Topic : Online
The Birth of a Word
March 14, 2011
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could capture every moment of a child's language development? Deb Roy, a researcher at MIT, managed to do just that with his infant son. After wiring his house with video cameras, he then analyzed "the world's largest home video collection" to show how a bit of babble became a word. See Roy's TED talk here.
Winning Grammar Haiku
March 7, 2011
Make a Grammar Haiku!
March 2, 2011
"Well formed haiku bring / National Grammar Day glory / tweet your best today." In advance of National Grammar Day on March 4th, editor Mark Allen is hosting a haiku-writing contest. Submit your grammar-related haiku by posting it to Twitter with the hashtag #GrammarDay. Deadline is 10 p.m. on March 3rd! Details here.
Useful sites for educators
Enriching Women's History Month with Vocabulary
February 28, 2011
If you are looking for some great documents to help your students learn more about Women's History, look no further. The National Archives' Teaching with Documents is a great resource for Women's History Month. Choose a document and have students use VocabGrabber to help them interpret challenging vocabulary. "Failure is Impossible" is a short skit written in honor of the women's suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment; here is a vocabulary list for the skit created with VocabGrabber.
Last week, a study was published tracking word frequencies on the blogosphere, and researchers found that certain words can have earthquake-like effects. The researchers, from the Medical University of Vienna, examined 168 political blogs in the United States and monitored spikes in word frequency. They discovered that some events can trigger influential "reverberations." Continue reading...
A Monthly Column for Word Lovers
February 1, 2011By Orin Hargraves
This month in the Lounge, we take a look at the much buzzed-about "culturomics" paper in the journal Science and the related "Ngram viewer" rolled about Google to track the history of language and culture. What does the trendy "culturomic" approach to data-crunching have to offer those harmless drudges, the lexicographers? Continue reading...
Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
December 23, 2010By Ben Zimmer
Last week, an exciting new tool for analyzing the history of language and culture was unveiled by Google. They call it the "Ngram Viewer," and it's an interface to study the enormous corpus of historical texts scanned by Google Books. The Ngram Viewer was rolled out in conjunction with a paper in the journal Science introducing the field of "culturomics." Dennis Baron has weighed in on the significance of this development for researchers. But what about those peculiar words, culturomics and ngram? Continue reading...