Category: Twitter (page 1 of 2)

Episode 271: Words of the Year 2016

Was 2016 a dumpster fire 🗑🔥? Or was it just fire 🔥?

It’s time to look back at the words that defined our time, enlivened our speech, and zeited our geist in the previous year.

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie are staying woke on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Episode 271: Words of the Year 2016 [128 kbps]

Cutting Room Floor 271: Words of the Year 2016


Show notes

Sussex University to use gender neutral pronouns as students request greater respect for transgender
http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/sussex-university-gender-neutral-pronouns-transgender-lgbt-rights-brighton-sexuality-politics-a7505671.html

BANSGENDER Students’ union asks members not to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ without asking first as they don’t want to assume gender
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2510504/students-ban-using-offensive-he-and-she-pronouns-in-meetings-and-emails-as-they-dont-want-to-assume-gender/

Student union asks members to use ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’- because they ‘don’t want to make assumptions about gender’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4079694/Student-union-bans-use-don-t-want-make-assumptions-gender.html

Oxford University students ‘told to use gender neutral pronoun ze’
http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/oxford-university-students-gender-neutral-pronouns-peter-tatchell-student-union-ze-xe-a7470196.html

Oxford student union denies telling students to use gender-neutral pronoun
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/dec/13/oxford-student-union-denies-telling-students-to-use-gender-neutral-pronoun

No, Oxford University isn’t ‘banning’ the use of Mr and Mrs prefixes
http://thetab.com/uk/2016/12/19/no-oxford-university-isnt-banning-using-mr-mrs-prefixes-28595

Fear of New Pronouns (U Tenn)
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/09/08/u-tennessee-withdraws-guide-pronouns-preferred-some-transgender-people

You can be fined for not calling people ‘ze’ or ‘hir,’ if that’s the pronoun they demand that you use
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/05/17/you-can-be-fined-for-not-calling-people-ze-or-hir-if-thats-the-pronoun-they-demand-that-you-use/

U of T professor’s stand against genderless pronouns draws fire
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/u-of-t-professors-stand-against-genderless-pronouns-draws-fire/article32303037/

U of T professor attacks political correctness, says he refuses to use genderless pronouns
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/u-of-t-professor-attacks-political-correctness-in-video-refuses-to-use-genderless-pronouns

University of Michigan Professors Will Face Disciplinary Action for Ignoring ‘Preferred Pronouns’
http://heatst.com/culture-wars/university-of-michigan-professors-will-face-disciplinary-action-for-ignoring-preferred-pronouns/

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-the-year/word-of-the-year-2016

M-W: Word of the Year 2016: Surreal
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-of-the-year-2016

Dictionary.com’s 2016 Word of the Year: Xenophobia
http://blog.dictionary.com/xenophobia/

Top 10 Collins Words of the Year 2016: Brexit
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/word-lovers-blog/new/top-10-collins-words-of-the-year-2016,323,HCB.html

Democracy sausage snags Word of the Year as smashed avo, shoey lose out
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-14/democracy-sausage-snags-word-of-the-year/8117684

2016 Word of the Year is dumpster fire, as voted by American Dialect Society (Press release)
http://www.americandialect.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-Word-of-the-Year-PRESS-RELEASE.pdf

“Dumpster fire” is 2016 American Dialect Society word of the year
http://www.americandialect.org/dumpster-fire-is-2016-american-dialect-society-word-of-the-year

How ‘Dumpster Fire’ Became 2016’s Word of the Year
https://www.wired.com/2017/01/word-of-year-dumpster-fire/

The American Dialect Society’s word of the year is “dumpster fire”
https://qz.com/880501/2016s-word-of-the-year-is-dumpster-fire-beating-out-post-truth-deplorables-cuck-woke-and-slay-for-the-american-dialect-societys-title/

Dumpster Fire Is 2016’s Word Of The Year Because Even Linguists Are Over It
http://www.refinery29.com/2017/01/135191/dumpster-fire-word-of-the-year-2016-american-dialect-society

