Moral lessons in children’s television programs may require extra explanation

“Just putting 30 seconds of explanation in the program helped the children to understand what the lessons were in a 12-minute segment,” said Drew P. Cingel, UC Davis assistant professor of communication and the lead author of the two recent studies. He explained that the researchers’ inserts were simple, but presented messages literally rather than… Read More >> 0 comments

Emoji aren’t ruining language: they’re a natural substitute for gesture 🔥🔥🔥

We’re much more likely to be hanging out on social media than at the watercooler these days. But just because we’re no longer face-to-face when we chat, doesn’t mean our communication is completely disembodied. …Over the last three decades, psychologists, linguists, and anthropologists, along with researchers from other traditions, have come together to understand how… Read More >> 0 comments

Essay. As we see it, metaphor exists – and relies upon – the complex, emotionally resonant, arresting connections we make. These linkages, between ourselves and the world, require a degree of primary experience, as well as sensitivity to the nature and details of that experience. Metaphor is the knot between language and image, between language… Read More >> 0 comments

To all intensive purposes, you might have another think coming about how idioms work

Video: Human language is, of course, far from static. Our vocabularies are constantly being influenced by cultural movements, migrations, new technologies and much, much more. Indeed, even good old-fashioned mixups can shape the way we speak, write and think. As this animation from BBC Ideas explains, there’s a long and rich history of commonly misheard… Read More >> 0 comments

What your ability to engage with stories says about your real-life relationships

The best TV shows and films don’t simply distract from the drudgery of everyday life. They’re places to vicariously get to know different people, and learn from their relationships and experiences. Media scholars like ourselves have a term for how stories can effect us in these ways – “boundary expansion” – and every viewer experiences some level… Read More >> 0 comments

Book subtitles are getting ridiculously long. What is going on?

Blame a one-word culprit: search. Todd Stocke, senior vice president and editorial director at Sourcebooks, said that subtitle length and content have a lot to do with finding readers through online searches. “It used to be that you could solve merchandising communication on the cover by adding a tagline, blurb or bulleted list,” he said…. Read More >> 0 comments

I looked at 100 best-selling picture books: female protagonists were largely invisible

In April 2019, I examined the 100 bestselling picture books at Australian book retailer Dymocks: an almost 50/50 mix of modern and classic stories (the majority being published in the past five years). I discovered that despite the promising evolution of the rebel girl trend, the numbers tell us that picture books as a whole… Read More >> 0 comments

What your ability to engage with stories says about your real-life relationships

Our study shows that fictional stories can act as a refuge and create opportunities for personal growth.  We’re not saying that watching more television or movies will automatically improve your life or your relationships. But there’s something certainly to be said about the power stories can wield – and their ability to help those grappling… Read More >> 0 comments