Category Archives: Language

The Squirrel is Wearing a Blue Dress

On sensory perception vs. awareness, The Dress infernal, and empathy.

After the internet juggernaut that was The Dress – about which I think we can say 1) interesting things have been written, good job! and 2) horse is dead, people, move on – another article has started making the rounds, having to do with how our perceptions of color have changed over time.

No one could see the color blue until modern times, argues Kevin Loria over at Business Insider. This article is a pretty great read for anyone interested in how language, perception, and awareness interact in our minds. But – and this is an important but – the headline is completely inaccurate, and buries the most interesting points of the discussion in clickbait’s characteristically sloppy swagger and panache. Continue reading

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[I would like to preempt this post by saying that I am VERY FORTUNATE that no one for whom I currently work writes things like the bit of realia quoted here, but that yes, this is a piece of actual copy I received many years ago. I’m protecting the source for reasons that are about to become obvious. —Ed.] Continue reading

Please Try Harder

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Great White Shark, Kaena Point, Oahu, Hawaii

My friend Greg posted a great video earlier today, and as a one-time resident of Hawaii and an ad-hoc applied linguist, I’m totally captivated by it. (I strongly recommend that you watch it start to finish without interruption, as it’ll make the rest of what I say here a lot less abstract; it’s also just really enjoyable. NB, though, that there are a couple of word choice things that make it borderline NSFW.) Continue reading

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