‘Dumpster Fire’ Is the American Dialect Society’s 2016 Word of the Year
http://time.com/4627056/dumpster-fire-2016-word-of-the-year/

It’s official — the 2016 US Word of the Year is ‘Dumpster fire’
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/2016-word-of-the-year-is-dumpster-fire-2017-1

How Old Is ‘Gaslighting’?
http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/01/12/how-old-is-gaslight/

10 Things I’ve Learned About Gaslighting As An Abuse Tactic
http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/things-wish-known-gaslighting/

This Millennial Rant Deserves A Trophy For Being Most Wrong
http://www.cracked.com/blog/that-anti-millennial-rant-bs-cracked-destroys-meme/

Who You Calling ‘Snowflake’?
http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2016/12/04/who-you-calling-snowflake/

The myth of millennial entitlement was created to hide their parents’ mistakes
https://qz.com/720456/the-myth-of-millennial-entitlement-was-created-to-hide-their-parents-mistakes/

How ‘woke’ went from black activist watchword to teen internet slang
http://fusion.net/story/252567/stay-woke/

The term ‘fake news’ is quickly losing meaning in the Trump era
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-term-fake-news-is-quickly-losing-meaning-in-the-trump-era/article33617746/

Will ‘Kompromat’ Make It into the Dictionary?
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/what-does-kompromat-mean

Report alleges Donald Trump paid for ‘golden showers’ in Russia and Twitter cannot contain itself
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/news-and-views/social/report-alleges-donald-trump-paid-for-golden-showers-in-russia-and-twitter-cannot-contain-itself-20170111-gtpcw7.html

#GoldenShowers Trends on Twitter Following Unverified Trump Intel Dump
http://www.mediaite.com/online/goldenshowers-trends-on-twitter-following-unverified-trump-intel-dump/

The Word of the Year for 2016 Isn’t a Word. It’s a Number.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/12/14/_2016_s_word_of_the_year_isn_t_a_word_it_s_a_number.html

China’s Zhou Youguang, father of Pinyin writing system, dies aged 111
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38621697


Show tunes

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

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/


Show tunes

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

Image credit: https://www.alfavita.gr/arthron/υπογράφηκαν-οι-πρώτες-85-απολύσεις-εκπαιδευτικών-μετά-από-100-χρόνια

Episode 239: Animal Syntax

Other animals don’t have language like we do, but some of them might be getting awfully close.

A recent experiment claims that some birds use a form of syntax — that they combine their signals in a way that’s always been thought to be unique to humans. Are these bird brains on to something?

Linguist Daniel Midgley sets things in order on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Microsoft’s New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours
http://theantimedia.org/microsofts-new-twitter-bot-becomes-nazi-sympathizing-maniac-within-24-hours/

Microsoft: Tay
https://www.tay.ai

Microsoft killed its first sentient AI
https://imgur.com/gallery/VhlAW

Artificially Intelligent Robot Tells Creator It Will Keep Humans “In a People Zoo”
http://theantimedia.org/artificially-intelligent-robot-tells-creator-it-will-keep-humans-in-a-people-zoo/

A new study will figure out if cats pick up the dialects of their owners
http://www.sciencealert.com/a-new-study-will-figure-out-if-cats-pick-up-the-dialects-of-their-owners

WATCH: Do you understand what your cat is saying?
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/watch-do-you-understand-what-your-cat-is-saying

Syntax is not unique to human language
http://phys.org/news/2016-03-syntax-unique-human-language.html

Bird Uses Linguistics Thought to Be Exclusively Human
http://www.i4u.com/2016/03/106816/bird-uses-linguistics-thought-be-exclusively-human

Ape ‘language ace’ gets tripped up by simple grammar
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/ape-language-ace-gets-tripped-simple-grammar

Dendrophobia in Bonobo Comprehension of Spoken English (PDF)
http://evolang.org/neworleans/pdf/EVOLANG_11_paper_87.pdf

