Shannon Reed writes: "Texting, Twitter, Facebook statuses, IMing... all of these take up more of teenagers' lives than reading, hand-writing or (I suspect) conversing these days. Thus, I wanted to find a way to incorporate this familiar way of communicating into my curriculum."  Continue reading...
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In last Sunday's New York Times, I wrote about how researchers are using Twitter to build huge linguistic datasets in order to answer all sorts of interesting analytical questions. Some are looking at the emotional responses of Libyans to unfolding events like the death of Qaddafi, while others are tracking the distribution of regional patterns in American English. This latter research area, Twitter dialectology, is just getting off the ground, but the results are already quite intriguing.  Continue reading...
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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...
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Teachers, are you wary of using social media and other online tools to foster student communication? Follow these tips from Michele Dunaway, who teaches English and journalism at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Missouri (when she's not writing best-selling romance novels).  Continue reading...
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Users of Amazon's e-reader, the Kindle, can not only highlight their favorite passages, they can see what everyone else is highlighting. University of Illinois linguist Dennis Baron ponders the consequences.  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Your Virtual Bookshelf

Here are social networking sites for book lovers, allowing you to create a virtual bookshelf and share recommendations with fellow bibliophiles.

LibraryThing

Goodreads

Shelfari

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Last week, American lexiphiles celebrated the 250th birthday of Noah Webster — or his semiquincentennial, if you want to be sesquipedalian about it. On the other side of the pond, British word lovers recently had their own Dictionary Day, on the 299th birthday of Samuel Johnson. (Mark your calendars now for the big Johnsonian blow-out of September 18, 2009, sure to be a rollicking tercentennial!)  Continue reading...
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