Archive for Linguistics in the comics

Where the magic happens

From today's SMBC, an idea about AI that's obvious in retrospect but seems to be new:

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The Iron Law of AI

Today's SMBC:

Mouseover title: "The other day I was really freaked out that a computer could generate faces of people who DON'T REALLY EXIST, only to later realize painters have been doing this for several millenia."

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Language change as extortion

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Literary opinions

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "If I really focus, I can distinguish between John Steinbeck and John Updike, or between Gore Vidal and Vidal Sassoon, but not both at once."

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Universal metacomments

The latest xkcd:

Mouseover title: "NPR encourages you to add comments to their stories using the page inspector in your browser's developer tools. Note: Your comments are visible only to you, and will be lost when you refresh the page."

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Qualifying fluency

The current xkcd:

Mouseover title: "[20 minutes later] ", hi.""

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Self-aware autoreply

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(Linear) A/B testing

To understand today's xkcd, you need to know what A/B Testing is, what Linear A and Linear B are, what Aksara Kawi is, what JavaScript and some of its subtypes are, …

Mouseover title: "We wrote our site in Linear A rather than Aksara Kawi because browser testing showed that Crete script rendered faster than Java script."

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Following up on the previous post, see Emma Grey Ellis, "Nobody knows what 'troll' means anymore — least of all Mueller", Wired 4/26/2019:

GREETINGS, TROLLS OF Reddit! Tell me: What's a troll?

"Memester that hates normies," says suicideposter.

"Someone who only interacts for reactions," says _logic_victim.

"Lives under a bridge, votes Republican," says TW1971. ("no u," replies Popcap101z, taking the bait, baiting the hook, or both. I can't be sure.)

"I prefer not to apply labels to myself," says MyFriend_BobSacamano. (Lulz.)

Asking a troll to define trolling is a bit like asking a terrorist to define terrorism. The question backfires; it invites prevarication and propaganda. But in the past few years, an answer has become increasingly necessary—and elusive. Without one, can we clearly distinguish teasing from hate speech?

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Rhetorical trope of the week

Today's xkcd:

Mouseover title: "Listen, I'm not a fan of the Spanish Inquisition OR predatory multi-level marketing schemes…"

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Itchy Feet webcomic on Asian scripts

This is from 2013, but it's been making the rounds on Facebook…


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Communicating with cats and dogs

On twitter a few days ago:

Today's Liberty Meadows:

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