Emoji(s) are hot news these days. In the NYT yesterday, “Look Who’s Smiley Now: MoMA Acquires Original Emoji” by Amanda Hess. And just a bit earlier, two cartoons linking emoji to hieroglyphics, one by Cameron Harvey, the other by a cartoonist I haven’t identified. And before that, an article about emoji scholars, including our local specialist, Tyler Schnoebelen.
Archive for the ‘Language technology’ Category
In the latest NewScientist (for11/1/14), a piece by Tiffany O’Callaghan, “Goodbye, paper: What we miss when we read on screen”, subtitled “Digital technology is transforming the way we read and write. Is it changing our minds too – and if so, for better or worse?”. A report on reading and writing on paper vs. on-screen. O’Callaghan observes that, for the most part, there’s been plenty of speculation, but very little conclusive research. We don’t really know much. One notable exception, in a box on the work of neuroscientist Karin James of Indiana Univ.:
Writing freehand, then, seems to be an important part of learning to read – but does the type of handwriting make a difference? Some schools have stopped teaching cursive or joined-up writing. In the US, for instance, it is not part of the national curriculum adopted by 46 states, though it has been reinstated by some states in response to a public outcry. When it comes to learning to read, though, James has found that writing in cursive doesn’t seem to add anything to the mix. “It seems like it’s any kind of creation of a letter by hand that makes the difference,” she says.
That is, the physical action of writing, in whatever style, facilitates learning to read.
Today’s Zippy, on media of communication:
The incursion of electronic media into the domains of paper media is a recurrent theme in Zippy.
Three more cartoons, on varied topics: a Zippy, a Zits, and a Pearls Before Swine:
A recent Joe Dator New Yorker cartoon:
What does it take to comprehend (and then enjoy) this cartoon? A Martian would need to know about texting and the language conventions available to texters. My 10-year-old grand-daughter would get that much, but would still be baffled by the cultural allusion.
From a numer of sources on Facebook, this 2/11/13 New Yorker cartoon by Liam Francis Walsh:
[Addendum: the device here is known as a dog cone, designed to keep dogs from biting or gnawing at themselves.]
Today’s Pearls Before Swine is the latest in a long series of strips on penguins on an ice floe being pursued by a hungry polar bear:
There’s no point in confronting some people with facts; they’ll just deny the evidence, and are likely to cling even more strongly to their beliefs.
(An oddity of these strips is that the first panel has three penguins in it. They devise some method to avoid being eaten, but the polar bear eats one of them anyway. And then in the next strip there are three penguins again. The penguins are, of course, indistinguishable.)