Notes from a Linguistic Mystic

Sorry everybody, I’ve been in the process of moving so I’ve not had much time for the site. I hope to get back on the horse soon.

For today, though, I’m going to cheat a little. Recently, I’ve been given a ”thinking blogger award”. Apparently, this is a new blog phenomenon in which one person lists five sites that make them think, and then, ideally, each of those five lists another five, and so on. I’m honored to have been nominated by LearningNerd, and so I figured that I’d continue the tradition by pointing out a few sites that make me think (or just teach me valuable information).

1) XKCD - xkcd.com This may well be the smartest web-comic on the internet. I’ve discussed his comics on this site several times, and it gracefully runs the gamut from physics to math to linguistics, and does so poignantly and comically. If you’ve never checked it out, take a few minutes, it’s worth it.

(By the way, the latest comic (as of this writing) discusses Godwin’s Law, a fascinating internet phenomenon which I’ve written about before.)

2) Lifehacker - lifehacker.com

Although it’s not language related, Lifehacker (and the tips on their site) have saved me many hours already. They catalog useful little tricks that save time, money, and make your life more productive. They can be a bit focused on software (and firefox) from time to time, but it’s worth keeping any eye out, because their tips can be really wonderful.

3) Treehugger - treehugger.com

Once again, it’s not language related, but Treehugger is a great site for anybody even remotely concerned with the environment. They talk about environmental issues, offer tips for minimizing one’s ecological damage, and even recommend good ecologically sound products. Linguistically, they are working hard to make “to green” an acceptable transitive verb (meaning that somebody does it to something else) which means “to make ____ more environmentally friendly”. Very good language use.

4) UrbanDictionary - urbandictionary.com

This is a truly magnificent site which exists to catalog the neologisms (new words) of my generation and beyond. In addition to being a great reference on unfamiliar words (although you sometimes have to scroll past a few less-than-serious entries), they also offer the Urban Word of the Day. This page (or RSS feed) offers a different and useful word each day. Some particularly useful Urban words of the day are ”bluetool” (one who wears a bluetooth headset all the time), ”vegi-curious” (an adjective describing somebody experimenting with vegetarianism but not serious about it yet) and the winner of the “Wow, now that I know the word for it, I see this everywhere” award, the ”I’m-not-gay seat” (the seat empty seat that male friends will often leave between them when going to a movie or restaurant).

So, surf Urbandictionary if you’ve got some spare time, and at the very least, subscribe to the daily feed. It’s a wonderful site.

5) Wikipedia - wikipedia.org

This is cliché, I know, but Wikipedia is my big, loveable internet friend. I’ve spent countless hours on wikipedia researching, learning, or just wikisurfing, and very seldom has it ever failed me. There are even a few links on Wikipedia to articles on this site (which I’m quite happy to see). It’s a good resource for people studying language and linguistics, and it’s an even better resource for somebody just trying to figure something out. Wikipedia embodies the very best of the internet, and is truly a wonderful site.

Conclusion

So, those are my five sites. They’re all fairly large sites (and not necessarily blogs), so I doubt they’ll carry on the tradition of nominating others, but they’re definitely worth endorsing. Feel free to nominate your own additions in the comments.

As I said, I’m hoping to get back in the Linguistic swing of things shortly, and hopefully start answering some of the questions sent in to be by readers too. Thanks for reading!

Post Date: May 14, 2007
Categories: notes - site news -


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