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Environmental effects on language change

Frazz for 7/8/2024 and 7/9/2024:

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Milk tea

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Singing Presidents (a triumph of Chinese AI)

Wasn’t on my 2024 Bingo Card: US Lawmakers: We need to ban $NVDA GPUs sales into China, or else they will lead in AI and boost their military. Chinese social meme accounts burns through valuable Huawei Ascend compute, to make Biden and Trump sing Chinese folk songs about… — Marcel Münch (@_mm85) July 9, […]

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Our journey journey

In "Peevable words and phrases: journey", 5/18/2024, Victor quoted Lisa Miller, "When Did Everything Become a ‘Journey’?", NYT 5/16/2024: According to the linguistics professor Jesse Egbert at Northern Arizona University, the use of “journey” (the noun) has nearly doubled in American English since 1990, with the most frequent instances occurring online. In PubMed, where we've […]

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Click click

"Let’s ‘Double-Click’ on the Latest Cringeworthy Corporate Buzzword:  You may want to examine or delve into the phrase, which has become pervasive in conference calls and grates on many; ‘It’s almost like a joke’", by Te-ping Chen and Nicholas G. Miller, WSJ (7/9/24) One of the fastest-spreading corporate buzzwords in recent years, “double-click” is both […]

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Bilingual Chinese lesbian slang dictionary

"Siting Yao’s bilingual dictionary translates Chinese lesbian slang:  The London-based graphic designer illustrates unique language expressions and humorous anecdotes in her colourful, graphic guide to queer code."  By Ellis Tree, It's Nice That (4 July 2024) Made for: “Chinese speakers who are interested in but unfamiliar with queer culture, English speakers who are interested in […]

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The evolving PubMed landscape

Following up on "Are LLMs writing PubMed articles?", 7/7/2024, Cervantes suggested a factor, besides LLM availability, that has been influencing the distribution of word frequencies in PubMed's index: As an investigator whose own papers are indexed in PubMed, and who has been watching the trends in scientific fashion for some decades, I can come up […]

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A Romano-Sarmatian soldier in circa 2nd c. AD Britain

We have occasionally mentioned Sarmatians on Language Log, but usually in association with the Scythians, of whom we have often spoken (most recently here, with extensive bibliography). These two peoples of ancient times both spoke languages in the Iranian language family and lived in the area north of the Black Sea. The languages and cultures […]

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Another meme collision

Today's SMBC:

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Meme collision of the week

Lauren Jack ("Do you hurkle-durkle? What the Scottish word taking over social media means and where it came from", The Scotsman 1/24/2024) embeds a TikTok video from 7/18/2023: @devriebrynnme my Scottish ancestors = just chillin’ as a culture♬ original sound – Devriebrynn

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Kanji brush writing on an iPad

The article is in Japanese, but you should be able to get an idea of what's going on from the videos and stills. iPad書道はいいぞ — 書きちらし (@kakichirashi) June 29, 2024

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Are LLMs writing PubMed articles?

Kyle Orland, "The telltale words that could identify generative AI text", ars technica 7/1/2024 In a pre-print paper posted earlier this month, four researchers from Germany's University of Tubingen and Northwestern University said they were inspired by studies that measured the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by looking at excess deaths compared to the recent […]

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Text trumps art

On a visit to the British Museum last week, Zihan Guo spotted this captivating relief in the Assyrian collection.  You may not be able to see it upon first glance, but she was especially transfixed by the inscription running midriff on the eagle-head figure:

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