Ever wonder why the words we say mean what they do? Or how we learn them or teach to others? Then chances are linguistics have come up at one time or another. Not just for academic types anymore, linguistics can help you both speak and write better. But how to learn without entering a graduate program in linguistics?
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to do so is to check out the blog of someone who has already learned what you wish to know. To that effect, we have gathered the top 50 linguistics blogs. By actual linguistic experts, teachers, and just plain lovers of words, they can do everything from improve your vocabulary to confusing your more wordy friends.
Top General Linguistics Blogs
These blogs feature all sorts of entries on linguistics.
- A Walk in the Words Visit here for a “linguistic tour for people who love having fun with words and language.” You can read loads more about linguistics, along with syntax, semantics, morphology, and others. Linguistic related rants and raves are also included.
- Literal Minded Get “linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally” here. With pieces on everything from the Christmas related to the occasional variation, Neal has loads to say. Posts often contain real life conversations and the lessons learned from them.
- Ryan’s Linguistics Blog He is from New Jersey where he is studying for a graduate degree in linguistics. His research interests include phonology, phonetics, Optimality Theory, syllable structure, and Native American languages. Weekly updates often include items he has just learned.
- Language Hat English is by no means the only language this blogger focuses on. Italian, Spanish, and loads of tidbits for the English language are all discussed. There is also a lengthy list of recommended reads.
- Clinical Linguistics This blog is all about clinical linguistics and clinical phonetics. Regular entries are on everything from how we learn to what we should be learning. Instrumental phonetic techniques are what they are currently writing about.
- Bad Linguistics Check out linguistics gone wrong at this blog. The blogger believes that “if you are going to broadcast your views about language, you might want to get a few things straight first.” Subjunctives and fuzzy logic were recently discussed.
- The Linguistics Zone This blog is worth a visit just for the “Internet’s Most Hated Words” post alone. Discontinued for over a year though, don’t expect new posts. Other must reads include “Sounds vs. Spelling” and “Indirect Speech Fun.”
- Lingformat Linguistics as reported on in news items was the focus of this blog. Although the author decided to shut it down, you can still find years’ worth of archives to sift through. Many often link to the news item itself.
Top Linguistics Blogs by a Linguist
These experts have loads more to say about linguistics via blog.
- The Linguist on Language If you have ever been discouraged in your love of language, this is the blog for you. The Linguist keeps loads of new and old entries for those who are just learning a language or would like to master it better. You can even click on the section for their particular language learning method.
- Mr. Verb Mr. V. and his colleagues keep up with the changes in language. With a tagline of “Deal with it. Revel in it.” it’s hard to do anything but. The effects of the mass media are the topic of one of the latest posts.
- The Lousy Linguist Stop here for notes on linguistics and cognition. Chris is a linguist who has worked in academia, government consulting, NLP, and the marketing industry. He is currently a software trainer but has loads to write on linguistics.
- Separated by a Common Language This blog stands out for being written by an American linguist living in the UK. Linguistics and usage is often divided into three categories: British, American, and Oxford English. The Words of the Year are the topic of the latest post.
- The Virtual Linguist Susan Harvey is a linguist in English as well as French, German, and Russian. Categories range from increasing vocabulary to improving grammar. The dandelion was the subject of a recent entry.
- Linguism Get “language in a word” from this blog. The blogger was a lecturer on English phonetics for half a dozen years and was then the BBC’s Pronunciation Adviser for over 20 years. Categories on the blog include genealogy, music, names, and even different languages.
- Speaking My Languages Sharynne McLeod is Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition at Charles Sturt University. Located in Australia, she uses the blog to archive what she has learned and accomplished in a fellowship. Daily life and musings also find their way into blog entries.
Top Linguistics Podcasts
Because speaking and reading are two very different things, visit here to get audio lessons on linguistics.
- Grammar Girl A constant leader in linguistics, this podcast is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in linguistics. Many common mistakes, such as desert vs. dessert, are tackled and episodes can be only a few seconds long. There are also many other related podcasts.
- A Way With Words Martha and Grant host this linguistics show for public radio. Listen to the latest episode online, or check out many past ones. You can even send in your linguistics questions online or over the phone.
- Hot for Words Whether you choose to read an article or watch a video, this site combines learning words and the origins of words with pretty girls. Marina Orlova is not your typical word lover but has loads of entries to choose from. The origins of words from “teddy bear” to “porn” are the subjects of posts.
- The Public Speaker What good are linguistics if you can’t share with the public? This podcast is dedicated to improving anyone’s communication skills. Top choices include “How to be a Great Guest Speaker” and “How to Introduce Yourself.”
- Language Learning Podcast If interested in learning more about another language, stop here. It collects useful podcasts on those who speak many common languages who wish to learn another. Choices include Spanish, German, French, and others.
- EPN The Education Podcast Network offers loads of podcasts on learning. English language arts and second languages are just some of the choices. There are also other educational topics.
- Speaking English Podcast Those still perfecting their English will enjoy this podcast. Categories range from a literal A to Z of language related topics. You can also browse the archive or view upcoming episodes.
- Daily French Pod Visit here to get a daily French lesson. It combines free podcasts and a very effective communicative teaching method that enables users to learn French when and where they wish to. There are also learning guides and transcripts to go along with episodes.
