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Blog Excerpts

A Map of American English, via Twitter

Computational linguist David Bamman has created a fascinating new website called Lexicalist. By analyzing Twitter and other social media, he has mapped the U.S. according to what people are talking about, and how they're saying it. Bamman explains how the project came together in a guest Language Log post here.
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Blog Excerpts

Pronouncing the Volcano

The volcano in Iceland that has disrupted European air travel goes by the impenetrable name Eyjafjallajökull. Don't know how to pronounce it? Neither does anyone else outside of Iceland. Mark Liberman of Language Log presents some outsiders' failed attempts, as well as proper pronunciations from actual Icelanders, here.
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Today is Veterans Day in the United States, and linguist Neal Whitman has been thinking about a question of military usage: if "50,000 troops" refers to 50,000 people, then does "one troop" refer to one person?  Continue reading...
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More on "Text(ed)"

Exploring a topic discussed here back in April, the British linguist John Wells considers how people are forming the past tense of the verb "to text" (often pronounced, like the present tense, as "text"). Read about it on Dr. Wells's phonetics blog here.
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Wendalyn Nichols, editor of the Copyediting newsletter, offers useful tips to copy editors and anyone else who prizes clear and orderly writing. Here she tackles the question, "Why do we say a baseball player 'flied out,' not 'flew out'?"  Continue reading...
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Just in time for the beginning of the school year, linguist Neal Whitman investigates how "back to school" got transformed from a prepositional phrase to a noun phrase.

It's time for back to school! With Labor Day just around the corner, back to school is days away for many students across the nation, and for many others it has already come.  Continue reading...
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Michael Jackson's Nonsense Chant

The world has lost Michael Jackson, but his music stays with us. On the linguistics blog Language Log, Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer uncovers the origins of Jackson's nonsensical chant, "Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa," and Mark Liberman follows up with an analysis of the chant's linguistic accents and musical beats.
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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 105 Articles