Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia'

Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Czech Republic is expected to change its name to "Czechia" to make it easier for companies and sports teams to use it on products and clothing.
Seth Dixon's insight:

That sound you hear is cartographers and database managers gasping at the joy and shock of need to updata all their data and maps.  Old maps still show Czechoslovakia, maybe on date in the future someone will be excited to find "The Czech Republic" on the map as much as I was fascinated to discover Hindustan on a 19th century globe. I also enjoyed this quote from the Czech foreign minister: “It is not good if a country does not have clearly defined symbols or if it even does not clearly say what its name is."  

 

Tag: Czechia, languagetoponyms, culture.

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Laura Brown's curator insight, April 15, 11:22 AM

Marketing and media are the new gods. Can't imagine the power they have in order to cause a country to change it's name. Not so long ago battles and wars were fought over cultural identity, now it's for sale. 

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xkcd: Orbiter

xkcd: Orbiter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've always enjoyed this comic strip...it highlights some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponymsMiddle East.

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EP Eric Pichon's curator insight, March 18, 4:48 AM

...some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponyms, Middle East.

Leonardo Wild's curator insight, March 18, 9:10 AM

I've always enjoyed this comic strip...it highlights some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponyms, Middle East.

Jodi Esaili's curator insight, March 22, 9:39 AM

I've always enjoyed this comic strip...it highlights some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponyms, Middle East.

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The Most Aussie Interview Ever

"The 2 Aussie legends that prevented a fast food shop robbery get interviewed!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   

 

TagsAustralia, language, placeculture, Oceania.

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bridget rosolanka's curator insight, March 7, 2:16 PM

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   

 

Tags: Australia, language, place, culture, Oceania.

Leonardo Wild's curator insight, March 8, 2:27 PM

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   

 

Tags: Australia, language, place, culture, Oceania.

Jodi Esaili's curator insight, March 9, 8:44 AM

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   

 

Tags: Australia, language, place, culture, Oceania.

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There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent

There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Speech with a drawl, twang, clipped consonants, broad vowels, slurred words or extra diphthongs might give away that the speaker is from the American South, Boston, the Midwest or elsewhere. The spice that a certain region may lend to spoken language can even be strong enough to flavor non-audible language as well. Indeed, American Sign Language (ASL) has its own accents. And like its audible counterpart, one of the strongest regional accents in ASL is that of Philadelphia residents, reports Nina Porzucki for PRI."

 

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Abdulsalam Al-Mukradi's curator insight, February 14, 7:16 PM

Accents are varies but we really have to care about the language itself. Universities play a major role in avoiding accents in languages. They try to use one accent that follow the dictionary phonetics.

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Language Reflects Culture

Language Reflects Culture | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Being a fluent speaker of English and Saulteaux, I have to say that I view the world in two different ways. I have two different attitudes and even two different personalities, depending on which language I use...English offers me one way to order information and cope with reality, one set of attitudes and behavioral styles, and Saulteaux offers me a different way. When I switch languages, I also move from one constellation of attitudes and thought patterns to another.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

This passage was written by Margaret Cote, a  member of the Saulteaux people, who are part of the larger Ojibwa or Chippewa Native American tribe. 

 

Questions to Ponder: How does language shape cultural attitudes, traits, and customs? How does language shape a speakers world view and personality?  How does language influence how a speaker may feel about place?

 

TagsCanadalanguage, placeculture

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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, January 21, 11:35 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

This passage was written by Margaret Cote, a  member of the Saulteaux people, who are part of the larger Ojibwa or Chippewa Native American tribe. 

 

Questions to Ponder: How does language shape cultural attitudes, traits, and customs? How does language shape a speakers world view and personality?  How does language influence how a speaker may feel about place?

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Where's Me a Dog? Here's You a Dog: The South's Most Unusual Regionalism

Where's Me a Dog? Here's You a Dog: The South's Most Unusual Regionalism | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Regions of America have their own grammar, just like they have their own vocabulary.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Here's you a post on regionalized grammatical differences.  And if you want a link of Southern vocabulary terms, (personal favorite: I'm fixin' to...) click on this.

 

Tags: language, the South, culture, unit 3 culture.

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Why Are There So Many Different Names for Germany?

"Germany, Deutschland, Allemagne, Tyskland, Vacija, Saksa, Niemcy..."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not only are their so many names for Germany, they are also from very distinct linguistic and historic origins.  Being at the center of Europe has put Germans is connect with many ethnic groups, part of why there are so names for Germany. 

