Around the Web Digest: Week of April 5

I’ve declared it Language Week at the Around the Web Digest! If you write or come across any interesting blogs, email me the links at

This New Yorker article discusses a particularly paradoxical new phrase, drawing from the history of negation: What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand? 

Slate featured this article Jahai speakers from the Malay Peninsula have a rich language for describing smells and perform better on smell tests than English speakers: English Speakers Stink at Identifying Smells

This Language Log post links to a modern noire masterpiece about a detente between prescriptivists and descriptivists as they face off against the clickbaiters: The Conditional Entente

In this article, The Conversation provides some interesting examples of emergent forms of communication: Emoticons and Symbols Aren’t Ruining Language – They’re Revolutionizing It also featured a short post on language of a non-human variety: Chimpanzees Changing the Food Calls to Match Their Counterparts

Do you read Spanish? Alternatively, do you Google Translate? This post from El Antropólogo Perplejo (The Perplexed Anthropologist) describes a new project to analyze the Jaleo, a religious festival in Menorca, Spain, using Durkheimian social theory : La mercantilización del Jaleo y sus efectos sobre la identidad menorquina (The Commodification of the Jaleo and Its Effects on Menorcan Identity)

There are a few interesting short posts at describing recent discoveries, including this one: Embedded Skull in Altamura Cave Italy Yields Oldest Neandertal DNA Sample 

This podcast of a panel from the SfAAs focuses on the politics of food practices: Food, Society, and Environment in Contemporary Ethnography

The Geek Anthropologist is introducing a new series (Anthropology Blogging 101) pointing out how reading and writing anthroblogs can help us build our networks and engage the public with anthropological conversations. If you’re reading this, well done!

The Superorganic looks at the different ethical terrains for academic vs. applied anthropologists and practitioners: Professional Ethics 1: The Boogeyman in the Anthropological Closet

In honor of Language Week, I want you to go out and try this:

Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson is the executive director of América Solidaria U.S. She recently graduated with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on volunteer tourism in Guatemala and how it is opening up new avenues for tourists and hosts to develop more cosmopolitan understandings of the world (as well as opening up new forms of friction over the circulation of knowledge).

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