I just debated whether or not to list my blog on my cv, and decided to list it. My blog is a variety of my scholarship, writing and publishing, and more importantly, it brings my work out of the tower and into the town.
I’m wondering what the rest of you think–do you list your blog on your cv? Why or why not?
You might be interested in this read this post by Mark Carrigan on mediating the academic blogosphere,
Each week on Michigan Radio’s “That’s What They Say,” linguist and University of Michigan professor Anne Curzan discusses the hows and whys of language change. Last week’s episode (11/25/2012) about the shifting meanings of idioms got me thinking about yolo. I learned about yolo last spring from students in my intro to linguistics course. We were discussing morphology and word formation processes and they gave yolo as an example of an acronym for the idiom you only live once. The students reported that they say yolo (usually as an exclamation: “Yolo!”) when they trip and fall down the stairs, when they burp in class, or when they otherwise do something in public that’s embarrassing or dumb. They explained that by saying yolo they acknowledge their clumsiness, social gaff, stupidity, or other embarrassment, and at the same time they laugh it off and thereby laugh at themselves. But, this meaning is different than my understanding of you only live once. When I say “you only live once,” I mean ‘seize the day’ or ‘do x,y, or z right now because it might be the last chance ever to do it.’
It’s clear from these different uses and meanings that you only live once is changing. However, it seems that the meaning shift is attached to the morphological shift–that ‘I did something dumb, and I know it and I can laugh about it and myself’ is tied to the word yolo more than to the phrase you only live once. It’s also clear that this (at least right now) is an age-graded language change. I also wonder if the use is gendered since most of the students who gave examples of its use were female.
Are there other idioms you’re aware of that are undergoing change?
I wonder if yolo will be a candidate at ADS’s 2012 Words of the Year vote? Maybe you have a WOTY contender that you’d like to nominate?
Since the pasty wars broke headline news in the UK last month, pasties have been on my mind, particularly their pronunciation. If you listen to these clips from The Spectator, you’ll hear pasty pronounced in the UK, specifically Cornwall, similar to what you’ll hear in the Upper Peninsula (UP) and as the image of the magnet above instructs: [pæsti]. The magnet is a good example of the commodification of a dialect feature, a bit of language that can be bought and sold. But, it’s not just any bit of language–it must be a recognizable feature, one that carries meaning. And pasty does just that: it signals local identity and local knowledge. If an individual knows what a pasty is, then most likely they know how to pronounce it, both reflecting local identity. In this way pasty is a shibboleth, much like sauna, which I wrote about in a previous post. As a shibboleth, pasty signals ‘local identity’ when speakers pronounce it “pass-tee” and signals ‘outsider’ when mispronounced. However, unlike sauna, which is a common word for most Americans and has two variant pronunciations, pasty is not a common word for many people and therefore the pronunciation is often based on analogies with more familiar and similarly spelled words: pastry and pastie.
If you’re not familiar with pasties, they are hand-held savory pies brought to the UP by Cornish miners who immigrated to the northwestern UP in the 1800s. The popularity of the pasty remains, so much so that it is known as a regional dish in Cornwall as well as in the UP. In the UP pasties are typically filled with beef or a beef and pork mixture, potatoes, onions, carrots, and rutabagas. My favorite pasties in the UP can be found at Toni’s Country Kitchen in Laurium. And downstate in Grand Rapids every Tuesday is pasty day at Marie Catrib’s, where you will find meat, veggie, and vegan pasties.
Where in Michigan do you think people speak best? Why? Where in Michigan do you think people speak worst? Why? These are questions that Angela Tramontelli are investigating. We’re curious as to where Michganders think the best and worse English is spoken in our state and who they think speaks the best and worse English.
Similarly, Michiganders imitate UP English by peppering their speech with eh, pank (‘to pat down, to make compact’), Let’s go mall(‘Let’s go to the mall’), yah (‘yeah, yes’), and you betcha. Wisconsinites refer to ‘Sconsin (‘Wisconsin’), bubblers (‘drinking fountains’), brats (‘bratwurst’), and say yah hey and com’ere once when they want to convey a sense of Wisconsin speech. Northerners imitate Southerners by saying y’all come back now, ya heah! While Cajuns of Louisiana are characterized by their use of yat (‘Where you at?’), dis (‘this’), and dat (‘that’). We recognize these features in relating to certain places (New England, Louisiana, Wisconsin, the UP, Appalachia) and groups of people (Yankees, Cajuns, Cheeseheads, Yoopers, and Hillbillies) because they draw on enregistered features, features that have become recognizable and that reiterate meanings that link language, people, and place. Despite the limited meanings forged within these links, in reality, variation is a matter of contextualized stylistic practice and speakers draw on a range of features in their everyday uses of language. Variationist research demonstrates that speakers rely on certain stylistic practices to index particular identities, from age, to region, to gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. The ways in which these meanings are connected and reused rely on the recirculation of specific linguistic features: stock phrases, repeated words, and pronunciations. Individuals discursively create and recognize these links through their repeated use aligned with particular speech events and contexts. As people interact through and across various media they rely on indexicality, mediatization, and enregisterment to ensure that these meanings are recognizable and meaningful.