Lippy Linguist

Do jabs hurt more than shots or dots? Why language matters in medicine

Andreea Calude Feb 08, 2022

About a decade ago, Welsh doctor and academic Nefyn Williams wrote an editorial about one of his patients asking him whether the damage to his painful knees, which had been diagnosed as degenerative change, was wear and tear. Williams highlighted how poor this choice of words was in his editorial “Words that harm: words that heal”. In his … Read More

Language Matters: Kiwi metaphors of Covid-19

Andreea Calude Sep 07, 2021

Featured image: ‘’Romantic love is sometimes described as a journey: our relationship is at a crossroads, it’s been a bumpy road, we can’t turn back now, we decided to go our separate ways, this relationship isn’t going anywhere.’’   OPINION: If you are anything like me, you have probably been scouring the media for the latest Covid-19 announcements, … Read More

Language Matters: Why focus on ‘native’ speakers may be misplaced

Andreea Calude Jul 13, 2021

OPINION: People still ask me: what is your native language? Another variant is how any/which languages do you speak?, and the closely related where are you from? question. Linguists know that native language does not always equate to the language you are most proficient in, or the language you dream in, or the language in which you silently swear at the driver who just … Read More

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