Alison Edwards

Alison Edwards is researcher, translator, editor and writer. Together with eight others, she takes turns in writing a column for the paper version of Observant. Follow her on Twitter @rogue_linguist

A word of advice

A word of advice

If you're a new student in Maastricht, you'll have received lots of advice already. Some of it contradictory. Focus on your studies. No, enjoy student life – you’ll never have this time again. Knuckle down and finish as soon as yo...

Slow Academia

Slow Academia

You’ve heard of the Slow Food movement. Now there’s Slow Academia as well. Slow Academia is a response to the university as anxiety machine. To a creeping, aggressive brand of academic capitalism, characterised by rampant managerialism...

Act normal

Act normal

Nothing about global politics over the last year has felt ordinary, but that didn’t stop the prime minister, Mark Rutte, from calling for more “normal” a few weeks prior to yesterday’s election. “Sometimes it seems as...

So how many diseases do you have?

So how many diseases do you have?

The arrival of the film Arrival in movie theatres recently was the biggest event of the year in the linguists’ cinematic calendar, if that's a thing. It's not often linguistics meets Hollywood. In the film, the linguist Dr Louise Ban...

Anglosplaining jerk

Anglosplaining jerk

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard the term mansplaining being thrown around; a portmanteau of the words man and explaining. It was inspired by a landmark essay by the American writer Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain ...

On being an indy scholar

On being an indy scholar

Now and then people ask me, ‘Do you miss academia?’ The question always surprises me, because to my mind, I never left. I’m not affiliated with a university; not since I left Cambridge two years ago. But I never stopped doing and pu...

Media forgets medal winner

Media forgets medal winner

At the Rio Olympics, all eyes in Britain were on Tom Daley. Daley is an English diver who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics in the 10 metre platform event. Fit and photogenic, he immediately shot to media stardom, even landing a rol...

The Netherlands, in 40 questions

The Netherlands, in 40 questions

Two years after I graduated from Cambridge, I find myself filling in an application form for a job at Albert Heijn. Education level?, asks the form. “PhD”, I write. What section would you like to work in? This is a tough one. Baked ...

Heads up!

Heads up!

I was lining my pencils up in preparation for sharpening when the phone rang. It was Pauw, from the talk show. That morning the NRC newspaper had run a small piece on my research on ‘Dutch English’. Would I be willing to come on the sh...

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

I’ve been flirting with the idea of adopting a new name. For starters, I have to share my present name with about ten million other people. Being called Alison Edwards is like being Jan Jansen in Dutch, or at least the female equivalent ther...

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