 

TagsGermanylanguage, toponyms, culturediffusion.

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The Top Language Spoken Globally in 2050 Will Be...

The Top Language Spoken Globally in 2050 Will Be... | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"French is currently ranked sixth among world languages, after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic. But it is gaining speakers quickly and, the study reports, will be spoken by 750 million in 2050, up from 220 million today. A demographic boom in French-speaking African states could bump the percentage of global French speakers from 3 percent to 8 percent by 2050, but some skeptics think the predictions are overrated."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I can't verify the projections in the article, but the thought exercise is a great exploration into future global geographies. As some populations are shrinking, others and still growing very quickly and it is clear that the future has the distinct possibility that the linguistic composition of the world might be very different from today.  


Questions to Ponder: Considering current trends, what do you think the world will be like in the future?  What will be better?  What will be worse? 


Tags: language, culture, demographics

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Treathyl Fox's curator insight, October 13, 2015 7:57 PM

"A boom in these African states could bump the percentage of global French speakers from 3 percent to 8 percent by 2050."  You don't say?  So glad to know the French language might get in the driver's seat for most spoken world language. Love the language.  Resided in Maryland USA from 1988 to 1995 and there was a school there that taught the children in French. At the time it seemed odd. But guess the educators were thinking ahead! Score!

The Language Ctr's curator insight, October 17, 2015 11:17 AM

Just count the people in China and you have an idea why their language is the top language spoken. However, English of course is known worldwide as the language of business. #languages 

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Fuzzy Borders

TagsCanadalanguage, social media, images, placeculture, landscape, tourism

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Mount McKinley officially renamed Denali

Mount McKinley officially renamed Denali | Geography Education | Scoop.it
To hear the White House describe Alaska, the state has become the canary in the climate change coal mine, complete with raging wildfires, accelerating ice melt in the arctic, vanishing glaciers and whole villages forced to relocate away from rising seas.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most Alaskans already have shed the Mount McKinley name for over a generation, but as this National Geographic article points out, naming conventions matter and are filled with meaning.  Some of you might be wondering how it ever got called Mt. McKinley in the first place, but this action is still causing some political commotion.  Denali is a spectacularly gorgeous place, and there are a few other prominent mountains that some want to change to previous indigenous names although these changes are unlikely because they don't have the same local support and regular usage.     


Tags: place, language, toponyms, indigenous.

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Esperanto Is Not Dead: Can The Universal Language Make A Comeback?

Esperanto Is Not Dead: Can The Universal Language Make A Comeback? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A hundred years ago, a Polish physician created a language that anyone could learn easily. The hope was to bring the world closer together. Today Esperanto speakers say it's helpful during travel.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Can an invented language designed to be a Lingua Franca be someone's mother tongue?  Of course it can be, even in the accents might carry some regionalized variations.  


Tags: podcast, languageculturetourism,

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Cultural Infusion's curator insight, July 15, 2015 7:58 PM

Are there still people who speak Esperanto? Discover it with us!

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Do We Talk Funny? 51 American Colloquialisms

Do We Talk Funny? 51 American Colloquialisms | Geography Education | Scoop.it
American English has a rich history of regionalisms — which sometimes tell us a lot about where we come from.


Tags: languageculture, English.

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Fred Issa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 4:14 PM

I found this article most interesting, having lived in RI, NJ, GA, IN, MD, and TX. After awhile, you will start to pick up certain words, while dropping other similar words that I have used all of my life. The words and phrases both tend to change from one state to another. Read the article, it is enlightening. Fred Issa,

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Behind the Dateline: ‘Kathmandu’ Becomes Times Style

Behind the Dateline: ‘Kathmandu’ Becomes Times Style | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When a terrible earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, our correspondents quickly began to report from the battered capital, Katmandu. By the beginning of this week, we were still reporting on the quake’s aftermath, but under a slightly different dateline: Kathmandu.  Why the switch?

There are many examples of foreign place names with more than one English rendering, especially if the local language uses a different alphabet, requiring the name to be transliterated for English. For Nepal’s capital, the 'Katmandu' spelling has long been widely used in English-language publications, and may still be more familiar to some American readers. But 'Kathmandu,' with an 'h' in the middle, has become more widespread in recent years, reflecting the preferred local usage."


Tags: place, language, toponyms, Nepal.

