Blogs and links

Find out more about our events and activities on our blogs and social media accounts.


Separated by a Common Language

Research on lexis, semantics and pragmatics underpins a public engagement that allows ordinary English users to learn about and discuss national varieties of English.

Professor Lynne Murphy examines how American English and British English suffer transatlantic misconceptions about their origins, use and interactions. This creates a public discourse (involving learners, teachers, translators, editors, expatriates) on how linguistic research illuminates the dialectal differences and on-going linguistic changes that puzzle or frustrate. People enter these forums because they are curious or uncomfortable about linguistic variation; they leave with their assumptions challenged and their prejudices altered. 

Separated by a Common Language Blog

The impact of Murphy’s work has been to engage thousands of people in a public discourse on linguistic issues that transforms participants‟ understanding of language change, intercultural communication and the nature of language itself.

Murphy's SbaCL blog covers the British/American linguistic divide, with more than 465 posts from 2006 to May 2015. Her Twitter account tweets a UK/US "Difference of the Day‟ and links to research about English – over 24,000 tweets since May 2008, and over 10,000 followers. Since 2011, Murphy has given 14 popular talks, contributing to the cultural life of the South-East. These include the tongue-in-cheek How America Saved the English Language and attract audiences ranging from 30 to 60 in Skeptics-in-the-Pub events to 1,500 delegates at the 2012 Brighton SEO (Search Engine Optimization) conference. Her 2012 TEDx talk on linguistic politeness has been viewed 20,000+ times online, and her Numberphile videos on math/maths and ways of saying numerals have been viewed over 500,000 times, inspired 15,000+ YouTube „likes‟ and thousands of comments  

SbaCL’s influence is demonstrated by the growth of its audience through word-of-mouth and media attention. Google Analytics reports that SbaCL achieved nearly 80,000 page views per month during 2013. It is consistently in the Top 10 linguistic blogs according to Blogmetrics.org, has been Yahoo.com’s ‘Pick of the Day’, and repeatedly placed in babla.com’s Language Blog Awards (50 per cent jury/50 per cent popular vote). The Twitter feed has placed second in babla.com’s ”Top Language Twitterers 2011‟.

Lynne Murphy - Twitter.

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Sussex Linguists

This blog compiles news and events from the English Language and Linguistics courses.

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Linguistic Wonderings

Ideas for student research from the English Language and Linguistics staff.

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Centre for American Studies - Facebook

The American Studies Facebook page lists Centre events and occasional news items relevant to our students' research projects or study abroad experience.

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Linguistics and English Language - Facebook

The Linguistics and English Language Facebook page is a way of finding out about forthcoming linguistics events at Sussex, seeing what different year groups are up to, and keeping up to date with news stories about language.

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Led by Bethan Stevens, this project's outcomes include:

  • A catalogue of the entire Dalziel Archive, with new photography of each page (see Catalogue)
  • The Woodpeckings website, with virtual exhibition and blog
  • Research papers (see Events for recordings)
  • Creative workshops that explore uses of the archive today (see Events)
  • A forthcoming monograph, The Wood Engravers’ Self Portrait: The Dalziel Family 1839-1893
  • A forthcoming illustrated fiction in collaboration with Sylph Editions.
  • A forthcoming gallery display in the Prints and Drawings Department of the British Museum (Spring 2018)

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Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion examined why radical artists and writers were drawn to the rolling hills, seaside resorts, and quaint villages of Sussex in the first half of the 20th century and how, in the communities they created, artistic innovation ran hand in-hand with political, sexual and domestic experimentation.

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