Blog Profile / Fully (sic)

Filed Under:Academics / Linguistics
Posts on Regator:202
Posts / Week:0.8
Archived Since:May 25, 2010

Blog Post Archive

‘A more exacting censorship’

James McElvenny writes… We’re not the ones to blame for the moral decline that characterises our times, where the pre-show program for kids’ TV stars a cussin’ Communications Minister, no less. It’s our grandparents and great grandparents who are at fault. If only they’d listened to the advice of Mr S H Smith, Director of [...]

Swearing on TV? F#@%ing fantastic!

Senator Conroy's gaff on live TV made sure he copped a berating, but will there ever be a time when we can drop the F-bomb in public? Aidan Wilson

Too monolingual for our own good

Aidan Wilson writes… Every so often, the lack of language education in Australian high schools becomes a topic of acute but peripheral political debate, before quickly submerging again. At the moment we’re right in the middle of a trough of that cycle, but a couple of weeks ago, Julie Bishop announced her person ambition to [...]

The Talkley Award – a word nerd’s night of nights

Piers Kelly writes: Earlier this month the inaugural Talkley Award was presented to celebrity linguist Kate Burridge at a small ceremony in Canberra. The award acknowledges the contributions of Australian linguists who promote language awareness in the public arena. As well as her appearances on ABC radio and television, Burridge was recognised for her part [...]

The grammar of LOLcats

Aidan Wilson writes… In Canberra last weekend the Australian Linguistics Society held their annual conference. Ordinarily, we at Fully (sic) wouldn’t write about such esoteric events as, well to be brutally honest, not much of it appeals to anyone outside the academic world, or even outside the discipline. But this time around there was at [...]

Translating ancient manuscripts via crowdsourcing

Piers Kelly writes: Since the 1990s, scientists have recruited idle home computers to help with data analysis. I remember that our family’s clunky old PC used to run a screensaver that used its spare computing power to analyse the structure of cancer molecules and send the results back to a distant lab. We felt pretty [...]

Obama tries the local lingo

Lauren Gawne writes… Last week the local media were kept suitably busy by the brief visit of the U.S. President Barak Obama. We were kept up to date with his every move, and the bemusing hashtag blend #aubama spent a bit of time loitering in the list of trending Twitter topics. The trip was mostly [...]

Aboriginal language on Broadway

William Steed writes: It’s only a small thing, but I’m a fan of both Australian indigenous languages and musicals (and, thanks to X-Men, of Hugh Jackman as well). All three show up together in Jackman’s one-man show on Broadway, says ABC Online. Olive Knight sings in the show, Back on Broadway, and taught Jackman to [...]

Is ‘Buckley’s chance’ un-Australian?

Bruce Moore writes: The latest edition of NZWords prints some research from Stephen Goranson of Duke University, North Carolina, who points out that many of the early references to Buckley’s chance (or Buckley’s show or Buckley’s hope or Buckley’s choice) appear in New Zealand newspapers. Goranson had access to the Australian evidence via the Australian National Dictionary, [...]

A reply from Dean Frenkel

Dean Frenkel writes: Aidan Wilson has launched an appalling personal attack on me in Crikey. His lamentable burst of anger was mostly based on an interview Phillip Adams conducted with me on Radio National. It has necessitated a response that regrettably is somewhat personal in return.

Beware of scientists bearing fraud

James McElvenny writes… The title of this post is probably a bit misleading. This is not an anti-science rant as such. My title is simply intended to evoke Beware of frauds bearing science, a recent post from Aidan Wilson here on this blog that could considered an example of the ‘Respect mah authoritah!’ genre of [...]

Beware of frauds bearing science

Dean Frenkel has been spruiking a new book in which he claims to have all the answers about the evolution of language. Does he? Aidan Wilson investigates.

The politics of subtitling

Ingrid Piller writes: Recently, I watched a TV documentary about the proliferation of Nomura jellyfish in Japanese coastal waters. It was a shocking tale of the devastating environmental, economic, social and human impact of overfishing, global warming and marine pollution. The reason I’m blogging about the show as a sociolinguist, though, has nothing to do with [...]

The Chinese people moisten a female horse

Yesterday a reader wrote: I was just too intrigued by the claim in Rundle’s recent column that “Zhongguo renmin zhan qilai le” could mean “anything from “the Chinese people are infected by skin disease” to “the Chinese people moisten a female horse” — could you get your resident Chinese speaker to type those alternate versions [...]

Perils of the unconventional

Canberra this morning was a little smoky, with a chemical fire in the northern suburb of Mitchell. Emergency Services sent out emergency messages to a number of suburbs, urging people to stay indoors to avoid toxic smoke. A couple of...Show More Summary

Gillard, grammar and the language of politics

Lauren Gawne unpacks the criticism of Julia Gillard's use of language and finds that it's all just hot air.

An archbishop, an imam and a linguist walk into a tax office…

There’s been some recent discussion on a linguist mailing list about how to fill out an eTax form. Specifically, which profession to choose from the drop-down menu. One individual has written:  Year after year I am annoyed by the fact that I don’t know what a linguist is to make of the drop-down menu in [...]

Spend = Earn

Ingrid Piller writes: Corporate double-speak is plummeting to ever lower depths and is insinuating itself into every aspect of our lives. Many see through this sustained assault on our collective intelligence, no doubt.  Mike Carlton,...Show More Summary

More terrorist N-grams

Tom Honeyman and Piers Kelly write: Yesterday’s post concerned changes over time in the meanings of ‘terrorist’. The gist was that ‘terrorist’ has come to be synonymous with Islamism, particularly in the media — up until the 1980s, it appears, ‘terrorist’ activities were mostly domestic, territorial and non-Islamist. The shift in perception is well illustrated [...]

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freak

There has been much recent criticism of the analysis of the Norway massacre, particularly of the premature reporting of the atrocity as an Islamist terrorist attack. Many of these same analysts switched to psychological explanations after the right-wing political motives of the killer — anti-Islamism amongst them — were well established. Discussion of the commentary [...]

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