language links, ling-anth links

Language links 1/1/2019

Once a month, I share some of what I’ve been reading.


Aren’t you curious how all those word-of-the-year lists happen? I enjoyed this peek behind the scenes. And similarly charmed by a look at the American Heritage Dictionary’s usage panel.

A truly excellent linguistic-anthropology take on #MeToo: “When ‘me too’ moves from co-oxygenated communication to digital communication, the hashtag draws on its power as the second pair-part of an atypical adjacency pair and transforms into a resource for thousands…”

Why do colleges and universities continue to rely on course evaluations? A new study (of the ‘duh’ variety) finds that giving students cookies impacts evaluations.

Men talking over their female colleagues is nothing new. Sure, the US President typifies it, but seriously: this was just an average Tuesday.

And speaking of gender, women do a lot of the conversational “shitwork” in intimate relationships. (Also not new – this is based on research started in the ’70s.)

On academic inequality: let’s talk about racism in the research lab, on the one hand, and the allegations against Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the other.

“…I was also hearing something else beyond the mess or in the mess. I was listening to the sound of machinery: the clunk, clunk that was telling me that inefficiency is not just about the failure of things to work properly but can be how things are working. In other words, I began to realise that inefficiency was not just about errors in an operating system; errors can be an operating system.” –Sara Ahmed

To round off the new year, a look at ‘Latinx’ and its history.

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