Popular Linguistics » Guestbook


Thanks for stopping by to sign our guestbook!  Here you can rave, rant, and respond all you want!  Go wild (but not too wild; this is an all-ages website).

53 Responses to “Guestbook”

  1. Great idea. Would you be willing to provide a feed?

    I occasionally write about language, particularly the language of mathematics, on my blog at

    Charles Wells

  2. Congratulations on offering a new popular linguistics publication. I’ll be sure to pass on the address to everyone who asks me “how many languages do you speak?” Perhaps I can even persuade my daughter to step a way from the XBox once in a while…

  3. What a great idea this magazine is, and some very nice articles, too. “How many languages does a linguist know?” reminded me of the sad situation native speakers of English (the current global lingua franca) are in: even linguists are often monolingual. Most of my linguist friends know three or more languages, as everybody in our school system has to study at least three languages. While being a linguist doesn’t imply a knowledge of multiple languages, it would certainly be useful and could prevent too wide generalisations based on English alone. Maybe part of the reason why generativism is still very much in vogue in the US is the monolingualism of the linguists?

    • It’s true, this is more of an issue with native-English-speaker linguists than others. And I agree– if the Great Founders of our field spoke, say, Xhosa natively, our theories might have turned out differently. There’s also something to be said for the distinction between “knowing” and “KNOWING” a language… I’ve studied French, Spanish, and Japanese in depth, and can do a passable job in French and Spanish, but I certainly wouldn’t say I “KNOW” any language other than English. Janet Fuller’s article on Bilingual Education in the US certainly speaks to this very issue…

  4. This is a great idea, and it’s well executed. Popular Linguistics answers the call of many in the field who have urged public outreach. I will definitely assign it to my students, and I’ll encourage others with linguistic interests to enjoy it as well.

  5. Long overdue — the happiest thing to happen to me since I was born! You’ll have great success, because people really need this.

  6. Please consider changing the white/gray-on-black site design – it’s difficult to read! (As is this gray-on-gray text box for the comment).

  7. All the best with this venture.

  8. Hey Doug!
    I think your project makes a lot of sense and I hope it will be a success!

    However, I read your piece on Cocktail Party Conversation Topics, and I have to point out that almost ALL non-american linguists, as academics, speak 3 or more languages…


  9. Finally! This is a great magazine and a well needed one! It’s time we linguists start to debunk and demystify a lot of the misconceptions about language, in a manner which the layman can understand and appreciate. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    Clive Forrester
    Visiting Lecturer, CERLAC Fellow
    Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
    York University, Toronto, Canada

  10. I love the new effort and I hope it’s a huge success! I’ve told everyone I know about it, and I’m looking forward to reading it for a long time. I think it’s a wonderful idea and a much-needed service. Thank you! I have two suggestions that I hope will be taken in the spirit they’re meant (of helping PLM be as successful as possible). Is an RSS feed a possibility? It’s fine if it doesn’t actually include the content, and just has excerpts or titles, but these days readers tend to forget about online publications without a reminder. If no RSS, then some other kind of notification service when there’s significant new content would be very welcome. If it already exists somewhere on the site, it’s hard to find. Also, the color scheme right now is not ideal for reading–bright white on black is unpleasant for most people to read. If you look up HCI/interface design a bit, you’ll find some research indicating that the old-fashioned paper-like dark-on-white thing is really apparently what most of us can process best. (Hence the trend away from black backgrounds since 2000.) Even though this way looks pretty good, it’s not very functional.

    Thanks again, and sorry for the intrusion!

    • RSS, done. It’s now located under the HOME tab. Color scheme… considering it. The research I did when designing the site showed a preference for white-on-black for screen text vs. print text, but people do seem to feel strongly about not liking it!

  11. This is a great website, and I’m going to bookmark it. Language purists like myself are very interested in linguistics. I loved studying linguistics in college. I found it very interesting, but most people find it boring. Whether we like it or not, language evolves, and it’s evolving fast right now in an attempt to keep up with technology.

    I’m proud to say that I refuse to use the word “cool”. That word drives me crazy, but I’ll use groovy or how about nitty-gritty? Freaked-out?

  12. Congratulations with this great first issue of what no doubt will be a magazine that will be read for many decades to come!

  13. Love the site. I wish I could pick it up as a real magazine, like Popular Science.

    • Wouldn’t that be nice? If anyone has an “in” with the Nature Publishing Group, do send them my way!

  14. Congratulations. You’re right. Linguists don’t do a good enough job of letting the world know what we know and do. I look forward to future issues.

    I can’t speak for younger readers but your white letters on black background are terribly hard for old eyes like mine to read.

  15. Great job, Dr Bigham. The path is great and I wish you good luck. While great, it’s, thank goodness, not knew — see English Today and other popular journals. But any good addition is certainly welcome and it looks so nice and shiny on the web. I wish you good luck! May it grow and prosper!

    • Thank you, Professor Dollinger! You’re absolutely right; English Today is a fantastic journal, but I think Popular Linguistics (if it’s done right) will be *even more* non-academic friendly. That’s the goal, at least!

  16. I enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to the next. The site gets a well-deserved bookmark.

  17. Neat! I am a teenager and I lead the linguistics club at my high school. I will definitely give the link to this site to the other members of the group.

  18. I would like to receive a word of the day and don’t know where to find such a thing. It is an obscure word each day I crave, so as to increase vocabulary by 365 words a year. There is one from Merriam Webster for learners of English but that’s too easy if you are an old writer whose only language is English. Anyone got a site to suggest?

  19. ‘White-on-black’ now being identified as problematic, I’m curious about an assessment of the historical impact of technologies (computers/phones/internet), wars (head injuries), politics (Novo Ordo) on the development (or lack thereof) of social linguistics as a basis for anticipating the direction of research on what might most impact future linguistic development.

    Thanks, Doug, for this popular online linguistic adventure!

    Yer Ole Sea Daddy

  20. Well done hope to be able to read each and every issue. here can I sign up?

    • You can subscribe to our RSS feed (located in the top left under the HOME tab), or, next month we’ll be debuting an e-mail subscription option.


  21. Just want to add my congratulations for this new magazine. Looking forward to reading more. I also want to second a previous writer’s suggestion to change the white on black as I find it hard on my eyes.

  22. Hi,

    First of all, I have to say that I find this such a good initiative. I think it is really great that a site such as yours is availble to such a large audience.

    Unfortunately, I find it hard to read the articles as the white text on a black background hurts my eyes. Would it be possible to change this, so that I can read it off of your webiste directly, instead of having to copy/ paste it into word, or print it out?

    Thank you,

    Kind Regards,

    Josseke Jonker

  23. Congratulations and all good wishes for success.

  24. 100% agreed! Great initiative. I’d love to receive a mountly reminder whenever a new issue is launched.

    • Zsuzsanna,
      Coming next month there will be an e-mail reminder/issue subscription option. As for now, you can subscribe to our RSS under the HOME tab.

  25. Speaking/knowing/researching only one language may be common among linguists but I doubt if it is ideal. Saussure, Jakobson, Benveniste, Boas, Sapir, Haas (etc. etc.) all used comparison across different systems as a basic tool of linguistic analysis.

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Popular Linguistics Magazine, Volume One - 2011