I find myself listening to podcasts more than my own omnivorous music collection these days. And though I’ve put my music library of about 18,000 songs in the cloud with Google Play, streaming services like Spotify and Pandora frequently offer more of a sense of discovery (and the joy of rediscovery). But I do worry about artists getting shortchanged by the streaming model.
After attending to pressing emails, my inbox triage involves scanning the mailing lists I subscribe to (mostly in digest form, except for important ones like the American Dialect Society listserv), automated alerts of blog posts and scholarly articles, and Google News alerts on a variety of language-related topics (and, I’ll freely admit, my own name). Newsle has been useful in keeping up with the latest articles by and about colleagues I care about.
I’m happy that people know my peculiar interests well enough that they’ll often email me (or tweet at me) about a notable blog post or news article. And my writing for Language Log over the years has guaranteed a steady stream of emails from people bringing linguistic oddities to my attention, particularly eggcorns, snowclones, crash blossoms, and cupertinos. Thanks, folks, keep ’em coming.
For online media, I start with The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The New Yorker, Slate, and The Atlantic Wire, along with their associated blogs (Artsbeat and Bits from the Times, Ideas Market from the Journal, Brainiac from the Globe, etc.). I rely on Romenesko, Poynter, and Media Decoder for meta-news from the world of journalism; Wired, The Atlantic, and The Verge for tech; and Deadspin, Yahoo, and Grantland for sports. I get my pop-culture fix from Vulture, The AV Club, Entertainment Weekly, and Gawker.
In the rich and sprawling lingua-blogosphere, I check in on my colleagues at Language Log and also make sure to see what’s happening on Language Hat, Lingua Franca (from The Chronicle), Johnson (from The Economist), and a raft of other blogs. I never miss the latest from fellow word-watchers such as Michael Quinion (World Wide Words), Paul McFedries (Wordspy), and my predecessor as Globe language columnist, Jan Freeman (Throw Grammar from the Train). Linguistically sensitive copy editors can be wonderful bloggers: see John McIntyre (You Don’t Say), Stan Carey (Sentence First), Merrill Perlman (CJR’s The Language Corner), and Jonathon Owen (Arrant Pedantry), for starters. And there are blogs that explore a language-y niche particularly well, be it branding (Nancy Friedman’s Fritinancy), etymology (Anatoly Liberman on OUPblog), lexicography (Kory Stamper’s Harmless Drudgery), or trans-Atlantic dialect differences (Lynne Murphy’s Separated by a Common Language).
The list goes on and on — I haven’t even gotten to such non-linguistic bloggy delights as Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, Faith and Fear in Flushing (manna for the literate Mets fan), or my brother Carl’s science blog The Loom. I’ve never really figured out an adequate way to keep up with all the RSS feeds I want to follow. Google Reader (R.I.P.) and its kin never quite clicked for me, and instead I’ve ended up relying on Firefox’s live bookmarks as a rather unwieldy way to scan for new posts. (I tend to have multiple browsers running to suit my needs — Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are typically all open on my Macbook, though my attempts at tab management usually fail miserably.)