Link love: language (74)

Language links ahoy. If you’re looking to pass an hour or a few with some linguistic reading and audiovisual material, see what takes your fancy from the selection below (there are lots more after the fold). A couple of them are even about you know what.


Forest dialect words.

Viral language and racism.

What counts as a slur, and why?

The Iron Curtain lives on as an isogloss.

Newly published: the Mother Jones style guide.

Science Diction: a new, bite-sized etymology podcast.

Irish English as the new EU working language [my annotations]

Emoji are to digital messages what gestures are to speech.

Solving the mystery of honeybee dance ‘dialects’.

When translation means editing the machines.

The newly launched Opie Archive.

French: the classy language.

Ireland’s lost field names.

Fascism in translation.

The power of the.

Translating Parasite.

It’s not just irregardless.

Fake Irish in fantasy fiction.

The cult of untranslatable words.

In defence of fiction, by Zadie Smith.

How America got it so wrong with ‘Ebonics’.

Don’t use vocal tics to criticise teenage girls’ speech.

Lingo: a language magazine for younger readers. PDFs #1, #2.

How nonverbal communication influences the justice system.

The r sound as a sociolinguistic differentiator.

Swahili, zombies, and language in culture.

How the Oxford comma got its name.

The art of audiobook narration.

How to talk like a pirate.

Typographic illusions.

Authors’ typefaces.

Accent bias in Britain.

The politics of pronouns.

A guide to emoji punctuation.

When will the OED revision be complete?

The anarchic appeal of subverting the dictionary form.

The complications of learning endangered languages on Duolingo.

[I nabbed a few links from Language Hat, who writes one of the most prolific, eclectic, and consistently interesting language blogs in existence. One to bookmark or subscribe to, if you don’t already.]

Finally, a cartoon and a couple of videos. Strange Planet’s cat names:

4-panel comic, each panel featuring two aliens and a cat. Alien 1 faces the cat, who is sitting on the arm of a chair. Alien 2 stands behind the chair. Panel 1. Alien 1: "Greetings Sucrose Haunches." Alien 2: "This is not the name we gave the creature." Panel 2. Alien 1: "I have assigned the creature many new names – it is a sign of unacknowledged affection." Panel 3. Alien 2: "May I also create new names." Alien 1: "Yes!" Panel 4. Alien 1: "I will probably never use yours." Alien 2: "I'm not insulted."How to write like it’s your job:

When to use bad English:

[language links archive]

12 Responses to Link love: language (74)

  1. “An hour or a few”….right. “What counts as a slur?” led me to a 32-page research treatise (all of which I read, sometimes twice), and then beyond that…fascinating. And recommended/forwarded your email to a friend (oh well, at least he’s retired). Now 10:30 PM and haven’t done a stitch of work!! 😂

    • Stan Carey says:

      I am sorry for messing with your schedule! But pleased to hear the links have proved enticing. It could be months before the next of these posts, so I try to include a modest feast of material. (I also try to resist items as long as that research paper, but it was too interesting to omit.)

  2. astraya says:

    Re ‘Parasite’: even if people in many countries don’t actively know that Seoul National University is the leading university in South Korea, surely the combination of ‘Seoul’ (capital city) and ‘National’ (like, national) would be enough of a clue.

    The sister fakes the certificate with the seal of Yonsei University, which is consistently listed in the top 3.

  3. astraya says:

    Re nonverbal communication in the justice system, I recently edited two refugee cases regarding two basically equivalent people from the same part of the same country with basically the same claim, decided by the same legal officer within a few days of each other. One’s appeal was upheld (their refugee visa continues) and the other’s was denied (they lose their visa and probably have to go back to that part of that country). The only difference seemed to be that the first gave their evidence in a spontaneous and straightforward way and the other seemed to be hesitant, evasive and rehearsed (going by what the legal officer said about them).

  4. languagehat says:

    Thanks for the kind words! I always enjoy your linkfests.

  5. Josh R says:

    The Ebonics podcast was fantastic. I’d known the broad strokes, enough to understand what the intent of the Oakland resolution really was, but I didn’t realize just how bad the media coverage was.

  6. Irish English the new EU working language—well done, boys.

    And French, the classy language? Mais ou! Brings to mind the great line from some francophile: “French, the only language where someone can tell you to go to hell, and you’ll enjoy the trip.”

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