My classmates publish their theses on Digital Commons!

DC_logo_graphic-300x157I’m proud to be an alumnus of the Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies with an emphasis in Teaching Interpreting, and to announce that several of my cohort now have our theses published online for all to read. All the theses published so far and in the future can be retrieved from To date, the published theses and professional projects comprise the following:

I’m so proud of us! Here are some photos of us at our hooding and graduation:

MAIS Grads at Hooding
MAIS Grads at Hooding
MAIS Grads at Commencement
MAIS Grads at Commencement

Writing about language using italics

When I wrote my master’s thesis on vague language, I often cited vague words and phrases. At first I put them in quotation marks, but the quotes cluttered the pages, and by the time I was ready to publish, I wondered if I should use italics instead. I used APA style*, so I consulted my APA Manual and I found that, indeed, you should use italics for “a letter, word or phrase cited as a linguistic example” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 105). Some examples offered in the APA Manual are:

words such as big and little
the letter a
the meaning of to fit tightly together
a row of Xs

Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this until the day before I submitted my thesis for publication, so I had to go through a hundred pages changing “sort of” to sort of, “threeish” to threeish, and so on. I hope this little blog post saves others the time I spent undoing my errors.

* Chicago and MLA style manuals call for the use of italics for linguistic examples as well.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Greene, D. J. (2013). Keeping it vague: A study of vague language in an American Sign Language corpus and implications for interpreting between American Sign Language and English. (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from

Modern Language Association. (2008). MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association.

University of Chicago. (2010). The Chicago manual of style (16th ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Thesis published on vague language (VL) in ASL and English!

I am thrilled to announce that my thesis has been published online, available for all to read. The title is “Keeping it Vague: A Study of Vague Language in an American Sign Language Corpus and Implications for Interpreting between American Sign Language and English” and the URL is short & sweet:

Thanks to all who expressed interest in reading this work; thanks to the Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies with an emphasis in Teaching Interpreting program at Western Oregon University (WOU); and, thanks to WOU for venturing into digital publication with our program’s master’s theses. It is an honor to be the second postgraduate student to publish a thesis on WOU’s Digital Commons repository.

Please do email with any questions or to discuss this thesis, and feel free to “talk amongst yourselves.”


Greene, D. J. (2013). Keeping it vague: A study of vague language in an American Sign Language corpus and implications for interpreting between American Sign Language and English. (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from

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Who cares what I have to say?

Me singing @ Piano Zinc, Paris 1997

Today it’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter. Yesterday it was rap groups, support groups, open mic. I don’t remember feeling like nobody cared what I had to say when I was speaking to people in person. Now that I’m writing for the Internet — for the past 17 years or so, and sharing on social media for the past six — I’m wondering if anyone cares what I have to say. I don’t think I’m alone in this. So many people are sharing so much, be it on blogs or social media, that it’s impossible for us all to take each other in. I guess some people on the Internet form communities like groups on Flickr or writers of similar blogs on WordPress. But I like the idea of sharing with the world, or should I say, being heard by people all over the world. I’d like to think that people care what I have to say, but the stats on my posts often don’t show that they do. And maybe they don’t. We can’t all care what we all have to say, can we? Maybe it’s okay to say it, though. Maybe it’s okay to journal publicly, and if someone gets something out of it, great. If not, we’ve simply made public something we would have written in a journal anyway, and there’s no reason to keep it a secret. Some say we live in a time of oversharing, and that might be true. I would like to think, though, that even if no one cares what I have to say until years from now, or even if I’m the only one who cares what I have to say, it’s worth it. I might look back on this years from now and be glad I wrote it. Someone reading this today or many days from now might take solace in it. I guess for now I’ll try not to care whether anyone cares what I have to say, and just keep saying what I have to say.

P.S. Come to think of it, when I was talking to people in person, I was talking to groups, not the world. Maybe there is something to sharing on the Internet with groups after all. What do you think? Please leave a comment below. I do care what you have to say.