Lexis podcast

Episode 37 - Heidi Colthup and the language of gaming

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts

Show notes for Episode 37

Here are the show notes for Episode 37, in which Dan and Jill talk to Dr Heidi Colthup of the University of Kent about the language of gaming, including: 

  • Her journey into academia

  • How we define what a game is

  • The language used around and about gaming

  • Narrative and the power of storytelling in games

Heidi’s university page: https://www.kent.ac.uk/cultures-languages/people/1705/colthup-heidi 

Heidi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Heidi_Colthup 

Some of Heidi’s recommended reading: 

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, Rules of Play: https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262240451/rules-of-play/ 

Marie-Laure Ryan, Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Narrative_as_Virtual_Reality.html?id=cjAWAQAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y 

And in our regular Lang in the News segment, Lisa and Dan talk about Oxfam’s guide to “inclusive language” and why it has upset some people.  

Pronouns and inclusive language

Oxfam and gender neutral language:

Words matter: that’s why Oxfam is launching an inclusive language guide - Views & Voices 

“These principles and language guidelines are designed to prompt thought when using language. They are not set rules and should not be viewed as restrictions. They are intended to complement existing messaging frameworks and positionings.

We recognize that language is context- and audience-specific, and shifts between time and place; we would encourage you to think about what works best for your purpose.”

New Statesman

The furore over Oxfam’s “woke” language guide misses the point - New Statesman 

Is it a choice between “Blustering bigotry or preening sanctimony”? 

Language is neither progressive nor regressive. It does not move along a line of continuous, consensus-led improvement, nor will it wholly degrade into meaningless relativism. What it does do is change – change being the mess made by the passage of time. It evolves as nature evolves: scruffily, multifariously and incrementally, its infinite variety matching that of the needs and circumstances of the people it serves. This is what gives words their power to disrupt the status quo –they are radically demotic, belonging to everyone and no one. No top-down initiative or prescription, whether from a right-on NGO or a thundering middle-market tabloid, can rob them of that quality. No actor, however powerful, can control or shape the whole.” 

Mail Online 

Oxfam's new 92-page inclusivity guide calls English 'the language of a colonising nation' | Daily Mail Online 


Don’t say mother or father as it could offend, Oxfam tells staff 

Pink News 

Oxfam hits back at critics of trans-inclusive guidance who claim its 'erasing mums and dads' 

An Oxfam spokesperson told PinkNews: “We are proud of using inclusive language; we won’t succeed in tackling poverty by excluding marginalised groups. This guide is not prescriptive, it is intended to help authors communicate with the diverse range of people with which we work.

“We are disappointed that some people have decided to misrepresent the advice offered in the guide which clearly states that authors should respect the desires of those who want to be described as a mother or father.”

Why inclusive language doesn't have to exclude:


Dennis Baron on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DrGrammar/status/1638682725585657856 

And his book “What’s Your Pronoun?” is really good on the history of much of this. 


Interesting piece on pronouns and language change

‘It’s complicated – but you can’t shy away from it’: everything you wanted to know about pronouns (but were afraid to ask) | Gender | The Guardian 

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