synaesthete in all of us on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Justine Dandy


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Show notes

Higgledy-piggledy
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=higgledy-piggledy

The Kiki-Bouba effect
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-bouba-kiki-effect/

Google Books just won a decade-long copyright fight
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/04/18/google-books-just-won-a-decade-long-copyright-fight/

Google wins book-scanning copyright case against Authors Guild
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-19/google-wins-long-running-book-scanning-copyright-case/7336622

Google’s Court Victory Is Good for Scholarly Authors. Here’s Why.
http://chronicle.com/article/Google-s-Court-Victory-Is/233940

Synesthesia: Why some people hear color, taste sounds
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150413214343.htm

Some Rules of Language are Wired in the Brain
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/some-rules-of-language-are-wired-in-the-brain/

Study links synaesthesia with coloured fridge magnets
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/24/synaesthesia

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2015/03/04/synesthesia-based-alphabet-magnets/

Synaesthesia could help us understand how the brain processes language
https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2016/feb/26/synaesthesia-could-help-us-understand-how-the-brain-processes-language

Paper: Processing compound words: Evidence from synaesthesia (paywall)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027716300075

V.S. Ramachandran and E.M. Hubbard: Synaesthesia — A Window Into Perception, Thought and Language (long read, but worth it)
http://www.imprint.co.uk/rama/synaesthesia.pdf

Weak Synesthesia in Perception and Language (paywall)
http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199603329.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199603329-e-038

Why ‘Cool’ Is Still Cool
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/why-cool-is-still-cool.html?_r=1

The Birth of Cool
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/cool_story/2013/10/cool_the_etymology_and_history_of_the_concept_of_coolness.html

froobs blog: bork megapost
http://froobs.tumblr.com/post/134822731279/bork-megapost

Stop It Son, You Are Doing Me A Frighten
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/stop-it-son-you-are-doing-me-a-frighten

@ProBirdRights on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ProBirdRights

What Do Swedes Think of the Swedish Chef?
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/08/swedish_chef_what_do_swedes_think_of_him_they_think_he_sounds_norwegian_.html

Understanding the Swedish Pitch Accent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXp7_Sjgm34

Brr: It’s in the Duden, the official German dictionary
http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/brr

Cold Comfort: Is Brr Meant to be Spoken, or Only Written?http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/01/26/cold-comfort/


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Episode 240: Bite the Wax Tadpole

Brand names can get lost in translation.

When a company tries to market a product overseas, sometimes the result is international zany hijinks ahoy. But not all the stories are true — there are plenty of urban legends around. Who can separate the facts from the fiction?

Linguist Daniel Midgley brings your ancestors back from the grave on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

UNSW: Indigenous Terminology
https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/indigenous-terminology

The Daily Telegraph Accuses UNSW Of “Rewriting History” For Saying Australia Was “Invaded”
http://junkee.com/the-daily-telegraph-accuses-unsw-of-rewriting-history-for-saying-captain-cook-invaded-australia/75322

Daily Tele Uncovers Academic ‘Invasion’ Plot… 20 Years Too Late
https://newmatilda.com/2016/03/31/daily-tele-uncovers-academic-invasion-plot-20-years-too-late/

Of course Australia was invaded – massacres happened here less than 90 years ago
https://theconversation.com/of-course-australia-was-invaded-massacres-happened-here-less-than-90-years-ago-55377

Outrage As University Teaches History Correctly.
http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2016/03/30/outrage-university-teaches-history-correctly?cid=trending

Wiktionary: pajero
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pajero

Urban Legends: The Chevy Nova
http://jalopnik.com/169401/urban-legends-the-chevy-nova

The Chevy Nova That Didn’t Go
http://spanish.about.com/cs/culture/a/chevy_nova.htm

Bite the Wax Tadpole
http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/tadpole.asp

Bite the Wax Tadpole?
http://www.coca-colacompany.com/history/2008/03/bite-the-wax-ta/

Come Alive!
http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/ancestor.asp

Worst slogan translations
http://crazytopics.blogspot.com.au/2007/01/worst-slogan-translations.html

Word Safety
http://wordsafety.com

10 Most Unfortunate and Funny Car Names
http://www.oddee.com/item_93544.aspx

Braniff Ad Has `Naked` Option
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1987-02-05/business/8701080195_1_diego-garrido-wording-largest-hispanic-advertising

These Mistakes Will Kill Your Company’s Prospects When Trying To Go Global
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/these-mistakes-will-kill-your-companys-prospects-when-trying-to-go-global-2011-12?r=US&IR=T

