Do you talk like a girl?

Do you talk like a girl?

August 25, 2014 – 7:22AM
5 reading now
Natalie Reilly

Have you ever wondered why some people say ‘like’ so often? Like, even when they didn’t need to? Well, earlier this year researchers from the University of Texas took a look at conversations. Filler words, for example, are exactly what they sound like; words such as ‘uh’ and ‘um’ we use to fill out sentences and are used by everyone. ‘Discourse markers’ on the other hand, are words that appear to litter our sentences, for like, literally no reason, such as ‘like’, ‘you know’ and ‘I mean.’

The group concluded that those particular discourse markers (the ‘likes’) were used more often by young people and women. Continue reading

No, Baden Eunson, english is not vulnerable in Straya

No, Baden Eunson, English is not vunerable in Straya


It’s that old conservative chestnut. We’ve lost our way. We’re falling into an amoral, amorphous, or—in the case of linguistic conservatism—ungrammatical purgatory. But fear not! Redemption is at hand! Just some simple alterations to your accent, to reflect centuries-outdated pronunciation preserved in an obscure, inefficient orthography, and you’ll be saved! Continue reading

Why ice cream sounds fat and crackers sounds skinny

By Dan Jurafsky, a professor of linguistics and, by courtesy, of computer science at Stanford University. Courtesy of the Stanford News Report.

Do the names of some foods make them sound heavier or lighter than others? This seems unlikely; after all, as Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet. . . .

Juliet is expressing the theory we call conventionalism: that a name for something is just an agreed-upon convention. The alternative view, that a name might naturally fit an object, that some names might naturally sound sweeter than others, is called naturalism. Although conventionalism is the norm in modern linguistics, Plato argued for naturalism 2,500 years ago in the Cratylus,pointing out that sometimes sounds seem to carry meaning, a phenomenon we now call sound symbolism. Continue reading