Language describing Islam & Muslims


What is the Muslim world? At TEDxLancasterU, linguist Tony McEnery argues that this phrase, which was used 11,000 times in articles discussing Islam written from 1998 to 2009 by the British press, highlights an unsettling trend in the media -- using language that characterizes Muslims as violent and unusual -- a trend that, as he shows, has a long history and he asks us to change.

Tony McEnery is Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University and Director of the ESRC's Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science. He has published numerous research articles and books nearly all of which have dealt with corpus linguistics: an approach to the study of language which harnesses computing power to allow linguists to study millions, even billions, of words. He has corpus linguistics to study a wide range of topics and to a wide range of languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Panjabi and Spanish. When not peering at words Tony, as a keen amateur astronomer, peers at the stars.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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