Crossposted at Sociological Images Earlier this year President Obama described California attorney general Kamala Harris “the best-looking attorney general in the country.” Even though the crowd reportedly laughed at the comment, Obama was criticized for making sexist remarks and quickly apologized to Harris. But some people claimed to be confused: why was Obama wrong to compliment a… Read More Presidents Evaluating Women’s Attractiveness: 1973 and 2013
How do we learn from and about the visual environment that we find ourselves in? In academia the fairly recent study of ‘Linguistic landscapes’ describes how languages are used in an environment, focusing on whether and how multiple languages are present in public spaces. Printed text is just one aspect of the meaning-packed (semiotically dense)… Read More (What) Are we learning from ‘linguistic landscapes’?
When I heard that Arvind Mahankali won the National Spelling Bee on Thursday night with the word knaidel, I first relished the fact that I live in a country where an Indian-American can win a national competition by spelling a Yiddish word. Then I started wondering about the spelling of knaidel. Turns out I’m not… Read More I write kneidel, you write knaidl
I’m pleased to see that my alma mater, Swarthmore College, will offer simultaneous translation of commencement today into both Spanish and Mandarin. This recognizes that families and friends of students graduating from college may be more comfortable listening to speeches in languages besides English, and will allow them to participate more fully in graduation. (The article does… Read More Mandarin at Graduation