‘It’s not a retoot is it?’ Moving between platforms and languages

The question in the title was asked by Aris Katzourakis on Mastodon, the now well-known decentralized social network built on open web standards by a non-profit. In this little post I’ll tell the story of how I came to explore a new social world, including a new language. *** I joined Twitter about a decade …

Invasion as a metaphor

On 31 of October Suella Braverman, Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, said, according to Hansard, the official report of all Parliamentary debates: “The British people deserve to know which party is serious about stopping the invasion on our southern coast, and which party is not.” ‘Invasion’ is generally defined as the “action of invading …

The dance of creation and the music of the stars

Everybody will now have seen pictures of the cosmos beamed down to earth by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). These images provoked admiration, awe and wonder – they were indeed sublime. In this post won’t explore these cosmic images themselves but some of the language that was used to talk about them. Deep field …

Climate change and language change

For over ten years I have now been thinking and writing about extreme weather events, especially floods and fires, and how they are verbally and visually represented in the media and beyond. Over that decade the issue of extreme weather has become increasingly topical and people no longer hesitate to discuss this topic in the …

IPCC reports, climate change and language work

This blog post is not about climate change communication. It is about what I call the ‘language work’ carried out by scientists when writing the various IPCC reports. Introduction On 9 August 2021 the first part of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, namely the Contribution of Working Group 1 …

From ‘deadly enemy’ to ‘covidiots’: Words matter when talking about COVID-19

This article, by Ruth Derksen, is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here. I thought it would make a great addition to the covid collection on ‘Making Science Public’ and I am grateful to Ruth for her permission to republish it. Dr. Ruth Derksen is a Senior Instructor  …

From covidiots to vaxxies: How our pandemic language changed over a year

When the pandemic started in early 2020, I began to record some of the changes in our language that this global upheaval brought with it. The language of war was everywhere, a type of language that we are quite used to from other health emergencies. But a new language also began to emerge. We started …

Naming without shaming: A virus communication conundrum

We have all heard about the Kent strain of the coronavirus, or the UK or English strain for that matter, or the South African strain, or the Brazilian strain, not to forget the despicable references to the China or Wuhan virus by a former president of the United States. It’s good that we know about …

CfP: Covid-19 and metaphors special issue

Call for contributions to Special Issue of Metaphor and Symbol on: Framing Covid-19: Assessing the Socio-cultural Imagery of the 2020 Corona Pandemic Guest-editors: Martin Döring (University of Hamburg, Germany) Brigitte Nerlich (University of Nottingham, United Kingdom) Context: The global Covid-19 pandemic has led to an explosion of metaphors and symbols. Research tracing and examining this …

Why we should care about the language we use in science

This post first appeared in the ‘On Society’ blog at BioMed Central and is reposted here with permission. *** Brigitte Nerlich and Carmen McLeod at the Synthetic Biology Research Centre at the University of Nottingham have given ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ a new twist, by focusing on responsible language use. As everybody knows by now, words matter in politics as …