Author Archives: brinton

An Old English manuscript available online

The Exeter Book is now available for viewing online: Exeter Book Now Available to Browse Online  

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The closest language to English

The LSA’s podcast “Subtitle” discusses the closest language to English, Frisian: The language closest to English

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Does the use of a gender neutral pronoun change attitudes?

The LSA podcast “Subtitle” has a very interesting discussion of the introduction of the Swedish 3rd person singular gender neutral pronoun “hen”. This is likely a borrowing from Finnish “hän”. It was discussed by a linguist in the 1950s and … Continue reading

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Some notes on the history of “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun

The use of “they” as a gender-neutral 3rd person singular pronoun has a long history going back to Middle English (see the OED entry for “they”, def. AI2). This article refers to some early 20th century attempts to deal with … Continue reading

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More on gender in language

Here is an informative article on gender in language and how it shapes us (ignore the headline given in the URL): https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201006-are-some-languages-more-sexist-than-others?ocid=ww.social.link.email

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American Jewish Accent or New York Accent?

Is it all a matter of prosody? It’s complicated. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-linguists-are-fascinated-by-the-american-jewish-accent?utm_source=share_by_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mailto_share

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“Tones of voice” in Zoom

This article explains how we express tones of voice in texting and in video: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/09/style/tone-indicators-online.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20201210&instance_id=24891&nl=the-morning&regi_id=119842915&segment_id=46542&te=1&user_id=0a9e615b84ef22dc186607f2166707e3

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“Viking” was a job description, not a matter of heredity

An analysis of the DNA of viking remains yield some very interesting results:https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/viking-was-job-description-not-matter-heredity-massive-ancient-dna-study-shows

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The meaning of “BIPOC”

Here is an interesting discussion of the meaning of the term “BIPOC” (published in Good Housekeeping, of all places). The article makes the claim that the term was coined in Canada but provides no details: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/a33436617/what-does-bipoc-mean/

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History of English podcasts

Kevin Stroud has produced (to date) 139 podcasts about the History of English (each 1 hour in length). Try browsing his list of episodes: https://historyofenglishpodcast.com

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