Burrada
Google Books link

Naming Faux Pas
http://www.namedevelopment.com/naming-faux-pas.html

Urban Dictionary: don’t at me (don’t @ me)
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=don’t+at+me+(don’t+%40+me)

The Accidental History of the @ Symbol
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-accidental-history-of-the-symbol-18054936/?no-ist

Ray Tomlinson, email inventor and selector of @ symbol, dies aged 74
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/ray-tomlinson-email-inventor-and-selector-of-symbol-dies-aged-74

Ray Tomlinson, The Creator Of Email Who Popularized @ Symbol, Dies At 74
http://www.ibtimes.com/ray-tomlinson-creator-email-who-popularized-symbol-dies-74-2331307

“I am frequently asked why I chose the at sign, but the at sign just makes sense.”
http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/03/e-mail-inventor-ray-tomlinson-who-popularized-symbol-dies-at-74/

Slash: Not Just a Punctuation Mark Anymore
http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/04/24/slash-not-just-a-punctuation-mark-anymore/

Citroen C4 Cactus Ushers In A New Kind Of Low Cost Car
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/citroen-c4-cactus-ushers-in-a-new-kind-of-low-cost-car/

Mitsubishi Starion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Starion

Seen in Sicily

ucuntu


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: Arran from Facebook

Episode 236: Spelling Reform

Sometimes English spelling doesn’t make much sense.

But even though many influential people have tried to reform our wacky orthography, the anomalies persist. Will English spelling reform ever work?

Linguist Daniel Midgley spells it out on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe on Android
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with Scott Quigg


Show notes

Facebook Reactions, the Totally Redesigned Like Button, Is Here
http://www.wired.com/2016/02/facebook-reactions-totally-redesigned-like-button/

Facebook: Emojis to beat words with ‘Reactions’ icons
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/260216/on-facebook-emojis-beat-words.html

Mark Zuckerberg Asks Racist Facebook Employees to Stop Crossing Out Black Lives Matter Slogans
http://gizmodo.com/mark-zuckerberg-asks-racist-facebook-employees-to-stop-1761272768

Mark Zuckerberg Chastises Employees Who Crossed Out ‘Black Lives Matter’ on Facebook’s Signature Wall
https://www.good.is/articles/zuck-stands-up-for-black-lives-matter

Wikipedia: German orthography reform of 1996
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_orthography_reform_of_1996

English Spelling Society: What is wrong with English spelling?
http://www.spellingsociety.org

Stan Carey: A brief history of English spelling reform
http://www.historytoday.com/stan-carey/brief-history-english-spelling-reform

History of Spelling Reform
http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/spell/histsp.html

RationalWiki: English spelling reform
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/English_spelling_reform

Wikipedia: English-language spelling reform
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-language_spelling_reform#Spelling_reform_proposals

26 of Noah Webster’s Spelling Changes That Didn’t Catch On
http://mentalfloss.com/article/53723/26-noah-webster’s-spelling-changes-didn’t-catch

Cut Spelling (CS)
http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/cutspellingterm.htm

NPR: Changes To French Spelling Make Us Wonder: Why Is English So Weird?
http://www.npr.org/2016/02/24/467218639/new-changes-to-french-beg-the-question-why-are-english-spellings-so-weird

Failed Attempts to Reform English Spelling: 8 Spelling Suggestions That Didn’t Stick
http://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/spelling-suggestions-that-didnt-stick/kist-instead-of-kissed

What is the origin of the silent ‘b’ at the end of English words such as lamb, comb, crumb and bomb?
“The b-sound was lost by about 1300.”
http://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-1417,00.html

Etymonline: limb
“The parasitic -b began to appear late 1500s for no etymological reason”
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=limb&allowed_in_frame=0

Etymonline: indict
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=indict

Oxford: 11 spelling changes that would make English easier
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/06/spellings-changes-that-would-make-english-easier/

Trying to change English’s complex spelling is a waste of time
https://theconversation.com/trying-to-change-englishs-complex-spelling-is-a-waste-of-time-38027

Oxford Owl: What is synthetic phonics?
http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/home/reading-owl/expert-help/what-is-synthetic-phonics

Panicum v panic
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Panic

Pellie: Steve Price under fire as Tim Minchin rejects George Pell’s sick note
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/17/06/24/steve-price-takes-on-tim-minchin-as-cardinal-george-pell-faces-visit-from-survivors