$380 million ship may be named Boaty McBoatface thanks to an online poll
http://www.smh.com.au/world/380-million-ship-may-be-named-boaty-mcboatface-thanks-to-an-online-poll-20160320-gnmtvx.html

Commuters salute guard after ‘Trainy McTrainface’ pulls into Waterloo
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/commuters-salute-guard-after-trainy-mctrainface-pulls-into-waterloo-a3209291.html

Mar 14th ’11: “I agree though. He’s definitely Sexy McSexFace. <3”
http://www.babygaga.com/t-1619410/you-watch-army-wives.html

Insulting nicknames involving “face”
http://ask.metafilter.com/166971/Gimme-some-nicknames-Dorks

Simpsons: Rome-old and Juli-eh — the origin of Esteban De La Sexface
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0918867/

From Cool McCool to Boaty McBoatface: An Investigationy McInvestigation
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2016/03/25/boaty_mcboatface_mcdreamy_tits_mcgee_and_the_internet_s_favorite_naming.html


Show tunes

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

Image credit: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/birds-use-syntax-humbling-humanity

Episode 205: Lost Writing

The written word lasts longer than speech, at least in principle.

But what happens when a writing system is lost in the mist of history? Lost writing can be deciphered, but these scripts have resisted all attempts.

Linguist Daniel Midgley makes it clear on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


Show notes

NoForbiddenQuestions raises the Talk Signal

— NoForbiddenQuestions (@NFQblog) May 18, 2015

The venereal game
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1113761/

The Venereal Game: or, You Don’t Have a Dirty Mind, Do You…?
https://newsoutherngentleman.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/the-venereal-game-or-you-dont-have-a-dirty-mind-do-you/

50 Collective Nouns to Bolster Your Vocabulary
http://mentalfloss.com/article/33580/50-collective-nouns-bolster-your-vocabulary

Wikipedia: List of English terms of venery, by animal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_terms_of_venery,_by_animal

Oxford Dictionaries: What do you call a group of …?
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/what-do-you-call-a-group-of

Lehrer, 1986: English Classifier Constructions (PDF)
http://semantics.uchicago.edu/kennedy/classes/f11/na/docs/lehrer86.pdf

About waters and coffees: This countable/non-countabe thing is kind of recent.
Junichi Toyota: When the Mass Was Counted: English as Classifier and Non-Classifier Language (PDF)
http://www.skase.sk/Volumes/JTL13/pdf_doc/07.pdf

Twitter announces crackdown on abuse with new filter and tighter rules
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/21/twitter-filter-notifications-for-all-accounts-abuse

Women, Action, and the Media: Twitter’s Abuse Problem: Now With Actual Solutions And Science
http://womenactionmedia.org/twitter-report/

Twitter’s new anti-harassment filter screens out online trolls and abuse
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/twitters-new-antiharassment-filter-screens-out-online-trolls-and-abuse-20150401-1mcjym.html

How Twitter’s New Abuse Filter Could Backfire
http://readwrite.com/2015/04/23/twitter-abuse-filter-backfire

Here’s how Twitter is finally attempting to cut down on harassment
http://bgr.com/2015/03/24/twitter-harassment-policy-feature/

Arika Okrent: 7 Ancient Writing Systems That Haven’t Been Deciphered Yet
http://mentalfloss.com/article/12884/7-ancient-writing-systems-havent-been-deciphered-yet

Omniglot: Undeciphered scripts
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/undeciphered.htm

Old European / Vinča / Danube script
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/vinca.htm

More about Vinča script
http://www.prehistory.it/ftp/winn.htm

Wikipedia: Phaistos Disc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaistos_Disc

Huffington Post: Scientists Finally Crack The Code Of The Ancient ‘Phaistos Disk’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/28/ancient-cd-rom-phaistos-disk-code_n_6055178.html

Omniglot: Linear A
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/lineara.htm

