Blog Profile / A Walk in the Words

Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:799
Posts / Week:2.4
Archived Since:December 8, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Mass and Count Nouns - brought to you by Meijer

This is one of two themed billboards that has been peppering Michigan expressways this spring. The other looks almost identical, save for the final noun phrase which replaces fewer stops with less run-around. I don't think it is any coincidence that the two separate billboards always seem to appear within a few miles of each other. Show More Summary


The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Barry Newman titled Theres a Question Mark Hanging Over the Apostrophes Future. My aunt sent me an email copy of the article as she knew I would enjoy it. And I did enjoy the article; however, my favorite part of the email was her subject line which read: Apostroph'. Show More Summary

Duck Dynasty's Linguist

Who would have ever thunk that a linguist would be among the characters of a rural reality show? Not me, that's for sure. So imagine my surprise when Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson gave Katie Couric a lesson in articulatory phonetics during the Rural Reality Showdown: Duck Dynasty vs. Show More Summary

More Fun with Anaphora

This humorous image reminded me of the recent post, 6 Cartons of Anaphora. In this instance, the pronoun it is meant to refer to the noun poo, the semantically logical antecedent. Syntactically, it is also more logical to start the process...Show More Summary

Yo - Ve, Xe, Ze, Zhe

I don't know about you, but the above attempts at creating gender-neutral, singular pronouns give me the heebee jeebees. Here are some more of the ridiculous constructs: . Ann Curzan, an English professor at the University of Michigan, recently wrote about the subject of singular they at Lingua Franca. Show More Summary

The Sound and the Shapey - Conclusion

The results of the poll from the post, The Sound and the Shapey - The blue shape is a kiki and the green shape is a bouba. 91.8% The results of the poll from the post, The Sound and the Shapey 2 - The shape on the left is a takete, and the shape on the right is a maluma. Show More Summary

Pronouns Playing with Plurals

I couldn't resist throwing a bit of alliteration into the title for the added wordplay effect. Thank you, Steve, for bringing this comic to my attention. Comic by Jesse Tahirali.

Wine and Wordplay

Thank you to 22 Words for bringing this video to my attention.

The Sound and the Shapey 2

A variation of last week's post regarding the mapping between speech sounds and the visual shape of objects. One of the above shapes is a takete and one is a maluma; which is which? Please participate in the following poll only if you are not familiar with the experiment. Show More Summary

The Sound and the Shapey

The following shapes were used in a well-known psychological experiment regarding the mapping between speech sounds and the visual shape of objects. The original experiment was conducted in the late 1920s; it has been repeated since then with slight variations. I have included a poll below to see what my readers think. Show More Summary

Songs of Love & Grammar (& %# - :@; etc.)

From James Harbeck's book Songs of Love & Grammar: Dim innuendos A sweet musician in a bar said, "Boy, I think you're #." I said, "Girl, you're a ?, but I don't want to harp." She said, "Well, here's the key so you can get into my ?." The...Show More Summary

6 Cartons of Anaphora

A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have avocados, get 6." A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk. The wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons...Show More Summary

Chomsky Comics

The Adventures of Noam Chomsky by Jeffrey Weston is a series of comics based on Chomsky's political views. While I don't follow Chomsky for his political views and I prefer not to state mine, he is a brilliant linguist and I found this particular comic from the series rather chuckle-worthy.

Baseball Linguistics

In honor of the Detroit Tiger's home opener today, I thought I would share some links to posts about baseball and language. Earlier this week, Ben Yagoda at Lingua Franca wrote about the "pluralification of sports-teams names" in a post titled Play Ball(s). Show More Summary

Banging a Left in Boston

Thankfully, I did not have to "bang a left" while visiting Boston this past week; I left all the driving to the expertise of the hacks (that way I didn't have to "pahk" a car either). I have no problem "hanging a left" or parking inShow More Summary

Mondegreen Singing Kittens

I would never normally post something like this but it was just too cute. I mean the kitten really looks like it is singing.

Playing With Vietnamese Food

Or at least a quote from the menu. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I had never had Vietnamese food prior to yesterday. I sure have missed out. It was th?m ngon. It also inspired me to play with a quote that was on the menu. “?n...Show More Summary

Semantic Swapping

A semantic phenomenon, similar to the phonetic one I wrote about in Phonetic Typing Errors, occurred recently while I was writing a freelance article about flamingos. When I write, I often toss ideas around in my head while I am doing other things like walking the dog or making dinner. Show More Summary

Found in Translation

My cousin recently sent me a link to this UK DailyMailOnline post titled "Lost in translation: Hilarious advice signs from foreign airports... where their English leaves a little to be desired." I prefer to label posts like this "found...Show More Summary

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC