Category Archive: Linguistics

May 13

Semantics- the meaning behind it all

  Semantics is the content portion of language, referring to the meaning of words.  Every utterance has some type of meaning to it, otherwise it wouldn’t be said in the first place. It is also possible for the utterance to code for more than one meaning. For example, you might say something like “I drove my new …

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Mar 14

Syntax- There is a Method to Our Madness

Toddlers have quite an impressive and expressive vocabulary of 150- 300 words in their lexicon, or personal dictionary. The early word combinations children use at around age 2 are already following predictable word-order patterns. Even though they are only saying a couple words at a time, they will typically be in the subject-verb-object order that …

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Feb 14

How to be a Successful Conversationalist

There are those people (or at least one person) in our lives who are fantastic story tellers, captivating our imaginations with every word.  There are also those people who are terrible at getting their point across. You know, that person that makes you cringe a little when the phone rings or you see that tiny …

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Nov 22

How Many Times…

Hi everyone! For my fellow college-goers, I hope the semester is going well! If you need a distraction from the stress of finals being around the corner (or are bored for some reason) this website is your answer: http://www.wordcount.org/main.php Make sure you really have time to waste, I was on this site for longer than …

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Nov 15

Emoticons XD

Has my generation been negatively impacted by emoticons and texting? No, not everyone has. Emoticons do come in handy sometimes 🙂 I got my first cell phone in eighth grade.  It was a simple flip phone that took forever to text with. But then again, that was the era when ppl made txts short.  I …

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Oct 11

Change is Good

  Words like computeresque (adj), ecomuseum (n), and ringback (n) weren’t around before I was born. Actually they were accepted into the English dictionary as new entries only as far back as 5 years ago, in 2008.  They may have been used before then, but they are now three of the numerous new official entries …

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Sep 19

Creativity: it’s all in the syntax

Person 1: Tomorrow we are going to my mom’s sister’s dad’s granddaughter’s house for her birthday party. Person 2: Oh your cousin’s house. Person 1: Isn’t that what I said? Tracing through your entire family tree is completely unnecessary in the above situation, but nonetheless, the sentence is grammatically sound. This is one of the …

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Sep 10

Misunderstood (in a wacky way)

How many times have we run into communication glitches with our friends?  You say one thing but your friend understands something completely different.  This often happens because either one word or the whole statement is ambiguous (has more than one meaning).  Sometimes you just can’t avoid it and you come out with some really wacky …

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