Ancient Scripts: Linear A
http://www.ancientscripts.com/lineara.html

Omniglot: Linear B
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/linearb.htm

Riddle of the script: how the world’s most fiendish language puzzle was solved
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/10158135/Riddle-of-the-script-how-the-worlds-most-fiendish-language-puzzle-was-solved.html

Why Girls Love The Dad Bod
http://theodysseyonline.com/clemson/dad-bod/97484

The “Dad Bod” Is In At The Moment And We Couldn’t Be Happier About It
http://www.theladbible.com/articles/the-dad-bod-is-in-at-the-moment-and-we-couldn-t-be-happier-about-it

Give me an easy-going ‘dad bod’ any day
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/17/vain-preening-men-versus-dad-bods-no-contest

The Dadbod: Why beer guts are hotter than 6-packs
http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/the-dadbod-why-beer-guts-are-hotter-than-6-packs-1.3058032

We need to talk about the Dad Bod
http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/we-need-to-talk-about-the-dad-bod-20150504-ggu0wc.html

The Real Problem With The Dad Bod Trend
http://elitedaily.com/life/problem-dad-bod-trend/1024023/

‘Dad Bod’ Is a Sexist Atrocity
http://time.com/3846828/dad-bod-is-a-sexist-atrocity/

Kristin Schaal on the Daily Show: ‘Dad Bod’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRcrHP4xmlg


Show tunes

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

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Episode 192: Linguistic Movies

It’s Oscars time, and the film about Alan Turing “The Imitation Game” is in contention for best picture.

But that’s not the only language movie out there — there are plenty of cinematic delights to quench your passion for linguistic film.

Linguist Daniel Midgley goes to the movies on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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Promo with Em Burrows


Show notes

¿Qué? Siri destroys Cortana and Google Now on language accuracy http://www.cultofmac.com/312335/que-siri-destroys-cortana-google-now-language-accuracy/

Check out the Hedonometer
http://hedonometer.org/index.html?from=2012-08-26&to=2015-02-27

The Mathematicians Trying to Prove that Every Language Is Inherently Positive
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-mathematicians-trying-to-prove-that-every-language-is-inherently-positive

The paper: Human language reveals a universal positivity bias
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/04/1411678112

EYE-GOUGINGLY BAD REPORTING ALERT

ScienceAlert: Spanish is the happiest language, Chinese the most balanced, new study reveals
http://www.sciencealert.com/spanish-is-the-happiest-language-chinese-is-the-most-balanced-new-study-reveals

ScienceMag: Spanish is the happiest language; Chinese, not so much
http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2015/02/spanish-happiest-language-chinese-not-so-much?rss=1

ABC Science: Language proves we’re all optimists at heart
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/02/10/4176587.htm

USA Today: Spanish is the happiest language
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/14/spanish-will-make-you-smile/23411681/

END OF ALERT

The sunny side always looks up
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/04/03/3972149.htm

The Poem That Passed the Turing Test
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-poem-that-passed-the-turing-test

From the programmer’s blog
https://rpiai.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/turing-test-passed-using-computer-generated-poetry/

The Imitation Game (2014): is it history, drama or myth?
https://theconversation.com/the-imitation-game-is-it-history-drama-or-myth-35849

The coin toss scene from ‘No Country for Old Men’.
WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLCL6OYbSTw
Script: http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/2009/03/great-scene-no-country-for-old-men.html

Roger Ebert reviews ‘Nell’.
http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/nell-1994

And a similar film: The Wild Child
http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-wild-child-1970

WATCH: The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlrP2IR58es

About Gregorio Cortez
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorio_Cortez

More about The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/235288%7C235313/The-Ballad-of-Gregorio-Cortez.html

Windtalkers (2002)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245562/

Navajo Code Talkers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_talker#Navajo_code_talkers

WATCH: Singin’ in the Rain (1952): “Moses Supposes”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tciT9bmCMq8

