News about the Strathy Language Unit and Canadian English studies
[Please note that this page is an archive of blog posts from 2019. Some of the links to articles are no longer active.]
Date: December 10, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Merriam-Webster has released its words of the year, and nonbinary 'they' tops the list.
The Barbarians Have Won
Date: December 3, 2019 | Category: In the Media
After years of advocating for grammatical standards, the founder of the Apostrophe Protection Society is calling it quits, concluding that people no longer seem interested in proper usage.
- Apostrophe Protection Society shuts down after 18 years, blaming 'ignorance' and 'laziness' (CBC News, Dec. 2, 2019)
- A former copy editor fought to defend the apostrophe. Now he admits 'ignorance' and 'laziness' have won (The Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2019)
Date: December 2, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Interview with Strathy Director
Date: December 2, 2019 | Category: In the Media
"Language" is the topic of the new edition of Queen's Alumni Review. It includes an interview with Strathy Director Anastasia Riehl about English corpora and the unit's project on Wolfe Island.
Hockey Name Changes
Date: November 19, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Hockey Canada is finally changing the names ascribed to the minor league age divisions to avoid derogatory terms.
- Hockey Canada dropping 'midget', other traditional minor age group names (CBC, Nov. 18, 2019)
Date: November 11, 2019 | Category: In the Media
"We’re living in the ampersandthropocene now."
- It's time to bring the ampersand back (Macleans, Nov. 6, 2019)
Date: November 10, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Strathy Alum Gretchen McCulloch reflects on the English of today by imagining the English of tomorrow:
- How can you appreciate 23rd-Century English? Look back 200 years (New York Times, Sept. 23, 2019)
Languages Undergraduate Conference
Date: November 5, 2019 | Category: News
Date: October 17, 2019 | Category: News
After more than ten years in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, the Strathy Language Unit is saying farewell and moving into new space in Kingston Hall. Come visit us in rooms 306 and 310!
Date: October 16, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Toronto slang - what it is, where it comes from, who gets to talk about it - has been a big topic of discussion on social media these past few days. Following an article about linguistics research on slang in the University of Toronto magazine, CBC and other outlets picked up the story. (It even made its way into discussions around the upcoming election.) This prompted conversation and criticism that went beyond slang to issues of the appropriation of Black culture, language and power, and linguistic discrimination. Interesting and important discussions!
Nonbinary 'They' in Dictionary
Date: September 18, 2019 (updated Sept. 19) | Category: In the Media
The use of 'they' as a nonbinary pronoun is now recognized by Merriam-Webster.
- Merriam-Webster editor explains why the dictionary added the non-binary pronoun 'they' (CBC, Sept. 28, 2019)
- Singular 'they': Though singular 'they' is old, 'they' as a nonbinary is new - and useful (Merriam-Webster, Sept. 2019)
- Merriam-Webster adds the nonbinary pronoun 'they' to its dictionary (CNN, Sept. 18, 2019)
Ontario Slang in the OED
Date: September 4, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Ontario slang may finally get its rightful place in the dictionary. Linguist Sali Tagliamonte at the University of Toronto is working with editors of the Oxford English Dictionary to include 'May run' and 'Miner's mouth' and other Ontario terms. For more about the words and these efforts see:
- From 'soaker' to 'bush party', linguist pushing to add Ontario slang to dictionary (CBC, Sept. 3, 2019)
- How an Ontario researcher is fighting to make the Oxford Dictionary more Canadian (Huffpost, Aug. 30, 2019)
"Not a Legally Induced Comma"
Date: September 3, 2019 | Category: In the Media
The Oxford comma was at the centre of another legal case this summer, this time involving the calculation of pension rates for Bell Canada. Remember when the comma was on trial last year regarding overtime pay in the dairy industry?
Date: September 1, 2019 | Category: News
We are very happy to congratulate former Strathy Unit research assistant Gretchen McCulloch on the success of her first book, Because Internet!
Here's some information about the book on Gretchen's website. And here is an excellent review (one of many!) in The New York Times.
Date: July 1, 2019 | Category: News
The blog is taking its annual July-August hiatus. The Unit remains open, however, so please continue to be in touch with your comments and questions!
Date: June 11, 2019 | Category: News
THEY, HIRSELF, EM and YOU: Nonbinary Pronouns in Theory and Practice is happening now at Queen's! Click here for the program and information on streaming the presentations for those who are off campus.
