inclusive language, linguistic anthropology

The discriminatory power of clickbait

So much writing about discrimination — and clickbait writing is especially guilty — ends up reinforcing the very issue it discusses. The problem is almost always the headlines.

By presenting something as ‘shocking’ or ‘unbelievable,’ headlines make claims about their readership.

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linguistic anthropology

The linguists take on Trump

For your reading pleasure, here’s not one but four linguistic takes on Donald Trump’s strategies of plausible deniability. (Yes, one of them is mine.)

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linguistic anthropology

Uptalk update

For those who are interested in gender differences in the use of verbal pauses and uptalk, a quick pointer to some more research:

Meghan Armstrong-Abrami, Page Piccinini, and Amanda Ritchart conducted a study in which they found no significant differences in the frequency of uptalk between men and women, or between Southern California and Massachusetts. (They did, however, find some differences in the slope and length of the rise.)

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inclusive language, linguistic anthropology

Let’s stop demonizing “filler words”

A few days ago, the New York Times published an article by Christopher Mele about so-called “filler words,” telling people to stop using them. Reporting on language often frustrates me, and this was no exception. In fact, thirty-odd linguists — including me — sent them a letter detailing our many concerns with this article. In particular, the article makes two major mistakes: Continue reading

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