Kait Sanchez: How Bunny the dog is pushing scientists’ buttons (The Verge)
When Bunny presses “Settle, Sound, Ouch,” she might be using a novel string of known words to tell someone to quiet down, or she might be pressing a random series of buttons while confirmation bias on our part does the rest of the work. Even Devine says that she thinks Bunny’s “speech” is primarily operant conditioning, where Bunny has made an association between pressing a button and something happening. A true understanding of language goes beyond simple associations, and involves pulling unique combinations of words together into narratives.
Maura Judkis: Can these dogs really talk, or are they just pushing our buttons? (Washington Post)
Pet owners and cognitive scientists are exploring if we can teach dogs to speak with buttons, called AAC devices.
“I do have to say, ‘Okay, how much am I reading into this?’ How much of this is anthropomorphized and how much is like, I’ve already interpreted these buttons in this way, so I’m going to continue to interpret and it becomes its own sort of dialect?” she says. “I try and remain open to all of the possibilities.”
Lindsay Zoladz: The #Art of the Hashtag (Pitchfork)
Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities.
Commenting on Tom Ewing’s comment about how the word ‘troll’ has come to be applied to non-trolls.
Once a word is upstreamed into popular stream of discourse, everyone with a bone to pick wants to grab it off its hook on the wall and see what it can do for them.