My Own Exam Howlers

Around this time of year, academics are breathing a sigh of relief that exams (and exam marking) are over. At about the same time, newspapers often invite people to send in their students' funniest "exam howlers". Rather than revealing their students' mistakes, academics on twitter have generously responded to this yearly demand for "howlers" by... Continue Reading →

New Digital Research Tools

This term, I've been caught between putting the very final touches to my book and getting stuck into a new project. The beginning of a new research project always seems like a good time to re-evaluate how I've been working, and to investigate what new (or not so new) digital tools are out there that might make... Continue Reading →

Language and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds

I've just finished reading James Clackson's new book Language and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds - a book I will undoubtedly be adding to all my undergraduate reading lists before next term starts. The book offers an accessible but thorough introduction to the languages of the ancient world and how they were used across time and space -... Continue Reading →

Stationery in Action – City Notebooks

Like many academics, I have a thing for stationery. When you spend so much of your life reading and writing, getting the tools of your craft right become really important. For me, it comes down to a few basic requirements: I don't want my stationery to be inconvenient or distracting to use, I want to... Continue Reading →

Reblogged: Why women talk less

This recent piece by the influential gender linguist Deborah Cameron really unpacks the difficulties of creating gender equality in all kinds of public discourse. People have given many relatively simple explanations for why women appear less frequently than men in public life, and why they say less when they do appear, but Cameron shows just how complicated... Continue Reading →

A Linguist at the British School at Rome

From January to March 2015, I held a Rome Award at the British School at Rome. This was a fantastic opportunity, and I can't recommend it enough, especially to PhD students and Early Career Researchers. The BSR provides a perfect research environment for anyone interested in any period of Italy history, and all the sights (and... Continue Reading →

Two Latin words for elephant

There are two words for “elephant” in Latin, and both have to do with Greeks in Italy. The first one, elephantus (or sometimes elephas or elephans), is fairly straightforward. It’s used in Latin from about the second century BC, and it’s a borrowing of the Greek word ὁ ἐλέφας, –αντος. That’s the normal Greek word for both African and Indian elephants, and is... Continue Reading →

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