The Sexiest Geek of 2008, according to Wired Magazine’s poll, is philologist Hot for Words, who gives YouTube lectures on etymology while displaying her cleavage.

As some of you know, my degrees are in linguistics, a field with which people are generally completely unfamiliar. As a student, therefore, I found that people had no idea what I did. Since I now spend most of my time analyzing language and strategically manipulating it to achieve results with both humans and robots which follow a secret algorithm, I tend to think of what I do as something strongly related to my field of study. However, in daily life the strongest relationship is the fact that people still largely have no idea what I do.

This could change. Hot for Words is said to be hugely popular, and in fact it is her fulltime job — dressing up in revealing outfits and telling people really ordinary stuff they could easily find in a dictionary. In a sultry voice. My mother used to describe someone as “a superstar linguist,” and I always found it a bit of an oxymoron. But this woman appears to be just that. Or at least a superstar philologist. She could singlehandedly lead people all across the country to a greater awareness of language.

Or perhaps not. I’d never heard of her till she showed up in my email inbox. But I would really like to see her replace Paris Hilton as the most recognizable scantily dressed blonde in the nation.

Today, while we’re being geeky, is the last day to participate in’s amazing sale to benefit those suffering in the bushfires in Australia. I haven’t heard from my own particular Aussies in a week, though I’ve emailed to ask if they were okay, so I’ve been thinking about those fires. Sitepoint is doing more than think. They’re giving five full-length books as PDF downloads and charging for just one, with all the proceeds going to the bushfire relief efforts.

You can choose your books. And while reading a book in the form of PDFs is not my idea of the ideal reading experience, it’s still both an amazing deal and an opportunity to help out a little bit.

We’re going on a college visit this afternoon, and I have a whole bunch of work to finish before then. I’m happy to say that we did finally get that book proposal in. TGIF!