In the most recent episode of podcast Because Language, presenter and linguist Daniel Midgley tells us about some interesting Internet English he has observed. It is about the placement of the word “when”, sometimes spelled as “wen”. Here are some examples: (I apologise for all the examples being on Reddit, Daniel Midgley did name some… Continue reading Why do people sometimes write “wen” instead of “when”?
What are tone indicators? Tone indicators or tone tags are slash-letter combinations that you add to the end of a remark to let people know how you meant it. Like this: I hate teachers /j /j means “joking” You can find whole lists of them online, but it is important to note that most of… Continue reading Does anybody actually use tone indicators?
An AI ghost word is a nonsense word that has been given a nonsense definition by AI. In practice, we see that the same ghost words are given different definitions on different junk-AI websites. Here are a few examples. lrtsjerk 2460 results on Google (January 2024) This was the first AI ghost word I encountered.… Continue reading AI ghost words: a list
I’ve had a few responses to my blog post from 30 January 2024 about AI generated articles making up definitions for nonsense words. For the term “lrtsjerk”, for example, I found 2460 articles; a few definitions were “a group of online jerks”, “a leading technology solution”, “an out-of-the-box way of thinking”, “a magical land”, “a… Continue reading lrtsjerk & AI ghost words, part 2
For my newsletter on English language change, I monitor the web using good old Google Alerts. I’ve set up search queries such as “English linguistics” and “Gen Z slang”, and once a week Google sends me all the new results that have been put on the web with those keywords. In the past few months,… Continue reading lrtsjerk: a ghost word that scares me
Today, fellow English teacher, blogger, and podcaster Dan Clayton posted this on BlueSky: In a follow-up post, he clarified that the enregisterment in this xtweet was the “like roadmen” part. I had never heard of the term “enregisterment” so I googled “enregisterment meaning” and “enregisterment linguistics”. I found lots of very dense, academic papers and… Continue reading Enregisterment explained
The moment ChatGPT came out and amazed the world in late 2022, I immediately thought “this would be great for language practice”. Except it wasn’t. ChatGPT is simply not a good conversation partner. It’s made to answer questions, not to keep a conversation going. You can use it as a language tutor, but you keep… Continue reading I checked out 9 language learning AIs
These pictures popped up in my social feed: This example of Australian English was a new one for me: In Australia we often have a meal where people are invited to bring some food to share. It’s often referred to as ‘bring a plate’. A friend from Scotland literally brought an empty plate and was… Continue reading Amusing world-English misunderstandings
I collect neologisms for my newsletter English in Progress. Sometimes I find them myself on social media (by searching for “English language” and similar). Then I write a blog post about them, because I don’t like linking to social media in my newsletter. “Gooning” is either masturbating a lot, or masturbating in such a way… Continue reading Neologism: microgooning
tldr version: I am costing Substack money rather than making it for them. Moving would cost me subscribers. I also sympathise with subscribers who do not want Substack to have their email address. For this reason, I have also opened an account at Beehiiv, and will copy-paste every newsletter I write. If you want to… Continue reading Why I am still on Substack