Wherein we discuss how linguistics is everywhere but linguists are nowhere, and introduce the concept of the unsolicited etymology swear jar.
Jump right to:
- 01:33 “Universal” word lists, bad puns, and university “field work” stories
- 07:25 What composes an accent? What counts as a dialect? What about “little kid speak”?
- 24:16 What are the most valuable ways linguistics can improve society?
- 45:45 Favorite ridiculous etymologies
- 54:31 The puzzler: What do the words JOB, POLISH, and HERB have in common?
Covered in this episode:
- We love Car Talk
- Dialects and accents often overlap but are not the same thing
- Dialects and registers also often overlap but are not the same thing
- Obligatory “A language is just a dialect with an army and a navy.”
- Linguistics After Dark has no official positions on contentious geopolitical issues
- Understanding the value of descriptivism and the reality of language evolution
- Hot takes on regional identity in the UK vs North America vs California
- Why don’t journalists know that linguists exist?
- “It has nothing to do with financial advising, and everything to do with geese”, or “how Sarah had previously told this story and wishes she’d said it on mic”
- OK is the only acronym etymology that’s all correct
Links and other post-show thoughts:
- Swadesh’s first name was Morris
- Mutual intelligibility on the Deutsch/Dutch border
- More mutual intelligibility, including Scandinavia, from an A++ YouTube channel
- Victor Mair, coiner of the word topolect, over at LanguageLog
- All sorts of ways linguists and linguistics benefit society
- BBC and Received Pronunciation
- Here are some diagrams about the overlap between linguistics and other fields. (This last one is the one Sarah had in mind) We also have some pinned in the BtS (Behind the Scenes) highlight on our Instagram
- The Unsolicited Etymology Trivia Jar
- Etymologies of canary, easel, and lettuce
- The full story of what the fuck, geese (spoiler alert: 356≠390)
- And yes, ⟨mint⟩ where money is printed, is also related to ⟨moneta⟩
- Etymologies of island, isle, OK, and lox (and lox and lax the noun)
Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Jenny transcribes, and Sarah does show notes. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod.
And until next time… if you weren’t consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth, now you are :)