Johanna Nichols – among her many contributions to the study of language – has identified two types of geographic zones relevant for comparative work in linguistics: residual zones and spread zones.
Last week at the Y I met a woman named Laura. We struck up a conversation, and among other things Laura mentioned she’d begun to do tai chi again after a thirty-year hiatus. She told me how she didn’t like her tai chi teacher of thirty years ago and hadn’t... read more
For March, which is Women’s Month. Sociolinguist William Labov has observed: “While most language forms are stable and customary; a few rapidly changing variables may be closely compared to fashion. Change and diffusion of fashions – in clothing, cosmetics – appears to be closer to linguistic change and diffusion than... read more
I’m a fan of HGTV. One of the shows I like is Flip or Flop with telegenic husband-wife team Tarek and Christina El Moussa. Every time I hear Christina talk, I’m always struck by how often she uses the voice register known in the media as vocal fry.
Note: I first took up the subject of frame analysis in The Articulate Executive II and here I repeat a few of the comments I made in that blog. My argument and some examples are from George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant! We’re in high political season, and we’re... read more
Last week a manager in a major communications company contacted me in my role as a linguist. He wanted to consult with me on the phrase “No problem.” I was game, and we arranged a phone call. He opened the call by saying, “I notice more and more these days... read more
The connection between love and language is connection. What is love? Connection. What is language? Connection. When you love someone, you are connected to them. If that person is in your presence, you are likely to connect with them physically – a touch on the arm, a pat on the... read more
If you love language, you will love Public Radio International’s The World in Words weekly podcast. I recently subscribed, and after hearing the podcast posted in the week I subscribed “A Death in the Family,” I just had to go back in the feed and find more. So far I’ve... read more
Note: This post is part of a series. You may wish to read first Love and Linguistics Part I & Part II. The pleasure I take in exploring the many varieties of romance has two sides: the love side and the linguistic side.
Note: This post is part of a series about me and my work. You may wish to read first Love and Linguistics I. Now to answer the first question people often ask me: How is that I am both a professional linguist and a romance writer? The very question suggests... read more