Australian Christian Lobby condemns Sydney school’s ‘rainbow politics’ for allowing male students to wear female uniforms
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-23/australian-christian-lobby-condemns-sydney-school-uniform-policy/7191908

SBS Backburner: Safe Schools Course Teaches Shorten To Stand Up To Bully
http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2016/02/24/safe-schools-course-teaches-shorten-stand-bully

As it happened: Unicorns, pixies and politicians hurling abuse over claims of homophobia
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-24/federal-politics-live-coverage-feb-24/7194712

A Rainbow Marriage: How did the rainbow become a symbol of gay pride?
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/explainer/2012/06/rainbows_and_gay_pride_how_the_rainbow_became_a_symbol_of_the_glbt_movement_.html

Malcolm Turnbull Issues Language Warning to MPs Over Safe Schools Debate
https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/arts-and-culture/malcolm-turnbull-issues-language-warning-to-mps-ov/9840567e-adaf-4a36-a499-52ac2135afd1.htm

Support the Safe Schools Coalition
http://campaigns.greens.org.au/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1792&ea.campaign.id=48027&ea.tracking.id=fb&en_chan=fb&en_ref=17768456

Myths debunked: Sadly, Theodore Roosevelt never rode a moose
https://blogs.harvard.edu/houghton/2013/09/20/myths-debunked-sadly-theodore-roosevelt-never-rode-a-moose/

Gizmodo: That Famous Photo of Teddy Roosevelt Riding a Moose Is Fake
http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/that-famous-photo-of-teddy-roosevelt-riding-a-moose-is-1355349896


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

 

Episode 232: Rabid Linguists

People are asking questions about language and gender equality.

What’s Oxford Dictionaries doing about some of its questionable definitions? And linguists are wondering why Disney princesses don’t talk more.

Linguist Daniel Midgley is listening on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Coming soon.

Or subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe on Android
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Elizabeth Close’s blog post: “I don’t care for your brand of racism.”
https://adingonamedgerald.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/i-dont-care-for-your-brand-of-racism/

‘It’s Australia Day, we speak English’: Aboriginal artist ‘abused for speaking an indigenous dialect to her daughter’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3419333/Aboriginal-artist-Elizabeth-Close-abused-speaking-indigenous-dialect-daughter.html

Ms Close was speaking Pitjantjatjara
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitjantjatjara

Is France’s unloved AZERTY keyboard heading for the scrapheap?
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-eu-35365604

France wants to fix the terrible AZERTY keyboard
http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/22/france-wants-to-fix-the-terrible-azerty-keyboard/

QWERTY vs. AZERTY: Why are French and US Keyboards Different?
http://frenchmorning.com/en/qwerty-vs-azerty-why-are-french-and-us-keyboards-different/

AFNOR page: Respect de l’écriture française : vers un nouveau modèle de clavier informatique
http://www.afnor.org/liste-des-actualites/actualites/2015/novembre-2015/respect-de-l-ecriture-francaise-vers-un-nouveau-modele-de-clavier-informatique
(It’s in French, so you might not be able to read it. But you should try, because look at all the trouble they went to.)

Word and Phrase Info
http://www.wordandphrase.info/frequencyList.asp

Michael Oman-Reagan: Sexism in the Oxford Dictionary of English
https://medium.com/space-anthropology/sexism-in-the-oxford-dictionary-of-english-6d335c6a77b5#.yognwxy94

Oxford Dictionary Agrees to Review Language After Accusations of Sexism
http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/01/25/feminism-oxford-rabid

Sexism row prompts Oxford Dictionaries to review language used in definitions
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/25/oxford-dictionary-review-sexist-language-rabid-feminist-gender

Oxford: How are dictionary examples chosen?
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/01/dictionary-examples/

A dictionary entry citing ‘rabid feminist’ doesn’t just reflect prejudice, it reinforces it
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/26/rabid-feminist-language-oxford-english-dictionary

Oxford Dictionaries Apologizes for “Rabid” Feminism Tweet; Gets Trolled by Disappointed Misogynists
http://www.themarysue.com/oxford-dictionaries-mra-trolls/

Hottest 100: Chet Faker Backtracks on Twitter Response Against Feminist Writer
http://thevine.com.au/entertainment/hottest-100-chet-faker-backtracks-twitter-response-feminist-writer/

Researchers have found a major problem with ‘The Little Mermaid’ and other Disney movies
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/25/researchers-have-discovered-a-major-problem-with-the-little-mermaid-and-other-disney-movies/

