language links, ling-anth links

Language links 9/11: political correctness and emojis

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


 

“What do you mean we shouldn’t try hard to be inoffensive?”  Listen to a radio host brilliantly defending political correctness, and largely convincing the caller by the end. “So there’s this idea that on the horizon it could become illegal to say, that’s for girls and that’s for boys. To indulge that slightly unlikely fantasy for just a moment, what’s the worst that could happen if that did occur?”

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language links, ling-anth links

Language links 8/28: pop culture and female scientists

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


Pop culture can do a lot of the heavy lifting around changing people’s minds. The Ford Foundation and AndACTION write, “Rather than using a flat narrative or one-dimensional characters to appeal to the viewer, successful shows are built around complex characters with whom audiences connect over time, an example of identification theory used for entertainment education. Compare a classic after-school special with an obvious agenda to a show like ‘The Good Wife’ that addresses issues of discrimination and religious freedom authentically, and it is clear why current pop culture is more effective at generating empathy.”

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language links, ling-anth links

Language links 8/21

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


Two of my colleagues thoughtfully take down the claim that political correctness is to blame for America’s woes: “What might appear to be a respectful debate that includes a diversity of opinions can in fact serve to reproduce systemic racism. After all, freedom of speech was inscribed into the US Constitution in concert with the displacement and genocide of indigenous populations and the continued reliance on slavery to build the economy of the newly formed nation-state. One could imagine during this time period, two property-owning white men—the normative political subjects whose rights the constitution was designed to endow and protect—respectfully debating the merits of slavery before shaking hands and going their separate ways.”

 

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language links, ling-anth links

Language links 8/14: language limericks and women in STEM

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


Drop everything and read Merriam-Webster’s amazing usage limericks. My favorite (with a teeny-tiny edit for the sake of scansion):

If you’re a stickler for grammar, prepare
to be irked by the singular their
Tho it seems a mistake
The position we take
Is if the word’s in use we don’t care

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