2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 118 Articles

Technology today allows us to outsource, perhaps to "upsource," a number of tasks to the cloud — tasks that used to require some degree of focused effort, record-keeping, or mindfulness from us. Anyone who uses a GPS navigational device, whether on a smartphone or in a vehicle, can testify to its revolutionary effect on wayfinding: the means by which we orient ourselves and navigate from place to place.  Continue reading...
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Two US states celebrate their centenaries in 2012: Arizona and New Mexico. We join them this month with a look at their unique contributions to English, and the characteristic ways in which language contact gives rise to borrowing, hybridization, and neologisms.  Continue reading...
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An overlooked virtue of silence is its role as the desirable condition of creatures when there is not anything in particular that they need to say or do, and its great merit in being a state less likely to lead to trouble than its opposite: talk.  Continue reading...
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Teach a computer to recognize some rules about language, develop algorithms for computers to apply to big buckets of text, and before you know it, computers may be able to tell you things about language or extracted from language that you didn't know before, or that the writer didn't suspect he or she was revealing.  Continue reading...
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In the Language Lounge, we look at how language changes incrementally over time in ways that are not obvious to one or two generations of speakers, but become obvious over a span of decades or centuries. Need proof? Just look at the elliptical grammar of English-language headlines, which can stump non-native speakers.  Continue reading...
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When we argue about the "authenticity" of a linguistic representation, be it a holy text or the screenplay of a period drama like Mad Men or Downton Abbey, what are we really arguing about? In this month's Language Lounge, we delve into the knotty question of how "fungible" words and meanings can be.  Continue reading...
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A recent article in Wired by Anne Trubek argues that the advent of the fully digital age will — and should — have as great an influence on English spelling as the age of print did, more than half a millennium ago. The author, a professor at Oberlin College, argues that our current obsession with correct spelling is out of keeping with the digital age: "Consistent spelling was a great way to ensure clarity in the print era. But with new technologies, the way that we write and read (and search and data-mine) is changing, and so must spelling." Must it?  Continue reading...
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2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 118 Articles