For your weekend-and-beyond reading pleasure, a roundup of language-related items I’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks:
Gibberish as a tool of empowerment for girls.
Rewilding our language of landscape.
Historical slang terms for money.
Ghost of editor past (cartoon).
What part of ‘No, totally’ don’t you understand?
Ending utterances with a comma is definitely A Thing.
A corpus of 25,000 early English texts is now openly available.
The amazing story of the Doves Press typeface.
Old proverbs we should use more often.
Swearing around the world.
The science of mumbling.
The different pronunciations of snooker.
The use and distribution of adverbial likely.
Kúl, beibí, plís, frík: Icelandic is starting to borrow words informally.
How Twitter and Bing could improve their automatic translation.
The changing emotional connotations of punctuation.
The awkward unpredictability of prepositions.
The complex lexicon of ebooks.
What the spellchecker saw.
Why descriptivists are usage liberals.
A close look at ‘overshoot’ in typeface design.
‘The good fight’ as a convenient fiction for grammar moralizing.
The secret history of the % sign.
Best ‘common misspellings’ listicle ever.
The history and use of gendered suffixes: -ess, -ette, -trix (podcast).
Self-taught signer steals the show at Sweden’s Eurovision heats.
Linguists and journalists can be friends.
Parts-of-speech differences in good and ‘bad’ writing.
The last acceptable prejudice – regional accents.
Why the fax machine isn’t quite dead yet.
27 fonts that explain your world.
Honk if you love etymology.
The history of garlic.
Finnegans Wake is being set to music.
How reading and writing differ on paper and screen.
The complicated consequences of accidental CAPS LOCK.
The linguistics of reaction gifs and gestural phrases like facepalm.
Strikingly, rapidly: the rise of –ly brand names.
An emoji keyboard is on the way.
Babbling may hint at our ancestors’ pre-linguistic communication.
The Manx language, declared extinct in 2009, is undergoing a revival.
Finally, three articles were published yesterday in defence of singular they: by Ben Zimmer at the Wall Street Journal, Anne Curzan at the Chronicle of Higher Education, and John E. McIntyre at the Baltimore Sun.
As I said on Twitter, it would seem like a tipping point if I didn’t feel that point had already occurred in the most meaningful sense several centuries ago. But some people – not least copy editors – still need persuading.
More links, if you want ’em, in the archive.