How I blog

It’s been just over a year since I started this blog, so it seems like as good a time as any to run through my writing and publishing process.

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A textbook case of sexism?

In my current job, I work a lot with an English textbook called Sailing. Overall, it’s a decent resource for the conversation classes I teach. However, a couple of passages in it consistently make me cringe.

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Review: Begat by David Crystal

Begat is an enjoyable, informative examination of the lasting linguistic influence of the King James Bible. David Crystal is someone who believes that this work alone has contributed more idioms to the English language than any other. His book fleshes out this theory.

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Thoughts on conlangs

After getting stuck into David Peterson’s excellent book, The Art of Language Invention, I’ve been thinking more about the topic of constructed languages and how they fit in with the world of linguistics.

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The Allusionist interviews David Peterson

The latest episode of The Allusionist interviews David Peterson, who’s probably best known as the creator of the Dothraki language in the TV series Game of Thrones. And what an interview it is!

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Common Voice dataset released!

Mozilla have just released their transcribed, public domain Common Voice dataset (read: spoken corpora). And with the English portion alone (yes, it’s multilingual) weighing in at a hefty 22GB, it’s nothing to be sniffed at.

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First impressions: Mycroft voice assistant

I don’t get voice assistants. Telling computers what to do using my voice has never really appealed. Sure, they’re cool. And I admit they’re also super useful for some people. Just for not me. In spite of this, I’m fascinated by the speech recognition and text-to-speech software behind these assistants, which, quite frankly, is incredible. Of course, it isn’t the most efficient way of interacting with computers, but when it works it’s magical.…

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My 2019 Reading List

With the new year comes a new resolve to start a list of all the books I want to read. Until now, the approach has been to keep a haphazard list in my head. Unfortunately, this mental list is generally inaccessible when it comes time to choose something new to read.

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QWERTY hurts while kana charms: Changing my keyboard layout to type in Japanese

The past few months I’ve been hitting the kanji study hard. Between the two web-apps I use, I’ve regularly been reviewing at least a couple of hundred items a day. What this has really driven home for me is that QWERTY is just not a great fit for typing Japanese. Sure, it does the job, but it feels a little… off. Like wearing your belt one hole too tight. Off-balance almost.

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Off to ProsLang!

Currently writing this from ChÅ«bu Airport, before I head off to Proslang, a speech prosody workshop being held at Victoria University of Wellington. I’ll be giving a poster presentation this Friday. For anyone interested, I’m making a copy of it available here, which should go up in the next couple of days.

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