Monday, 8 December 2014

Medieval Tube Map

Fascinating to see the development of place names over the centuries -- and especially interesting identifying those places which couldn't have their modern names, because they are now named for things or people that didn't exist then...

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Coffee and Chocolate -- 17th-century style.

This is a beautifully typeset advertisement for a coffee-house in London, extolling the benefits of coffee and chocolate for health 30 years after they were introduced to England. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Poetry Words

Some interesting findings from this simple frequency-count project:

The simple, human-experience words are striking; but also the fact about the frequency in poems of words unique in the corpus.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Colour Words Research

Amazing visualisation of research comparing English and Chinese words for colour. Interesting for the way they break down and classify the words, and very beautifully presented. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Twitter search and analytics

Great find from A2 student Jess: this site enables you to search Tweets and other social media posts, and gives automated graphs of changes in usage over time. Great tool to gather language data, though remember that you need to do the thinking and choose your searches very carefully -- and this stream of data is always-changing.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Dialect Blog

A useful guide to some key features of accents on this blog -- check the menu bar at the top for US, Irish and UK accents. Some omissions, but glance at the comments for helpful discussion of these.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Trees of English and Architecture

The aim here is to illustrate the branching history of architecture and its roots; but the comparison to the history and development of English is interesting too, and I like their diagram. :)

A more English-focused version of the same thing can be found here:

Friday, 8 August 2014

Research into male and female language

This Language Log post collects some interesting statistics from a couple of corpus studies into the empirical differences between male and female language use. The caveat at the end about the culturally bound, public-space construction of appearances -- rather than any 'natural' differences -- is important to note.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Monday, 31 March 2014

European word translator

Amazing. Try a range of English words in the box here and it'll show you translations from around Europe. A vivid way of seeing which language group a word comes from -- if you see it to the east, it's Germanic; to the south, it's Latin or French. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

Trolling, historically

Did you know that the etymology of 'trolling' was 'fishing'? This 17th century guide explains how to do it.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Swales’ Three-Move Model for Introductions

For A2s working on the introduction to their research projects, this model is a sound general guide to the sorts of things you should cover.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

'Grammar nazis' and Language Change

Great little article on prescriptivism, language change and variation today. As so often, a headline with a question that can clearly be answered 'no', but a good read nonetheless.