Millions of people around the world take part in large-scale group discussions on the internet. These discussions have been likened to very large-scale conversations. We might wonder, therefore, whether the same kinds of gender differences exist in computer-mediated discussions as have been noted in face-to-face discussions. Linguistics Research Digest: Language and gender on the internet
When writing his screenplay for the film Lincoln, playwright Tony Kushner used his copy of the Oxford English Dictionary to check for possible anachronisms, seeking to impart the flavor of 19th-century English to the script. How much has the vocabulary of English changed since Abraham Lincoln’s presidency? About 25% of the OED’s entries are for words which entered the English language after Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, including racism (1926), leftist (1924), and boycott (1880). If Obama had been Lincoln: 10 lines from Obama’s Second Inaugural Address that wouldn’t have been used in 1865
Illustration by Charles Barsotti Illustration by Charles Barsotti Close Close Open Mitt Romney vs. the English Language
READABILITY Sample text for determining readability index Flesch-Kincaid Formula This is a US Government Department of Defense standard test (i) Calculate L, the average sentence length (number of words ÷ number of sentences). Estimate the number of sentences to the nearest tenth,where necessary. (ii) Calculate N, the average number of syllables per word (number of syllables ÷ number of words). Then grade level = (L+N)x0.4 Reading Age = [(L+N)x0.4]+5 years 'SMOG' Formula Select samples of 30 consecutive sentences.
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Founded in 2006, Twitter is the online social networking service that allows its users to communicate via text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as ‘tweets’. Communication in Twitter is fast-paced and it can be difficult to keep track of the talk that emerges, so a convention has arisen among Twitter users whereby a hashtag (#) can be used as a prefix to make the term searchable and then others can search for tweets that have that same topic. So, for instance, a search of #LFW this week in Twitter should produce a list of tweets relating to London Fashion Week. Anyone can start off a term with a hashtag and if it catches on and is used with sufficient frequency it can become what is known as a ‘trending topic’. Linguistics Research Digest: #Tweet #Tweet
would a boy have been shown with flowers in the 1970s? Are girls and boys portrayed differently in children’s reading materials today than in the past? During the 1970s and 80s, studies of children’s reading materials found that males not only featured more than females but also they tended to take the lead roles and were more active than their female counterparts, who were often restricted to traditional stereotyped roles. Many of these earlier studies of gender in children’s reading material analysed the texts based on their content, which meant that researchers made their own judgements about what was sexist and what was not. Representing gender in children's reading materials
Fiske's Discs This is a sample of writing by a pop music columnist in 1973. What features of his writing are self-consciously fashionable? Fiske's Discs
I have been reading a book on the development of the English language recently and I’ve become fascinated with the idea of word etymology — the study of words and their origins. It’s no secret that English is a great borrower of foreign words but I’m not enough of an expert to really understand what that means for my day-to-day use of the language. Simply reading about word history didn’t help me, so I decided that I really needed to see some examples. Using Douglas Harper’s online dictionary of etymology, I paired up words from various passages I found online with entries in the dictionary. For each word, I pulled out the first listed language of origin and then re-constructed the text with some additional HTML infrastructure. Ideas Illustrated » Blog Archive » Visualizing English Word Origins
Concordle - Not so pretty cousin of Wordle
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