Twenty years of Languagehat
September 7, 2022 8:23 AM   Subscribe

A slightly belated congratulations to MeFi's own Languagehat, AKA Stephen Dodson, on the twentieth anniversary (July 31) of his blog Languagehat explores linguistics, with excursions into literature (especially Russian literature), grammar, etymology, languages and more. I venture to guess that exceedingly few blogs launched in 2002 are still active, and perhaps none active to the degree that Languagehat has been, with posts on a daily basis virtually all of those twenty years.

The blog is not only worth following for Dodson's wide scholarly and personal interests, erudite commentary, strong opinions, and entertaining style, but also for the community of professional and amateur linguists who comment on every post, often introducing fascinating detours or linking today's discussion to something that was posted on the blog years (or now decades) ago. And the discussions often continue for many days after the original post goes up.

We noted LH's tenth anniversary back in 2012.

A few recent examples of interest:
On the origin of the phrase "skin of one's teeth"
On the etymology of "morose"
Pinta'o — the real Panama hat
A new slang term: Sploot
How American Sign Language evolves
Why did multiple empires choose Persian as their administrative language?
On the translation of Don Quixote into Sanskrit
Why is that star named Betelgeuse?
On language and the European "grand tour"
posted by beagle (43 comments total) 154 users marked this as a favorite
Congrats Languagehat! A run like this is amazing.

You're in good long-term company too. Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer, the Garfield tv show, way way more...) just hit 30,000 unique posts on his blog.

I have so much reading to catch up on. Where do I start?
posted by djeo at 8:35 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

Wow, I've been reading this blog and Language Log on and off since high school, probably since 2003/04, and it hadn't at all occurred to me that it had been this long. Thanks for so many years of fun reads!
posted by wakannai at 8:50 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

the Sploot article checks out.

congrats LanguageHat!
posted by supermedusa at 8:54 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Viva languagehat!
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:55 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]

Well-deserved congratulations!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:08 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

Fantastic blog and languagehat himself is pretty great too!
posted by vacapinta at 9:14 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]

Congratulations languagehat! I’ve learned a lot from your blog over the years.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:19 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

Heartfelt thanks for the generous post and kind comments!
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on September 7 [62 favorites]


Now we need a crossover event between languagehat and Popehat.
posted by lalochezia at 9:22 AM on September 7 [6 favorites]

Mazel tov LanguageHat! Great reading.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:22 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Congrats on 20!

Is this where I get to boast about still having the first collection?
posted by Quasirandom at 9:22 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

I was (maybe) going to clean the ceiling today...instead, I'm wandering the paths of language learning about the twin hands, and/or armpit, of Gemini! Yay!!
Thanks for the post and links.
posted by winesong at 9:41 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Congrats on 20!

same as in town
posted by chavenet at 10:13 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]

Awesome, congrats!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:38 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

All this and sploot, too...

Think where man’s glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.'

posted by y2karl at 10:39 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]

Hooray, congrats, Languagehat! I remain a regular reader, though I don't think I've ever had the nerve to comment. Great work and always fascinating!
posted by theatro at 10:43 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Congratulations, languagehat! I offer you this laurel, and hardy handshake!
posted by briank at 10:56 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

Mr. Dodson, you sir are a Gentlemen, scholar and judge of bad whiskey.

and I love ya very much. congrats my friend.
posted by clavdivs at 11:00 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

Congrats, languagehat! And many more!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:06 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

HOW did I not know that languagehat had a blog?

What a prolific, wonderfully eclectic, marvellous blog it is.

I am so very glad to know about this!

Thank you for posting this, beagle - and languagehat, thank you for the splendid site and your delightful writings, and congratulations on the 20th anniversary of your magnificent endeavor!
posted by kristi at 11:51 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]

20 years, wow, congratulations! I’ve been a faithful reader for more than 10. Some of the posts and discussion swoosh right over my head but I read them anyway because they make me feel erudite, and it never ceases to amaze me how utterly knowledgeable some people are. It is often very funny and never not interesting. Many more years!
posted by fregoli at 11:52 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Congratulations, languagehat!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:36 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

I am certain I found Languagehat the blog via Metafilter many many years ago. It was wonderful then and it's wonderful now. Thank you and congratulations to Stephen.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:38 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]

Congratulations and thanks!

And dammit, 20 years! but ... right, that was all 20 years ago but damn time just rockets along doesn't it? As consolation prize, 20 years of fascinating, varied and insightful writing. A damn fine thing.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:44 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]

Happy anniversary! Your work is peerless and a joy to follow.
posted by mumimor at 1:16 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Congratulations, languagehat!
posted by anansi at 1:22 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

posted by wmo at 1:28 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Well done and thank you, languagehat!
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:53 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Here's to 20 more years, Mr. Hat!
posted by zompist at 3:37 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

A couple of my favourite languagehat blog posts:

Finnish Language Maintenance

The Dirtiest Finnish Expressions

There are many more.

Thanks for all of the wildly informative and interesting posts!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:19 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]

Congratulations, languagehat! Here’s to many more years of making the internet smarter!
posted by Songdog at 5:14 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Congratulations! I will be looking at your blog now.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:51 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

Best to you Mr. Hat.
posted by Oyéah at 8:03 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]

One cleans ceilings?
posted by aws17576 at 11:09 PM on September 7

One of the more interesting blogs I've had the pleasure of reading. Thanks for all the good word work, kind sirrah! Oh, and of course, happy anniversary!
posted by Lynsey at 9:11 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]

Happy anniversary!
posted by of strange foe at 11:16 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]

Wow, what a thing. Congratulations, languagehat, and thanks for all the fish! Here's to many more.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:09 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]

Oh, well done. Congratulations and thanks.
posted by tangerine at 6:51 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]

Long live languagehat!
Vive le chapeau des langues!
Evviva il cappello dei linguaggi!
Es lebe der Sprachenhut!

... and so forth. I'm fond of the words of yours I've read, and I hope to read many more.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:13 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]

Late to the party cuz I haven't been logging in here much for the past year-ish, but I was just thinking about you, Languagehat, cuz tomorrow I have a basic Cherokee language course starting and while I was reading some prep material I thought, "Hmm, I wonder what Languagehat would have to say about xyz characteristics of this language..." (I'm a settler, but as part of my obligations & responsibilities as a treaty partner to a treaty that I'm a beneficiary of thanks to the Canadian government, I figure it's long overdue for me to go beyond the colonizer languages I was born and raised in. Why Cherokee? Long story.)

Then I log in here and discover this thread celebrating Languagehat's contributions to making the world a better place! Yay Languagehat! You made a positive comment on my first FPP and helped me feel like maybe this place could be for me. Thanks for being here and happy belated anniversary!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:07 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]

Dammit, languagehat, I love your blog but I miss your contributions on here. Delighted to see you delurk to comment on the Godard thread. Dare I hope this is a sign of things to come?
posted by verstegan at 8:01 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]

No hair is too tiny to sploot.
posted by y2karl at 7:42 PM on September 18

Adding my tip o’the hat to Languagehat.
posted by cenoxo at 8:15 AM on September 30

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