Category Archives: language

Truly random

In today’s new What If?, Randall Munroe discusses, in part, randomly aiming a laser at the sky, writing “if you aimed in a truly random direction, you would have an almost 50% chance of hitting the Earth.” This is one of those cases … Continue reading

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More than who in the what now?

Kirk Goldsberry explains an interesting new basketball shooting statistic he and a colleague have developed today. I’ll be discussing two strange statements that Mr. Goldsberry made. One is strange for logical reasons, and the other is strange for syntactic reasons. … Continue reading

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Obama’s nerd street cred

A couple days ago, Obama made reference to a “Jedi mind meld,” and, not surprisingly, the internet kind of blew up. Look, for example, for the #ObamaSciFiQuotes hashtag on Twitter. This is not surprising because, while Jedi mind tricks are … Continue reading

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Acoustic phonetic primitives

As a linguistics major undergrad, I preferred phonetics and phonology to syntax and semantics. While pursuing a MA in ESL at the University of Hawai`i, this preference persisted, and I got interested in auditory word segmentation (e.g., this pdf). When … Continue reading

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The Joy of Peer Review

If you’ve submitted academic papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, you’ve very likely received a frustrating review or three. It’s all too easy to feel anger and frustration at the apparent sloppiness or boneheadedness of a reviewer. But if a … Continue reading

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