Gretchen McCulloch

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Gretchen McCulloch

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Gretchen McCulloch is an internet linguist!

She writes the Resident Linguist column at Wired (and formerly at The Toast). McCulloch has a master’s in linguistics from McGill University, runs the blog All Things Linguistic, and cohosts Lingthusiasm, a podcast that’s enthusiastic about linguistics. She lives in Montreal, but also on the internet.

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June 2020: translation & public health, LingComm Grantees, and IPA masks

I wrote an article for Wired in which I got to talk with a lot of really interesting people about the importance of language to public health: Covid-19 Is History’s Biggest Translation Challenge.


You, a person who’s currently on the English-speaking internet in The Year of The Pandemic, have definitely seen public service information about Covid-19. You’ve probably been unable to escape seeing q

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Published on July 17, 2020 15:07
Average rating: 4.06 · 5,651 ratings · 1,050 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
Because Internet: Understan...

4.06 avg rating — 5,651 ratings — published 2019 — 17 editions
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June 2020: translation & public health, LingComm Grantees, and IPA masks

I wrote an article for Wired in which I got to talk with a lot of really interesting people about the importance of language to public health: Covid-1 Read more of this blog post »
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Or What You Will by Jo Walton
Or What You Will
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Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch
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This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
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Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
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More of Gretchen's books…
“IBM experimented with adding Urban Dictionary data to its artificial intelligence system Watson, only to scrub it all out again when the computer started swearing at them.”
Gretchen McCulloch, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

“Like the big collaborative projects of the internet, such as Wikipedia and Firefox, like the decentralized network of websites and machines that make up the internet itself, language is a network, a web. Language is the ultimate participatory democracy. To put it in technological terms, language is humanity's most spectacular open source project.”
Gretchen McCulloch, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

“Still, it’s tempting to mislabel the many words currently being appropriated into general American pop culture from African American English as “social media words” simply because they’re used by young people, and young people are on social media, without giving due credit to the words’ true origins. Fittingly, the internet has come up with a word for this: columbusing, or white people claiming to discover something that was already well established in another community, by analogy with how Columbus gets credit for discovering America despite the millions of people who already lived there.”
Gretchen McCulloch, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

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“In 1995, psychiatrist Ivan Goldberg coined the term internet addiction disorder. He wrote a satirical essay about “people abandoning their family obligations to sit gazing into their computer monitor as they surfed the Internet.” Intending to parody society’s obsession with pathologizing everyday behaviors, he inadvertently advanced the idea. Goldberg responded critically when academics began discussing internet addiction as a legitimate disorder: “I don’t think Internet addiction disorder exists any more than tennis addictive disorder, bingo addictive disorder, and TV addictive disorder exist. People can overdo anything. To call it a disorder is an error.”
Danah Boyd, It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

“Listening to teens talk about social media addiction reveals an interest not in features of their computers, smartphones, or even particular social media sites but in each other.”
Danah Boyd, It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

“More often than not, what people put up online using social media is widely accessible because most systems are designed such that sharing with broader or more public audiences is the default. Many popular systems require users to take active steps to limit the visibility of any particular piece of shared content. This is quite different from physical spaces, where people must make a concerted effort to make content visible to sizable audiences.8 In networked publics, interactions are often public by default, private through effort.”
Danah Boyd, It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

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