- Radio Lingua Finally, no matter which language you prefer, these podcasts offer something for you. Providers of the Coffee Break series, they offer short lessons for those learning another language a little at a time. Free materials are available for download.
Top Language Blogs
The below blogs discuss all forms of language, including linguistics.
- Lexiophiles Love your words more with the help of these language bloggers. Choose from a topics overview, study abroad programs, and translation failures. Blog entries come in many different languages, including English.
- Grammarphobia Blog Patricia and Stewart have written several books on the English language. Visit their blog for grammar myths, writing tips, and more. One of the latest posts was on the phrase “wha’ happen?”
- Lovely Little Lexemes “Explore the strange and wonderful English language one word at a time” in this blog. Mrs. B. often features a word of the day as well as thoughts on it. Items such as caliginous, defenestrate, and others are the subject.
- Sentence First Stan is a scientist and writer turned editor and swivel-chair linguist. A standout for being written by an Irishman, the blog focuses on usage, grammar, styles, literature, history, and quirks. Random items that interest him are also featured.
- John Well’s Phonetic Blog He is from the UK and blogs on everything to do with phonetics. Thousands of visitors have stopped by for language tips, learning, the science of language, and much more. One of the most recent entries was on an ultrasound study of language.
- Being Multilingual Madalena speaks English, French, Portuguese, and Swedish. She specializes in myths, paradoxes, and misconceptions about multilingualism. Check out her blog for a multi-lingual point of view on languages.
- Throw Grammar From the Train Jan Freeman has written about language for 13 years now. She freely admits to being a “recovering nitpicker” and the blog is no exception. Language and linguistic items in the news often make their way to the blog.
- Arnold Zwicky Not a very fancy blog, it has mostly language related entries. Categories, however, can range on everything from abbreviations to writing systems. How does underwear help linguistics? Check out this entry to see.
- Mighty Red Pen This blogger is an editor with over a dozen years of professional experience. Blog entries often deal with reader sent in questions and answers. The absurd in language is often featured.
- Talk Wordy to Me Brian White is an editor at “The Boston Globe.” The blog is his accounting of things he finds interesting about the English language, especially words. Writing, reading, and editing are all included.
Top Linguistics News Blogs
Learn the latest in linguistics news by checking out the below blogs.
- Science Daily This massive science site has many sub sections including Mind and Brain. There is even a special part for Language Acquisition. Stop to check out the latest headlines in linguistics and related areas.
- The English Blog Internet resources for learners and teachers of English are shared here. They include reviews, news, tips, and even trivia. Latest items are often linked to.
- University of Michigan Get linguistics news from an academic point of view here. Categories range from awards to syntax. The latest was on a language journal entry.
- Paleoglot Ancient languages and civilizations are what this language blog centers around. The origins of many common words are often discussed. You can even get a Protoword of the Week here.
- Brave New Words Click here for a blog about translation, language, literature, and other related topics. B.J. Epstein is from Chicago but now lives in England. He also works as a translator and discusses that.
- Web Translations If tech related words are your poison, stop here. This blog contains loads of words invented or reinvented just for the web. There are also web related words in other languages to learn.
- The Phrontistery Don’t know what a logorrhea is? Then this is the linguistics blog for you. It commonly features uncommon words that arise in the English language.
Top Vocabulary Linguistics Blogs
Use these blogs to learn a new word each day or each time you visit.
- Wordnik Also a blog, they feature a word of the day. Wordnik is also a comprehensive online dictionary for those who love words. There is also a mobile option for those visiting from phones.
- Weboword Visual vocabulary is the focus of this blog. When words are taught, there is also a visual to go along with it. There are also puzzles with more.
- Dr. Goodword Check out his blog for items such as “The Top 10 Words of the Year” and answers to common questions. He also features a Good Word of the Day which can keep in step with the time of year. He also has other fun and games.
- Dictionary Society Get a scoop on words that make the dictionary here. News items of interest are often discussed. Opinions are also shared.
- Double Tongued Dictionary If all this talk of linguistics is too fancy, click here. This blog specializes in fringe English with particular attention to slang, jargon, and new words. The Word of the Day, catchwords, and more are all available.
- The Noun Project What does a noun look like? Visit here to find out. This excellent resource can help you guess and learn vocabulary in a visual way.
- Apostrophe Abuse What good is knowing the right words if the wrong punctuation surrounds them? This blog takes a disaster, usually involving punctuation and displays on the blog. You can even get an option to submit your own word related disaster.
- The Spelling Blog Knowing what to say and how to spell it can be two different things. When spell check fails you, there is Johanna Stirling’s blog on how spelling works, along with how to learn it. She even lists entries from alphabet to visual spelling.
- Headlines This feature is a hilarious part of “The Tonight Show.” Each week, Jay reads actual headlines gone wrong. Visit here for the latest or a gallery of the worst.
Whether looking to improve your own speech or just get some word related fun, there is loads to be had on the above top 50 linguistics blogs. If looking to simply increase your vocabulary or learn something new, try out a site like Dictionary.com or Merriam Webster. You can use them to look up words, get pronunciations, Word of the Day, and many other word related items.