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Similarities Between Spanish And Arabic

Spanish and Arabic have more in common than you think, and it's not a coincidence.
Seth Dixon's insight:

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tagsdiffusion, languagetoponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

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ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 27, 7:29 AM

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tags: diffusion, language, toponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, March 28, 10:55 AM

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tags: diffusion, language, toponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

MsPerry's curator insight, March 31, 12:56 PM

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tags: diffusion, language, toponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

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Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name.

Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Independent's concerns over Hindu nationalism led to a change in policy.

 

The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the far-right regional party Shiv Sena, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently holds national office in India. Shiv Sena advocates the use of the Marathi language, which is dominant in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity.

Shiv Sena had argued that the previous name, Bombay, was an unwanted relic of British colonial rule in India. That name is believed to be an Anglicized version of the city's name from when it was occupied by the Portuguese — "Bom Bahia," which means "good bay." Both Bombay and Mumbai are now used interchangeably by locals during casual conversation.

 

Tags: culture, India, South Asiacolonialism, placeregions, language, toponyms.

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23 Untranslatable Foreign Words That Describe Love Better Than You Ever Thought

23 Untranslatable Foreign Words That Describe Love Better Than You Ever Thought | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We have several words to describe love in English yet still, there are some shades within the spectrum of that emotion we haven't been able to capture in our own language.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The languages we speak shape our ideas, communications, and to some extent, the possibilities open to us.  There are many ideas that I used to be able to express better in Spanish than I could in English (even though English is my first language, some Spanish words seem to capture the essence of my emotions in a more enriching and satistfying way than in English). If you want to try any of these out for Valentine's Day, be my guest, but if it get's you in trouble, it's not my fault!    

 

Tags: language, culture.

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Laura Brown's curator insight, February 14, 2:34 AM

The languages we speak shape our ideas, communications, and to some extent, the possibilities open to us.  There are many ideas that I used to be able to express better in Spanish than I could in English (even though English is my first language, some Spanish words seem to capture the essence of my emotions in a more enriching and satistfying than in English). If you want to try any of these out for Valentine's Day, be my guest, but if it get's you in trouble, it's not my fault!    

 

Tags: language, culture.

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Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries

Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been escalating on many fronts — over wars in Syria and Yemen, the Saudis’ execution of a dissident Shiite cleric and the Iran nuclear deal. The dispute runs so deep that the regional rivals — one a Shiite theocracy, the other a Sunni monarchy — even clash over the name of the body of water that separates them.

Iran insists that it be called the Persian Gulf, and has banned publications that fail to use that name. Yet this riles Arab nations, which have succeeded in pushing various parties to use their preferred term — Arabian Gulf."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Is it the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf?  This mini-controversy is part of a broader fight to exert greater regional power and influence (see also this article on GeoCurrents on the same topic). 

 

Tags: placeregions, language, toponyms.

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English and Its Undeserved Good Luck: Lingua Franca

English and Its Undeserved Good Luck: Lingua Franca | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In my post last week I cited a few ways in which English is unsuitable as a global language, and mentioned that its being one anyway is attributable at least in part to undeserved luck. Of course, it wasn’t all luck."

 

Tags: language, colonialismdiffusion, culture, English.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Additionally, here is an article explaining why Mandarin won't become a lingua franca in the near future. 

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jorden harris's curator insight, March 10, 10:02 AM
the fact that out of all of the languages that could have been a lingua franca is suprising J.H.
Logan scully's curator insight, March 10, 10:13 AM
It is astouding to me that out of all those languages that could have been a lingua franca.-L.S.
Cohen Adkins's curator insight, March 10, 10:18 AM
In my opinion i believe that English should be used and learned by every country since most of the world already uses it.It would be more convenient for others to speak English however people should also be required to learn a side language and not just for college. -C.A
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How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages

How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This map by Jakub Marian shows you how to say Merry Christmas in European languages.
Seth Dixon's insight:

To those that celebrate Christmas I was going to wish them a Merry Christmas in English, but this gives us so many other options...Feliz Navidad!   For any interested in exploring the setting of the Christmas story from a geographic perspective, read on. 

 

Tags: religion, Europeculture, historicallanguage, seasonal.

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Jean-Simon Venne's curator insight, December 19, 2015 12:45 PM

Working on the pronunciation....

John Peterson's comment, December 19, 2015 1:32 PM
I learned something new. Thanks.
Marianne Naughton's curator insight, December 24, 2015 8:54 AM

Merry Christmas To All !!!