Folklore and Dialect in Newfoundland
Date: May 27, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Did you know that many of the words in the beloved Dictionary of Newfoundland English come from the Folklore and Language Archive at Memorial University? Learn more about this unique folklore program:
- Memorial University department is country's only comprehensive Anglophone folklore program (The Western Star, May 27, 2019)
Creating Canadian English
Date: May 26, 2019 | Category: In the Media
A new book on the history of Canadian English scholarship, by UBC's Stefan Dollinger, will be out next month. Meanwhile, here's a nice overview of the project:
- Oak Bay researcher's Canadian English dictionary goes to print (Sooke News Mirror, May 25, 2019)
Sexy Canadians, Eh?
Date: May 7, 2019 | Category: In the Media
A silly poll on sexy accents leads to serious reflection on the complexity of a "Canadian" accent.
- Are our accents sexy? Depends on who you ask, b's (Times Colonist, May 5, 2019)
Date: April 23, 2019 | Category: News
Wade Guyitt of Editors Kingston (and formerly of the Strathy Unit!) did a great write-up of the Unit's projects for the Editors Kingston blog.
Talking Canadian English with Canadian Editors
Date: April 10, 2019 | Category: News
Strathy Unit Director Anastasia Riehl will speak at Editors Kingston tonight about Canadian English corpus research and the Unit's ongoing projects. Join us!
Date: March 27, 2019 | Category: News
The results from our latest "bulletin board" survey are in! How do your judgements compare to those of our participants?
Click image to open pdf.
They, Hirself, Em and You
Date: March 18, 2019 | Category: News
A conference on non-binary pronouns − They, Hirself, Em and You: Nonbinary pronouns in research and practice − will be held at Queen's University June 11-13. Click here for more information and a call for papers.
Regional Accents on CBC
Date: March 18, 2019 | Category: In the Media
CBC's Fresh Air featured an interview about Canadian accents with Michael Iannozzi, a graduate student at Western University. You can find the interview in part 2 of the show, around the 26-minute mark. Enjoy! [Updated: Audio no longer available.]
Date: March 9, 2019 | Category: News
Strathy Unit research assistant Olena Pankiw presented an overview of her Canadian English survey project at the Scarborough Undergraduate Linguistics Conference and Inquiry at Queen's. Nice work Olena!
How to Train Your Canadian Dragon
Date: March 6, 2019 | Category: In the Media
Canadian actor Jay Baruchel of How to Train Your Dragon reflects on his "secret mission" to insert Canadianisms into his character's dialogue.
- Jay Baruchel couldn't help but let his Canadian accent shine through in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy (National Post, Feb 22, 2019)
This Survey is on Fleek!
Date: February 11, 2019 | Category: News
How does your knowledge of a few recent slang terms compare to that of our survey participants?
Click image to open pdf.
Date: February 10, 2019 | Category: News
In Need of a Name
Date: January 23, 2019 | Category: In the Media
You may be a proud Manitoban, Newfoundlander or Nova Scotian, but what are you if you proudly hail from the Northwest Territories?
- Northwest Territorian? There's no official name for people who live in N.W.T. (CBC News, Jan. 22, 2019)
Date: January 22, 2019 | Category: News
The results of our latest "bulletin board" survey are in! Click the image to see how your preferences compare to those of our participants.
Click image to open pdf.
Date: January 7, 2019 | Category: News
Members of the American Dialect Society voted on their word of the year, and the winner is "tender-age shelter". Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee explains, “The use of highly euphemistic language to paper over the human effects of family separation was an indication of how words in 2018 could be weaponized for political necessity. But the bureaucratic phrasing ended up backfiring, as reports of the term served to galvanize opposition to the administration’s border policy.”
See the committee's report for the runners up as well as slang of the year, hashtag of the year, and more!
Canadian English Talks at ADS
Date: January 3, 2019 | Category: News
Canadian English research is off to a great start in 2019! The annual meeting of the American Dialect Society is underway in New York City, January 3-6. The opening session featured these four great talks on Canadian English:
- Tracking change in Canadian English utterance-initial discourse markers, Lisa Schlegl (University of Toronto)
- Sounding like a “Sounder”: Dialect accommodation in Ontario, Canada, Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto), Tim Gadanidis (University of Toronto), Jean-François Juneau (University of Toronto), Kinza Mahoon (University of Toronto), Andrei Munteanu (University of Toronto), Lisa Schlegl (University of Toronto), Fiona Wilson (University of Toronto)
- “He come out and give me a beer, but he never seen the bear”: Old preterites in Ontario dialects, Bridget L. Jankowski (University of Toronto), Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)
- Exploring the sounds of Multicultural Toronto English, Derek Denis (University of Toronto Mississauga), Vidhya Elango (University of Toronto Mississauga), Nur Sakinah Nor Kamal (University of Toronto Mississauga), Srishti Prashar (University of Toronto Mississauga), Maria Velasco (University of Toronto Mississauga)
Check out the program for more Canadian English content in the coming days!