Linguists Try to Figure Out How Harmful Disney Princesses Are to Kids
http://io9.gizmodo.com/linguists-try-to-figure-out-how-harmful-disney-princess-1755258488

LSA: A Quantitative Analysis of Gendered Compliments in Disney Princess Films
http://www.linguisticsociety.org/abstract/quantitative-analysis-gendered-compliments-disney-princess-films

“controlled opposition”: Flat-Earthers are back: ‘It’s almost like the beginning of a new religion’
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/20/flat-earth-believers-youtube-videos-conspiracy-theorists

Flat wrong: the misunderstood history of flat Earth theories
https://theconversation.com/flat-wrong-the-misunderstood-history-of-flat-earth-theories-53808

Girl toys, boy toys, and parenting: The science of toy preferences in children
http://www.parentingscience.com/girl-toys-and-parenting.html

Speaking Out: The Female Voice in Public Contexts
Google Books link


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Episode 222: Brain, Body, Baby

For babies, learning language seems like child’s play.

But new research is showing us that there’s a lot going on in there, with contributions from brain, body, and memory. How does it all work?

Linguist Daniel Midgley bundles it all together on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe on Android
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Mama or Dada? Research looks at what words are easiest for kids to learn
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151012132455.htm

Why we should be excited by 100,000 year old human teeth from China
https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/why-we-should-be-excited-by-100000-year-old-human-teeth-from-china/

Humans Exited Africa, and Trekked to China, Fossils Reveal
http://www.livescience.com/52481-modern-humans-reached-china-before-europe.html

Evidence Challenges the “Out of Africa” Timeline of Human Evolution
http://io9.com/more-evidence-undermines-the-out-of-africa-theory-of-1619420466

Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Is Found, Scholar Says
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/books/earliest-known-draft-of-king-james-bible-is-found-scholar-says.html

Oldest Draft of King James Bible Discovered
http://news.discovery.com/history/religion/oldest-draft-of-king-james-bible-discovered-15101.htm

Oldest King James Bible Draft Found In England, Suggests 17th Century Translation Wasn’t Group Effort
http://www.ibtimes.com/oldest-king-james-bible-draft-found-england-suggests-17th-century-translation-wasnt-2142463

English phrases and sayings that derive from the Bible
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/bible-phrases-sayings.html

Babies need free tongue movement to decipher speech sounds
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/uobc-bnf100915.php

Bruderer et al: Sensorimotor influences on speech perception in infancy
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/06/1508631112.abstract

“Help! I’m losing phonemes as you speak!”
http://www.cafepress.com/mf/63235081/phonemes_bodysuit?aid=1568734

Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Sound So Similar in So Many Languages
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/words-mom-dad-similar-languages/409810/

Gaze shifting helps babies learn new languages
http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/spectrum/society/gaze-shifting-helps-babies-learn-new-languages/112859.html

NINE-HUNDED DOLLARYDOOS (Simpsons clip)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w3iPFl-cfI

Change the Australian currency name to Dollarydoos.
https://www.change.org/p/change-the-australian-currency-name-to-dollarydoos?source_location=trending_petitions_home_page&algorithm=curated_trending

Aussies get behind proposal to change currency to dollarydoos
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/10/16/15/39/aussies-get-behind-proposal-to-change-currency-to-dollarydoos

The Reserve Bank and Reform of the Currency: 1960–1988 — The Royal Controversy
http://www.rba.gov.au/Museum/Displays/1960_1988_rba_and_reform_of_the_currency/the_royal_controversy.html

Holt’s folly: one royal we rejected
‘”The Australian drawl, [Holt] warned, could easily reduce ”14 australs” to ”40 nostrils”.’
http://www.smh.com.au/money/on-the-money/holts-folly-one-royal-we-rejected-20130603-2nmoa.html

Simpsons neologisms
http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Made-up_words

Sifting the fact from fiction about baby sign language
https://theconversation.com/sifting-the-fact-from-fiction-about-baby-sign-language-36924

Science Blogs on Dustan Baby Language: A Cry Is Just A Cry
http://scienceblogs.com/deanscorner/2011/05/17/a-cry-is-just-a-cry/

‘Linguistics experts point out that Dunstan’s hypothesis has not been subjected to rigorous testing or academic scrutiny. The Dunstan company had, at one time, developed a clinical trial plan with Brown University researchers to test its claims, but abandoned it for consumer surveys and small-group observations in order “to hasten the development of a system that could be used by parents,” skipping rigorous testing to go straight to market.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunstan_Baby_Language


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://tdlc.ucsd.edu/images/deak_lab.jpg

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