Lippy Linguist

Hashtags may not be words, grammatically speaking, but they help spread a message

Andreea Calude Nov 04, 2020

Andreea S. Calude, University of Waikato and David Trye, University of Waikato Hashtags are a pervasive feature of social media posts and used widely in search engines. Anything with the intent of attracting a wide audience usually comes with a memorable hashtag — #MeToo, #FreeHongKong, #LoveWins, #BlackLivesMatter, #COVID19 and #SupremeCourt are just some examples. First conceived in 2007 by … Read More

What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?

Andreea Calude Jan 24, 2020

I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which concerns the history of how English came … Read More

Who’s afraid of the non-native accent? Everyone … unless you tell them about it

Andreea Calude Jan 07, 2020

As someone who learnt English late-ish in life, I was always on the look-out for signs which betray my foreignness, afraid that my clumsy mispronunciation or syntactic misalignment will give away my outsider status. And for once, sadly, my worries were well-founded it seems. It’s bad, prejudice is rife! In a study published last year, Roessel and her colleagues … Read More

Let’s get things done!

Andreea Calude Feb 15, 2019

If language is about getting a message across and about getting things done, then there is nothing that does it better than a verb. The more I study verbs, the more I feel this humble grammatical object is key to understanding so much about how we communicate and how our minds work. All you need is VERBS If actions speak … Read More

Does good grammar really matter?

Andreea Calude May 08, 2018

This post was originally published on The Spinoff. The emphasis placed on formal written grammar in schools obscures the fact that English has many kinds of grammar – and they’re all equally valid, writes Waikato University senior lecturer in linguistics, Andreea Calude. “But don’t you want your kids to get a job one day?” There are almost 200 people … Read More