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Blog Profile / Mr. Verb

Filed Under:Linguistics / Grammar
Posts on Regator:951
Posts / Week:2.7
Archived Since:March 17, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Does language really matter?

People are talking today, rightly, about John McWhorter's piece in the NY Times, "Why save a language?". But a similar question is treated beautifully in a piece by Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins and colleagues (University of Victoria) in the Times Colonist, "Language a strong symbol of cultural identity". Show More Summary

Minnesota English in the news

Nice piece about Minnesota English by Andy Rathbun available here. Looks like he talked to about everybody you could on the subject, including some nice on-the-ground stories from speakers.People like to compare Minnesota and Wisconsin, it seems like. Show More Summary

Endangered Languages Fund

Happy Giving Tuesday! The Endangered LanguageFund is sending around this: GivingTuesday is today!!! What is GivingTuesday? We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting dea ls. Now, we have GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Show More Summary

The apostrophic War on the Holidays

I was fighting the urge to post about this piece on Slate, about how to pluralize your last name, and now officially give up. Anything that has this line is hard to resist reacting to: It’s Christmas! Celebrate by not doing violence to the laws of pluralization. Show More Summary

Stumbling over and through Drink Wisconsinbly

Earlier this year, I started noticing t-shirts and hoodies bearing the phrase 'Drink Wisconsinbly', like in the image here. (And, yeah, it comes in green and gold as well as red and white.) Clever, right? But I don't read t-shirts all that closely and I saw it a few times before I realized that it doesn't work at all for me phonologically... Show More Summary

New journal alert

The world seems to be bursting at the seams with linguistics news... Word of the Year stuff is cranking up, and the frenzy over mapping language continues (see this cool piece from WaPo) and I'm more puzzled than ever about how language works.But there's also a new journal, Ampersand, that just published its first article. Show More Summary

Big announcement from Mr. Verb -- Career change

2 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Dear readers,You should be the first to know. After literally decades of studying how language works and changes and what it tells us about the mind, I'm moving on. From this day forward, I'll be studying ancient mating habits.Yes, linguistics...Show More Summary

Grad students take note ...

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Be sure to credit xkcd when you use this approach. (And check out the roll over.)

Attack of the homophones!

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Delightful story in the always delightful Wonkette about a guy who got fired for writing a blog post about homophones, because it sounded too... icky. It kind of sounded like another word, you might say. Of course they had to use the...Show More Summary

"Interested in regional and social differences in speech? We are too!"

5 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Just got an email with that subject line for a study about how people identify speakers of different dialects:Our research team at the University of Wisconsin is recruiting subjects for research on how people perceive and identify dialects of languages people speak. Show More Summary

Wisconsin Englishes update ...

6 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Word on the street is that Wisconsin Englishes will be on Wisconsin Public Radio in western Wisconsin tomorrow, on Spectrum West with Al Ross.And the Wisconsin Englishes Project website has been spiffed up a little... various updates and a bunch of teaching materials, etc. You can check it out here.

More on the origins of Yiddish

6 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Following up on the last post here's the link to the second piece from Tablet about the origins of Yiddish, "The Mystery of the Origins of Yiddish Will Never Be Solved: How an academic field—marked by petty fighting, misguided ideological debates, and personal proximity to tragedy—doomed itself" by Batya Ungar-Sargon. Show More Summary

The Origins of Yiddish

6 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

In keeping with our recent non-news news trend, reader cg passed along this link to a long article by Cherie Woodworth in Tablet on the origins of the Yiddish language yesterday. The piece is new to Tablet, but is a reprint from Kritika 2010. Show More Summary

Schwa Fire

6 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Trying to do actual work seems to be a higher priority than blogging these days for the many members of Team Verb, so we're taking a kind of Last Week Tonight approach, I suppose. The news of the launch of Schwa Fire is now old enough...Show More Summary

/i:/ in the New York Times

7 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

The NY Times Magazine has a little tiny piece this morning (here, just scroll down and see the left column), about an experiment by Ralf Rummer (Erfurt University) and colleagues showing that students looking at comics founds them funnier when they were repeating /i:/ than /o:/ sounds. Show More Summary

TedEd: How languages evolve

7 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Finally got around to looking at the TedEd thing by Alex Gendler, How Languages Evolve, here. I could see this being used in school classes. Anybody have experience with using this with, say, high schoolers? It's nothing dramatic or brilliant, but I could see students connecting with it. Big ol' tip of the hat to CT.

Dialect survey

8 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

There's a ton of work happening right now on campus about how people think about regional English, in various ways and from various perspectives. Here's one cool project... take it and pass the word. The map here, from Rick Aschmann and HuffPo, just because. Not because + noun. Just because.

Eye dialect and Cliven Bundy

8 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

'Eye dialect' is using non-standard spelling to try and convey features of how somebody speaks. It's often colloquial stuff, like talkin' instead of talking, but more typically strong stuff, sociolinguistically speaking, and it's often used to represent people negatively, e.g. Show More Summary

Grammatical terms that 'sound dirty'? Don't get me started.

8 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

Via HuffPo, here's this piece on "11 Grammatical Words And Terms That Sound Dirty". But PLEASE. 'Diphthong' sounds like it should mean underwear? And compound and hyphenate? Can you really get those to 'sound dirty' if you're not 12Show More Summary

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