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The 5, the 101, the 405: Why Southern Californians Love Saying 'the' Before Freeway Numbers

The 5, the 101, the 405: Why Southern Californians Love Saying 'the' Before Freeway Numbers | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"How did Southern Californians come to treat their highway route numbers as if they were proper names?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I can't say how delighted this native Southern Californian was to read this (and especially to rediscover the classic SNL skit).  Despite living in Rhode Island, I retain this linguistic quirk that I subconsciously learned as a kid growing up in Southern California.  This is a shibboleth of mine, a distinctive pronunciation, word choice, or manner of speaking that reveals something about the speaker (such as place of origin, ethnic background, or group membership).     

Questions to Ponder: What are other shibboleths that you know?  Do you use any? 


Tags: California, languagetransportation, toponyms.

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Long Toponyms

Liam Dutton nails pronouncing Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch


Known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Llanfair PG and Llanfairpwll, the small community of 3,000 on the island of Anglesey has the longest single word toponym (place name) in Europe. The name means "Saint Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave."

The longest toponym in the world is a New Zealand hill named Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.


Tags: place, language, toponyms.

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Antonios Vitaliotis's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:27 PM
After a few drinks...ask your friends to say: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
John Puchein's curator insight, November 6, 2015 7:40 AM

The city in this is featured in our text books. I know this guy practiced it for a while just to say it on TV! 

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Teenage Girls Have Led Language Innovation for Centuries

Teenage Girls Have Led Language Innovation for Centuries | Geography Education | Scoop.it
They've been on the cutting edge of the English language since at least the 1500s
Seth Dixon's insight:

Popular culture and those most closely tied to it are innovators. 


Tags: language, culturediffusion, popular culture.

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Woodstock School's curator insight, September 8, 2015 1:22 AM

Do we speak their language?

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 8, 2015 1:03 PM

unit 3

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:37 PM

I find the social aspect of this absolutely fascinating; gender may be entirely a cultural construct, but we can see its influences in every aspect of human life. Women are responsible for 90 percent of linguistic changes that occur over the course of our lifetimes- because men resist such changes due to their (mostly) feminine origins. A good, witty read for those interested.

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American Curses, Mapped

American Curses, Mapped | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Americans love to curse. The question is, which bad words are favored where? Who says “*#@&” the most? Who says “$%*#” the least? Is there a “*#$” belt? (As it turns out, yes: From New York City down to the Gulf Coast.)"


Tags: language, culturediffusion, popular culture, mapping, regions.

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you don't want to hear potty talk, this is not the set of maps on linguistic geography for you...I'm just sayin', you've been forewarned.  An isogloss is a line that separates regions that use different words for the same object/concept.  Thing of isoglosses as linguistic contour lines...are there any swearing isoglosses?  Swearing regions?     

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Jamie Strickland's comment, July 21, 2015 3:03 PM
I f-ing love this!
Erin McLeod's curator insight, August 6, 2015 11:00 PM

If you don't want to hear potty talk, this is not the set of maps on linguistic geography for you...I'm just sayin', you've been forewarned.  An isogloss is a line that separates regions that use different words for the same object/concept.  Thing of isoglosses as linguistic contour lines...are there any swearing isoglosses?  Swearing regions?     

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Language in the Media

"Ever notice how the media treats black protesters & white rioters differently?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some food for thought on how language in the media frames the narratives that most people receive.  Do you feel that the media treats all people and all groups fairly?  Can you think of some examples to make your case?  Can the media be free from all bias?

 

Tags: Languagemedia, race, class, culture.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, June 24, 2015 12:03 AM

The Eternal Subtext.

Thomas Johnson's curator insight, November 29, 2015 4:31 PM

The anchors are noticeably racist towards blacks.

Harsher language is used when referring to blacks.

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Utahns, Mainers and Wyomingites: The ultimate guide to what to call people from each state

Utahns, Mainers and Wyomingites: The ultimate guide to what to call people from each state | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For most states, you’re safe adding an –n, and maybe a few other letters, to the state’s name – a la Coloradans, Nebraskans and Californians. For three states, Wyoming, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, the correct method is to add an –ite. For a handful of states in the northeast, the style is to add an 'r' – New Yorker, Vermonter, Mainer, Marylander, Connecticuter and Rhode Islander."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Having lived in New England for 6 years now, I still haven't found a polite term to refer to people from Massachusetts.

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Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:21 PM

This is a really interesting view on a map projection and shows how many possibilities there are for differences.  

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:17 AM

This map has data allocating what people are called based on their region. What concerns me is that there is no information depicting what one would be called depending on which city you are from. For example I am from Austin, Texas so you would call me an Austinite but since I am from Texas you would call me a Texan.

MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:31 AM

Intro-Ch 1 Toponyms