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October 12, 2018

Site Update 10-12


Another week has come and gone, but that just means we're getting ever closer to the next Dialect Dissection! Remember to check out the Founding Fathers article if you haven't yet. I also wrote up a casual post on Female Internet Communities.

I'm starting to use Twitter some more beyond just letting people know there's been a new post. It's a good format for observations I have that aren't long enough to be a post, but good enough for a Tweet. It's also a good way to let you all know about any cool linguistics developments. Here are some highlights from Tweets I've made recently:

Remember you can follow me on Twitter for Ace Linguist news and observations.

Looking at the Future

Notice how I'm using all these headers now? I'm trying to make the "blog updates" more structured and less "here's a link to articles I wrote, I'm alive, have a nice day!" I used to basically use "blog updates" so that someone who hadn't checked the site in a few weeks might get up to date on recent posts I've written, but there's a lot more you can do with a weekly post like this. Sometimes I will have big, ambitious plans for the future. Sometimes I will have nothing. Sometimes I'll just want to recommend something I read about. So let's go on to the future.

Accessible Linguist: I am looking into ways to make Ace Linguist more accessible to anyone using assistive technologies or who is otherwise disabled. This is kind of a wide scope, but for the first part I'm looking into adding 'alt' descriptions to all non-decorative images on the site. The second part, which is more challenging, would be making the site's markup more semantic. As a real stretch goal for the distant future, I'd like to have a style switcher for people who either need a more high contrast theme or people who need a dark theme for reading at night. I've gotten more comfortable messing around with Blogger's HTML.

Different Formats: As much as I love writing Ace Linguist, I recognize that nowadays the blog market is not quite the biggest one out there. I've had a lot of people ask me why I'm writing a blog in The Year of Our Lord 2018, and I always have to explain that it's not really a blog in the sense of a place where I talk about my daily life but more like the old idea of a "site" where people would write articles/pages on a specialist topic. Nevertheless, both blogs and sites have decreased in prominence, so I am looking into new ways to get the same content out to people. One thing I'm looking into is podcasts - a lot of these articles may actually work better in audio form, since you'll be able to hear every example. I would also love to eventually expand this site into video - making video essays was a very early goal of this site that I put on hold due to the realization that I (a) did not really know how to make videos, (b) had poor quality recording equipment, (c) did not have the expertise to make videos quickly enough to match the content I wanted to put out. I would still like to make videos, but it's really a future goal for Ace Linguist when I have some more time and funding.

Revising Old Articles: If you've looked around the site's old articles for some reason, you may notice that they are... a little strange. I've only seriously been putting out content for a year now, but my style and goals have changed a lot since then. A lot of the old articles are unfocused, or they have an inconsistent outline, or the style is bad, or the citations aren't up to my standards nowadays. I would very much like to revisit some old articles and change them around before immortalizing them in podcast form.

What's Cooking?

Next month is NaNoWriMo! That's National Novel Writing Month for those of you who aren't familiar. It's a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. If it sounds scary, it's not - I've done it multiple times before and reached the goal almost every time. Last year I decided to be a Rebel and write articles instead of a single unified document. It was the first time I did not reach my goal, but I did end up with a lot of articles that I could use for the site. I'm going to try again this year, but I will be doing more research beforehand so that I can spend less time in November researching and more time writing.

See you all next week!

- Karen

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