Archive for Linguistics in the comics

Learning empiricism

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New word of the week

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Cumulative punctuation

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Barstool punctuation

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The Pythagorean catastrophe

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Budgets on Mars

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Security guaranteed by the laws of physics

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The standard deduckling

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Alignment charts and other low-dimensional visualizations

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The League of Disappointing Authors

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New Years party themes

Today's xkcd:

The mouseover title: ""Off-by-one errors" isn't the easiest theme to build a party around, but I've seen worse."

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Long ago, in a narratology far away…

Louisa Shepard, "‘May the force be with you’ and other fan fiction favorites", Penn Today 12/18/2019:

Starting with Star Wars, Penn researchers create a unique digital humanities tool to analyze the most popular phrases and character connections in fan fiction. […]

The Penn team started with the script of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and created algorithms to analyze the words in the script against those in millions of fan fiction stories. The unique program identifies the most popular phrases, characters, scenes, and connections that are repurposed by these writers and then displays them in a simple graph format.

The results are now available on their “fan engagement meter” at

Serendipitously, today's xkcd:

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Quantum Supremacy

For the past couple of months, the phrase "Quantum Supremacy" has been on my to-blog list, based on points and counterpoints like "Google scientists say they’ve achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ breakthrough over classical computers" (WaPo 10/23/2019) and "IBM Says Google’s Quantum Leap Was a Quantum Flop" (Wired 10/21/2019). My interest, at least on the LLOG dimension, was not in the argument about how difficult a particular problem is for classical computers, but rather in the use of the word supremacy.

Now I can take this one off the stack, because a recent SMBC does a better job than I would have:

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