WATCH: My Fair Lady (1964)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2TH8jOxVoM

Here are even more linguistically significant films
http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-1639.html

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) quotes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2015381/quotes

And more:
https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/films-of-linguistic-interest/

Nut rage
http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/12/one-year-in-prison-for-korean-air-heiress-whose-tantrum-over-macadamia-nuts-delayed-flight/

Wikipedia: Nut rage incident
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_rage_incident

Desk rage
http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?t=19387&p=201740

Lollipop rage
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/worldwidewords/2006-May/000377.html

Word rage on Language Log
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1573

V for Vendetta speech
https://storyspeaker.wordpress.com/2007/06/04/v-for-vendetta-v’s-introductory-speech-and-remember-remember-poem/


Show tunes

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

Image credit: http://static.rogerebert.com/redactor_assets/pictures/546b701f592cb06568000199/hr_The_Imitation_Game_2.jpg

Episode 174: Big Data, Small World

There’s a lot of data out there.

And people are using it to find some pretty interesting patterns. Whether it’s finding global superdialects, or inferring language similarity from the errors of English learners, computers are expanding our language horizons.

Linguist Daniel Midgley brings you the world on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Ronan Lane


Show notes

Oxford Dictionaries Online releases its quarterly list of new words
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/08/oxford-dictionaries-update-august-2014/

A formative moment in comedy: Danny Thomas’s first spit-take
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYunEHgpRF8

Computational Linguistics of Twitter Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/529836/computational-linguistics-of-twitter-reveals-the-existence-of-global-superdialects/

Using Twitter, Linguists Find Global ‘Superdialects’
http://www.newsweek.com/linguists-find-superdialects-twitter-263622

The article
http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.7094

Some linguists on Reddit are snarky about this.
http://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/2cwazr/computational_linguistics_of_twitter_reveals_the/

Linguists on r/badlinguistics, especially so.
http://www.reddit.com/r/badlinguistics/comments/2cyldy/since_studying_dialects_is_hard_work_compling/

Here’s How Foreign Language Speakers Typically Screw Up English
(Despite the uncharitable title, it’s a good article.)
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/common-esl-mistakes-2014-8

MIT press release
https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/essays-english-yield-information-about-other-languages-0723

The Word Atlas of Linguistic Structures is a fascinating way to pass the time.
http://wals.info

About how long would it take for an English speaker to learn another language?
http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5384e031eab8ea5f2ef4b401-860-3034/voxy%20language%20graphic.png

Abbnesia
https://www.facebook.com/JasonClareMP/photos/a.116115481929643.1073741828.101356533405538/279795892228267/?type=1&theater

THE: The Loudest Word in Rock and Roll
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/08/whats-in-a-band-name-the/378710/?single_page=true

Some bands are even using “Thee”
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0711B&L=ADS-L&P=R8053&I=-3


Show tunes

‘Lookin’ for a Superman’ by Iron and Wine
from the album Around the Well

‘It Ain’t No Sin’ by Thee Mighty Caesars
from the album Beware the Ides of March

Episode 171: Word Crimes 2

Weird Al Yankovic’s song “Word Crimes” combines grammar with music, and it’s fun to listen to.

But linguists are pointing out that these word crimes are not so felonious after all.

Linguist Daniel Midgley continues the investigation on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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


Promo with Damian Smith


Show notes

Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58236366-90/says-english-homophones-language.html.csp

Was someone really fired for talking about a ‘pedagogical approach’? The story is out there, but I have doubts.
http://www.comedycorner.org/89.html

Who or whom?
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/who-or-whom

Let’s point out that the popularity of some who/whom constructions has reversed.

