Every Monday, I share some of what I’ve been reading in the past week.
Standardizing terminology can make a big difference, and here’s a look at how it plays out in dealing with drug-resistant infections.
After writing about dance roles, gender roles, and language this week, I’m excited to learn more about Saul Albert’s research on dance and interaction.
Why do some accents sound better than others? Hint: it’s about our judgment of the people who have them.
Lauren Gawne has a great summary of an article about the relationships between gesture, speech, and thought.
Questioning certain folks’ credentials is one of the ways that discrimination and inequality get reproduced. And it turns out that women are much more likely to use professional titles when introducing men than the other way around.
I’ve rediscovered Gretchen McCulloch’s old essays for The Toast about language and the internet. Some favorites:
- On emoji and overwrought predictions about the death of English: “And that’s the other thing that we mean when we say ‘language’ — a particular, conventionalized system for representing abstract meaning, like English or Japanese or ASL. Here’s a fun twist on a classic book meme to prove my point: pick up the closest book to you, open it to a random page, point your finger at a random sentence, and try to ‘translate’ it into emoji. Show this to someone with no context, and see if they can figure out what the hell you’re trying to say.”
- What couple names can teach us about English blends (like brunch)
- How we indicate we’re being sarcastic on the internet