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Conquistadors and Aztecs: A History of the Fall of Tenochtitlan by Stefan Rinke, published by Oxford University Press

The heavy burden of the past: the history of the conquest of México and the politics of today

The history of the conquest of Mexico by Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century remains a complex topic of discussion. Various interpretations have emerged throughout the years, each offering unique insights into this pivotal moment in Mexican history. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, has taken up the issue and uses it to promote his populist policy.

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From Dr Google to ChatGPT: are the tides turning in how cancer patients access information?

The discussions surrounding ChatGPT, a state-of-the-art natural language processing AI, are hard to miss. With its capabilities to draft articles, engage in written conversations, and provide complex coding solutions, ChatGPT holds great potential to revolutionize how people seek health information. In November 2022, OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, first powered by GPT-3.5 architecture; it is now even […]

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Word Origins

Dangerous neighbors: “sore” and “sorrow”

Quite naturally, speakers connect words that sound alike. From a strictly scholarly point of view, “sore” and “sorrow” are unrelated, but for centuries, people thought differently, and folk etymology united the two long ago.

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“Lying” in computer-generated texts: hallucinations and omissions

There is huge excitement about ChatGPT and other large generative language models that produce fluent and human-like texts in English and other human languages. But these models have one big drawback, which is that their texts can be factually incorrect (hallucination) and also leave out key information (omission).

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Word Origins

Plain as day?

The Oxford Etymologist looks at the origin of the word “day” and its connections across the Indo-European language world.

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The Oxford Comment podcast

The great gun conundrum [podcast]

In this podcast episode, we discuss the history of the gun debate in the US with Robert J. Spitzer and how a reform of policing can deter gun violence with Philip J. Cook.

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"Language, Science, and Structure: A Journey into the Philosophy of Linguistics" by Ryan M. Nefdt, published by Oxford University Press

Real patterns and the structure of language

There’s been a lot of hype recently about the emergence of technologies like ChatGPT and the effects they will have on science and society. Linguists have been especially curious about what highly successful large language models (LLMs) mean for their business.

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