Yes, some people use quotation marks for “emphasis”. Here’s the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com

But really, no one has trouble with the ambiguity of using punctuation marks for more than one thing.
http://alt-usage-english.org/quotes_for_emphasis.html

Grammar Girl explains why it’s okay to say you’re “doing good.”
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/good-versus-well

Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock: “Superman does good — you’re doing well!”
http://youtu.be/LoE8ZgzaX7A

Why Saying ‘I’m Good’ Is Correct, And Anyone Who Says Otherwise Is A Fool
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-are-you-im-good-is-acceptable-reply-2014-2

The pupil said, “Oh, I’m doing good!” The teacher said, “You shouldn’t say that — you should say, ‘I am doing well,’ ” to which the student replied, “Oh, no. I ain’t doing that good!”
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=P4UYAQAAIAAJ&q=%22i%27m+doing+good%22&dq=%22i%27m+doing+good%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uzXbU9HUJJa58gWM9ICABA&redir_esc=y

Irony has had many definitions over the years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony

Bongo Bongo: Literally is okay as an intensifier
http://youtu.be/7C1CXxAE7J4

Grammar Girl again, on split infinitives.
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/split-infinitives

“Weird Al” tweets: “If you thought I didn’t know that I ended “Word Crimes” with a split infinitive… you don’t give me nearly enough credit.”
https://twitter.com/alyankovic/status/490724455673372672

Spastic and “Word Crimes”
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=13552

“Weird Al” tweets: “If you thought I didn’t know that “spastic” is considered a highly offensive slur by some people… you’re right, I didn’t.  Deeply sorry.”
https://twitter.com/alyankovic/statuses/490724534513700864

David Shariatmadari: “Error is the engine of language change, and today’s mistake could be tomorrow’s vigorously defended norm.”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/11/pronunciation-errors-english-language

Tweeps
http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/2014/07/29/

Twabstinence (plus a lot more)
http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/Twitter_Dictionary_Guide.asp

Tweetus Deletus!
http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/03/tesla-motors-inc-tsla-poked-fun-at-by-nissan/


Show tunes

‘Crime’ by Real Estate
from the album Atlas

‘Police and Thieves’ by the Clash
from the album The Clash

Episode 150: The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is 600 years old, written in a strange script, and it’s never been deciphered.

Is it a guide to the universe, a book of secrets, or is it just pages and pages of gibberish? Modern techniques are now shedding new light on this ancient mystery.

Linguist Daniel Midgley tries to piece it all together on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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


Promo with James Hall


Show notes

Coca-Cola ran with a multicultural ad
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=10142

There were pages and pages of angry, and sometimes racist, tweets.
http://deadspin.com/dumb-people-mad-at-multilingual-america-the-beautiful-1514567876
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/02/coca-cola-america-the-beautiful-racists_n_4714931.html

Reminds me of last year, when kids at a Colorado high school wanted to recite a loyalty oath in Arabic.
http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/02/04/colorado-students-recite-pledge-of-allegiance-in-arabic-freakout-ensues/
http://www.9news.com/news/article/313505/0/Fort-Collins-students-read-Pledge-of-Allegiance-in-Arabic

There’s a Skeptoid article about the Voynich Manuscript. Start here.
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4252

Is the Voynich Manuscript a huge hoax?
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/the_voynich_manuscript

Or does it have a real meaning?
http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/linguistics/science-voynich-manuscript-message-01195.html

A couple of botanists think it has links to the New World
http://phys.org/news/2014-02-botanists-voynich-similar-mexico.html

Earlier: Computational linguists find that the text is non-random.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23740-new-signs-of-language-surface-in-mystery-voynich-text.html?full=true#.UvReOHn7RRw

“What We Know About The Voynich Manuscript” by Sravana Reddy and Kevin Knight. A technical look at computational approaches to the VMS. Very complete. A must-read. (PDF)
http://www.isi.edu/natural-language/people/voynich-11.pdf

The VMS has the same letter patterns as Latin.
http://hurontaria.baf.cz/CVM/a26.htm

The word counts in human languages follows Zipf’s Law.
http://norvig.com/mayzner.html
So does the VMS.

