Tag Archive | linguistics

How technology shapes new English accents (1930-present)

Saw these two links in quick succession, wanted to put them next to each other.

The Trans-Atlantic accent, recognizable from newsreels and films from the ’30s and ’40s, influenced by the need to be understandable to listeners with low-tech radio receivers

The YouTube voice, recognizable mostly in vloggers whose videos are just talking heads, influenced by the need to keep viewers’ attention in a market full of flashy visual effects

Linguistics: noun genders, knock-knock jokes, baby sign language, and more

“Linguists call these categories “genders” because that’s always been the term for this sort of noun class. This makes more sense when you learn that grammatical gender came long before the idea of psychological gender, which we will definitely cover in a future column, because oh my god, talk about blowing my mind.”

From cooing and babbling to utterance in American Sign Language.”

“When it came to bilingual speakers, they seemed to switch between these perspectives based on the language context they were given the task in.”

“Knock-knock. Who’s there? A gang of vigilantes armed with machine guns, leather straps and brass knuckles to thump the breath out of anybody who persists in playing this blame fool knock-knock game.” Quote from 1936. Knock-knock jokes have a long and controversial history, apparently.

Reflections on what a bunch of people have said about their passwords, including the memories, codes, jokes, and secrets embedded in them. (Other than the secret of “what is my password”, that is.)

“Revealed for the first time, thanks to the big data generated by gazillions of tweets: the geography of dudeness.”

Fun links and fireflies

I’ve ushered four fireflies out of the house so far this evening. (I sure hope it was four fireflies, rather than one very determined one.) Luckily, they don’t have good enough reflexes to avoid being caught.

News roundup (wow, I’ve been sitting on some of these for a while):

A bunch of studies about language, and specific ways in which it helps you perform. Fun fact: many languages don’t distinguish between “blue” and “green”. Meanwhile, Russian (and Italian) have words for “blue” and “blue” (a distinction that English doesn’t make).

The NYT profiled xkcd. Is that cool or what?

And a recovering blogging junkie lays out her story. Seriously . . . this is pretty heavy stuff. I’m going to be thinking about it for a while.

That said, I’ll end on a note of silly-yet-righteous indignation: Stop Making Movies About My Books, by Dr. Seuss (in the Onion, naturally). I want to smack the author for writing lines that scan so badly; on the other hand, I agree with every word.