Linguistics Department

Talking Linguistics with the Public: A Conversation with Michael Erard

Fri, October 26, 2012 | PAR 310

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Michael Erard received his M.A. in linguistics (1996) and his doctorate in English (2000), both from UT Austin. In the years since then, he has had a successful career as a journalist and author, and as a writing consultant and grantwriter. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Science, Wired, Slate, the Huffington Post, and other publications. He is the author of two books in which he brings linguistic research to a popular audience. They are: Um…: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean (Pantheon, 2007) and Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners (Free Press, 2012). He is a member of the LSA's Public Relations Committee. He also works as a metaphor designer at The FrameWorks Institute (, which provides communications strategy and science translation advice to the nonprofit sector. To read more about Michael go to his website at

At 3:30, Michael will join us for a discussion of the problems and pitfalls in communicating with the broader academic community, with the general public, and with journalists. What can we do to make sure that our research reaches an audience that is broader than the set of committed linguists? How can we ensure that our findings are not lost in translation? We will achieve consensus on the resolution to these thorny problems at our weekly happy hour, beginning at 5:00.



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