The Codex Seraphinianus is also interesting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Seraphinianus

Tetris as a verb? Sure; just check out My Kitchen Rules S5E7, at 11:00.
http://au.tv.yahoo.com/my-kitchen-rules/episodes/21246479/my-kitchen-rules-wed-5-feb-series-5-episode-7

The first instance I could find on the Net is the one from Urban Dictionary.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tetris’ed


Show tunes

‘Shit from an Old Notebook’ by the Minutemen
from the album Double Nickels on the Dime

‘Games’ by Hüsker Dü
from the album Flip Your Wig

Episode 146: Gender ID

Language research is turning up some surprising things about how language and gender interact.

It appears that our brains process language differently with male or female speakers. But what about online text? Can you tell whether someone is male or female just from their writing?

Computers can, and linguist Daniel Midgley talks to us about it on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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


On the Net, can you tell whether someone is male or female? Sometimes you can get a sense of gender, and sometimes not. It’s difficult for computers to do this, but it’s especially hard when you’re looking at tweets because you only have 140 characters worth of data to make the decision. And yet computers are doing that very thing. So that’s what this show is about.

I also get pig-biting mad about pop grammar, and Ben and I celebrate Thansgivukkah. Or is it Thanksganukkah? It doesn’t matter really; we won’t have one again until the next Ice Age. That’s why I’m voting Thansgivukkah (or Thanksganukkah) this year’s Word Least Likely to Succeed.

Say, it’s almost time for Words of the Year. That’ll happen on our first show back after the break, at the end of January. In the meantime, we’ll be getting things ready for a whole new year of Talk the Talk.


Show notes

Stupid Buzzfeed grammar quiz
http://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/30-super-geeky-spelling-and-grammar-questions

The Gender Genie is no more, but we still have the Gender Guesser.
http://www.hackerfactor.com/GenderGuesser.php

Sex of speaker affects language processing
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119141945.htm

Actual paper
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0079701

Burger et al‘s 2011 Twitter study
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2145568
http://delivery.acm.org/10.1145/2150000/2145568/p1301-burger.pdf (PDF)

Detecting gender in languages other than English
http://phys.org/news/2013-11-twitter-users-gender-en-francais.html

Actual paper (PDF)
http://www.derekruths.com/static/publication_files/CiotSondereggerRuths_EMNLP2013.pdf

Thansgivukkah — or should that be Thanksganukkah?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25125042

The next one won’t happen for a while.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/the-next-thanksgivvukkah/


Show tunes

‘London Girls’ by Stephen Duffy
from the album Duffy

‘Boy (Go)’ by the Golden Palominos
from the album Visions of Excess

Episode 109: Birds and Bees

Could language have evolved from birdsong?

A new paper suggests that human language shares features with both the tweeting of our feathered friends, and the buzzing of bees. How might early humans have combined them to make language?

Linguist Daniel Midgley catches the buzz on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

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


What do you get when you combine the expressiveness of birdsong with the propositional content of bees (and maybe some other things)? Would you get language? That’s the idea that Ben and I are addressing in this episode. I also found a study that shows some eerie parallels between bird brains and human brains. We keep chipping away at this ‘language origins’ thing.

Best of all, Ben found a curious language-related topic which we’re going to treat in our next episode. Stay tuned!


Show notes

Human language could have the same origin as birdsong through the combination of expression and lexical meaning.
http://phys.org/news/2013-02-human-language-evolved-birdsong.html

The original paper
http://www.frontiersin.org/language_sciences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00071/abstract

Fitch makes the case for the vocalisation hypothesis.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1136

The dance of honeybees has propositional content.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ijI-g4jHg

How many tweets are possible?
http://what-if.xkcd.com/34/

And bird tweets come from a similar part of the bird brain as human language does in human brains.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/348340/description/Bird_human_tweets_come_from_similar_parts_of_the_brain


Show tunes

‘Fragile Bird’ by City and Colour
from the album Little Hell

‘Bird Flew By’ by Nick Drake
from the album Family Tree

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