It’s true (first-hand experience) that once you encounter (generic) a language with evidentials or an inclusive/exclusive “we”, you think (generic) that we (inclusive) should be using (irrealis) them all the time. 

Another video by Tom Scott, who I’m (first-hand experience) newly a fan of. He also has (second-hand evidence) a degree in linguistics, which makes (hearsay) for a nice change from a lot of language-related media! 

(Source: allthingslinguistic, via bellalinguista)

From a language / communication standpoint, is this really true? Or do we share some responsibility for how our words are interpreted?
#semantics #pragmatics #language

From a language / communication standpoint, is this really true? Or do we share some responsibility for how our words are interpreted?

#semantics #pragmatics #language


me writing essays


Teaching Grice’s Maxims, and this is a nice example of the Maxim of Manner being violated :)

(via minioninthemaking)

Don’t fool yourself. English isn’t inherently superior, or easier to learn, or more sonically pleasing. Its international usage comes from forceful assimilation and legacy of colonialistic injection. It isn’t a deed that one should take pride in.

my uncle left this comment on his friend’s Facebook status, a white British man who was bragging about how easy it is to be a native English speaker when trekking to different nations. (via maarnayeri)

A humbling reminder. Students and teachers express that they envy my “power” in speaking English so that I can go anywhere and teach it as a job.

(via samesamssaem)

(via samesamssaem)

The Takeaway - Swearing is Changing €”And That's a Good Thing



This was a super neat little thing on The Takeaway this morning that I loved. I love swearing and I’ve always been interested in the linguistic side of swear words. If you like linguistics or just the word “fuck” then this is a fun way to spend 5 minutes.

Summary for people who aren’t keen on podcasts (although feel free to also listen to the whole thing, it’s very short and John McWhorter is great): “fuck”, “hell” and so on aren’t really taboo words anymore, mostly a nod to tradition, while the new taboo words that we’re actually uncomfortable to hear in any context are slurs against various groups. 

(via bellalinguista)

What We Mean When We Ask For The Milk

Excellent article about the cultural influence on language use. Just teaching grammar and vocabulary won’t help students understand the pragmatic differences between the target language and their native language. 

“If we understand these differences better, we can understand where other people are coming from, while also reflecting on what our own language says about us and how we relate to others.”


The caught-cot merger. I’m fully merged, are you?


The caught-cot merger. I’m fully merged, are you?

(Source: pulsing-glottal-horror)

Empowering the Language Learner


A very good lecture to review and rethink our practice and also language itself.

(via jpbonil-deactivated20120512)

Authentic audiences


When I was a student, I always valued schoolwork and projects that felt like they had some sort of “authentic audience.” Why was I writing a paper that only my teacher would read? I would consistently put more effort into assignments that would be peer reviewed and shared with the class, and even more into ones that I knew would be viewed by the larger community.

Now that I’m a teacher, I try to give my students as many opportunities as possible to feel like they are doing meaningful work, work with a purpose. Almost every extended project culminates in an elaborate “gallery walk” or “gala” or “exhibition,” where the students set up their work and then take a tour of everybody else’s, filling out feedback slips as they go (I also like giving them lots of opportunities for feedback and constructive criticism…which is usually good, except for the time that Kyle and Trevor gallivanted around the class with the aliases of “Pigster” and “Squag,” writing snarky, negative comments on everything. Luckily, I have uncanny handwriting analysis and I immediately knew it was them, confronted them, and had them rewrite constructive comments.)

I’m realizing the power of authentic audiences even more now, as I have my 6th graders work on wetland brochures. We went on a field trip to a local wetland last week, and we’ve been learning about plant/animal adaptations, as well as the important functions that the wetland ecosystem serves. Back in class, we began to brainstorm reasons why someone might create a brochure: to inform, to educate, to persuade, to raise awareness, etc. Then I mentioned that some of the high quality brochures would get to be linked onto the town’s wetland website, or hang in their downtown office where hundreds of people pass through each month. As soon as I said this, they all started producing really high quality work! There’s something about knowing there’s a purpose to what you’re doing, some greater reason to do it, that sparks people to stepping it up a notch.

Also, I was excited about showing them brochure templates on Microsoft Word so that they could experiment and produce some really cool, professional looking creations!

Great idea!

9 Ideas for Reinventing America's Language Education System

Great article. Not new, but new to me. One of the most interesting ideas (to me) was #3 - No Language Specific Classes. While I don’t know if I agree that there should NEVER be language specific classes, I do think at the introductory level, students should be required to take linguistics courses before specific language study.