ed kitis

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Why English has a 'we' problem: when we say 'we', who do 'we' mean?

“We committed the murders.”<p>That was the line that jolted the crowd duringPaul Keating’s Redfern speech, delivered on 10 December 1992. By “we” Keating of course meant “we non-Indigenous Australians”. The crowd understood and gave an immediate, heartfelt response for a sentiment seldom heard from a …

Language

Language of the City and Wall Street deciphered

The jargon bandied about by pinstriped City professionals can be so impenetrable that it sounds like a foreign language spoken only by rich young men. Thankfully, veteran US financial commentator Jason Zweig has compiled a lexicon to assist the lowly layman in understanding those who have been …

Stock Markets

Lingua: Entire editorial team of respected linguistics journal resign en mass in turf war over publishing

The entire editorial team of a respected linguistics journal has resigned en masse in an escalation of the turf war between university researchers …

Journalism

Students in Debt, Professors in Poverty -- What's Going Wrong?

The fight for a living wage has been a hot-button issue over the past 5 years and will certainly be a talking point in upcoming presidential elections. In a time when college enrollment is booming and college tuition is at an all-time high, the prospect of getting an upper-level degree and working …

How to send email like a non-metaphorical boss

When Enron collapsed and got hit with a lawsuit requesting discovery on its internal email, its top bosses decided that they'd skip spending money on …

How did our legends really begin?

In the great mythological narrative of Homer's Odyssey, the hero lands on the island of Sicily, the home of a race of one-eyed monsters, the …

Anthropology

Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn elected with huge mandate

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the British Labour party, in a stunning first-round victory that dwarfed even the mandate for Tony Blair in 1994.<p>He won with nearly 59.5% of first-preference votes, beating rivals Andy Burnham, who trailed on 19%, and Yvette Cooper who received 17%. The …

United Kingdom

Communicating In Different Countries

For thousands of years, humans have conducted business across geographic, political and cultural boundaries. (For example, during the first century BC, the complex trade routes of the Silk Road linked China to India and the Western world.)<p>You’d think it would be even easier now — in today’s …

Rock Against Racism: the Syd Shelton images that define an era

On 30 April 1978, Syd Shelton was woken by people parading past his building in Charing Cross Road, singing Clash songs. It was 4am but Shelton, a photographer and activist from Yorkshire, was delighted. He was helping organise a Rock Against Racism march later that morning from Trafalgar Square to …

England

Hiroshima atomic bomb: a simple toll of a bell signals the moment 80,000 died

The silence was broken only by the toll of a single temple bell and the chirping of cicadas in their mid-summer prime.<p>The man who survived Hiroshima: 'I had entered a living hell on earth'<p>Read more<p>In sight of the scarred A-bomb dome and the river where thousands had sought sanctuary from the heat …

Japan

How Your Brain Understands Visual Language

Or, “why email is still represented by an envelope.” Design professor Josiah Kahane explains.<p>Semioticians classify signs or sign systems in relation to the way they are transmitted. To illuminate one way semioticians look at things, let us peek at stage and film semiotics, which study the various …

Google a step closer to developing machines with human-like intelligence

Computers will have developed “common sense” within a decade and we could be counting them among our friends not long afterwards, one of the world’s leading AI scientists has predicted.<p>Professor Geoff Hinton, who was hired by Google two years ago to help develop intelligent operating systems, said …

Artificial Intelligence

Confessions of a Code-Switcher: 'Talking White' as an Accent

Growing up, my Black friends said I talked "white" and my non-Black friends said I talked "ghetto." When I'm with non-Black friends, in the classroom, or at a job interview, I automatically turn on the "taking white" switch. When I'm with my Black friends, I reset to my normal south-side Chicago …

Banning slang will only further alienate young people, innit

Basically, this week a south London school decided to ban slang. Harris Academy in Upper Norwood has put posters up outlawing "innit", "bare", "like" and "extra" as well as the heinous practice of beginning sentences with "basically" or ending them with "yeah".<p>The school believes its initiative …

Why have we got it in for the glottal stop?

Speakers of British English always seem to be on the lookout for the glottal stop: that abrupt silence that can replace the “t” in words like “right” or “taught” or between the syllables in an exclamation like “uh-oh!”. This week, it was Ed Miliband who found himself hauled in front of the language …

Language

Greece In Or Out - Investment Opportunities?

Earlier this week, I paid a visit to the Greek island of Corfu. Whilst most of what we read and observe about the Greek economy revolves around …

Europe

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The Spitalfields Nippers show the East End before the welfare state

Horace Warner's photographs of the Spitalfields Nippers shows what happened to some of society's most vulnerable - and reminds us of the value we …

What Languages Will We Speak In The Future? Ask Your Questions Now

What languages might go extinct in the future, and how can we expect the surviving ones to change? Linguist John McWhorter is here to answer our …

The clime's speech: Data analysis supports prediction that human language is influenced by environmental factors

(Phys.org)—Human speech is not typically thought to adapt to the environment, and a standard assumption in linguistics is that sound systems are in …

Why English Changes More Slowly Today Than It Did A Thousand Years Ago

As languages acquire new speakers, spread to new geographic areas, and mingle with other languages, they change. But is that change happening as …

Have Fun In The Run-Up To The General Election With Our Ukip Soundbite Generator

There's exactly 100 days to go until the general election. So be prepared - at least for Nigel Farage and his chums - with our easy-to-use Ukip …

This Greek Island Is The Perfect Paradise -- And Supervillain Hideout

This amazing place is Monemvasia, a fortified town that resisted a siege of more than three years located on a tiny island in the Peloponnese sea …

Okay, the market is freaking out a little about the Syriza win in Greece

At first the market was pretty sanguine about Greece’s election results, which saw the anti-austerity Syriza party take control of the government. But now it’s getting real. Newly installed prime minister Alexis Tsipras already has started laying the groundwork for Greece to stop paying down its …

Strong Language, a new linguistics blog about vulgarities

Looks excellent (check out the recent posts about “bastard,” “shit,” “shit-in,” “jackass,” and “fuck”)– I’ve just subscribed to it. And of course don’t forget Language Log, one of my favorites, also run by linguists.

3 Distinguished Linguists Examine Mysterious Origin of Native Americans

It is conventionally held in the scientific community that the New World was first populated some 12,000 to 20,000 years ago by a wave of migration …

These Words Can Hurt Your Credibility Without You Even Realizing It

This story originally appeared on Business Insider<p>Most people don't realize how they sound to others.<p>The words you choose could hurt your credibility without you even knowing it.<p>An obvious one is "like," but there are less obvious words and phrases that might be tripping you up.<p>We spoke with Carmen …

Origin of languages: Tower of Babel, proto-languages, and the brothers Grimm

The Tower of Babel story is a fanciful attempt to account for a very real question: What was the first language and why are there now so many of them?<p>…