language links, ling-anth links

Language links 8/7: pronouncing ‘AF’ & more singular ‘they’

Every Monday, I share some of what I’ve been reading in the past week.

How do you pronounce ‘AF’? (I say the whole thing — “as fuck” — but I’m also an old.)

If you’ve ever lived in Mexico, you know that ahorita (lit. “right now”) can mean anything from “in an hour” to “never.” Susannah Rigg unpacks this tiny word.

Not strictly linguistic, but social-science-relevant: the “digital native” is a myth that just won’t seem to go away.

Not long ago, Will Saletan wrote some garbage about women needing to say no more strongly. Good thing Deborah Cameron responded for us all, reminding us of Kitzinger and Frith’s pioneering paper on the subject: “…the issue isn’t whether ‘no means no’, and whether men understand that. And it’s certainly not whether women say it ‘firmly’ enough to show they ‘mean business’. The issue is whether men are capable of interpreting—i.e. inferring the intentions behind—the verbal strategies which are normally used to indicate a lack of enthusiasm for something another person proposes. And the answer to that question must be yes, since in all other contexts men use those strategies themselves.”

I just found this delightful experiment from 20 years ago showing that our brains can process singular ‘they’ just fine.

And here’s an observation about gender and anonymity on the internet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.