Top posts of 8 years of All Things Linguistic
|Gretchen McCulloch||Jul 6|
Cross-posted from All Things Linguistic.
It’s my eight year blogiversary! Wow! Let’s celebrate by looking back at some of my favourite posts from the past year:
My book about internet language came out in July 2019. Here are a few of my favourite blog posts about it:
A very special leather-bound edition of Because Internet that my publisher had made just for me, in celebration of my book becoming a bestseller!
I now have a speaking reel, if you're wondering what it's like when I'm giving a talk about internet linguistics
Someone dressed up as my book for Halloween!
I also did over 200 media interviews for the book, but I've already summarized those on my 2019 year in review post.
Wired Resident Linguist column
I kept writing my Ideas column for Wired, which included these articles:
Fans are better than tech at organizing information online (about the Archive of Our Own)
The meaning of all caps -- in texting and in life (excerpt from Because Internet)
We Learned to Write the Way We Talk (New York Times Op Ed)
How Can You Appreciate 23rd-Century English? Look Back 200 Years (New York Times Op-Eds From the Future - I was very proud that this op-ed got me no fewer than five (5!) entries in New New York Times, a twitter account that tracks words that appear in the New York Times for the first time.)
We Will Have Meme Folklorists (New York Magazine)
How to use irony on the internet (Wall Street Journal)
The Big Idea: Writing towards the future (John Scalzi’s Whatever)
I also co-wrote an academic article with Lauren Gawne, Emoji as Digital Gestures in the journal Language@Internet [Open Access], for which Lauren wrote an accessible summary version for The Conversation.
Surprising internet crossovers
After 7 years of blogging, I thought I had pretty much figured out which sections go in this yearly summary post. But for year 8, I've found myself needing to add a delightful new one.
The most exciting Lingthusiasm episodes this year were the ones where our guests helped me and Lauren Gawne push the boundaries of what a podcast typically is: this video episode in ASL and English interviewing Lynn Hou about her research on signed languages in real-world contexts and the one where Janelle Shane used a neural net to generate fake Lingthusiasm quotes based on our existing transcripts, and then we performed the best ones out loud (see also Janelle's blog post about making this).
Here's all twelve regular monthly Lingthusiasm episodes:
And the twelve monthly bonus episodes:
We also started a Discord community that's enthusiastic about linguistics, to solve the problem of “Your podcast got me (back) into linguistics, but now I don’t have people to fan out about language with! Where do I make lingthusiastic friends?”
Finally, we released more Lingthusiasm merch: schwa pins and more that say Never Stressed, greeting cards that say “thanks” or “congrats” on them in IPA; the pun-tastic “glottal bottle” and liquids for your liquids bottle/mug; and shirts/mugs/bags that say Linguistic “Correctness” is just a lie from Big Grammar to Sell More Grammars. (See photos of all the Lingthusiasm merch here.)
Lauren Gawne and I also started working on several other projects in the pop linguistics ecosystem online:
LingComm Grants - grants to help the next generation of linguistics communication projects get started, which we were able to expand from one grant to four thanks to the support of our patrons. Grantees to be announced in upcoming months!
Mutual Intelligibility - a newsletter summarizing existing linguistics resources on specific topics to help instructors moving their courses online, including shorter 3 Links posts and longer Resource Guides
Linguistics Crash Course - a series of intro linguistics videos in collaboration with the educational youtube channel Crash Course and linguist Jessi Grieser, to appear later in 2020
Blog posts, generally
Linguistics memes and humour
académie française: you can’t just make up new words willy-nilly like that!!! linguists: haha language machine go brrrr
Good King Wenceslo / Good King Wenceslas
Gricean Humour: how did you find your meal?
Which Indo-European Subfamily are you? (the Buzzfeed quiz we didn't know we needed)
This is not a joke: a baby was named Diot Coke in 1379
Linguistics jobs (mostly by Lauren Gawne)
exhibition content manager at Planet Word, an upcoming language museum
transcriptionist (for Lingthusiasm and other linguistics podcasts)
Creative linguistics creations
Language Files videos
I collaborated with Tom Scott and Molly Ruhl on a series of short youtube videos about linguistics.
The hidden rules of conversation (Gricean maxims)
A series on Weird Internet Careers
A reflection on how starting All Things Linguistic back in 2012 was the seed that led to all of the interesting and exciting things I'm doing now, including writing articles, writing a book, and doing the podcast -- and how to approach trying to do something similar.