Two policemen interrogating somebody

How Being Polite with Police Can Backfire

When it comes to interactions with the police, the law favors direct speech. But that's not always the way we're trained to speak to people in power.
A punk with a mohawk in a cottagecore painting

The Punk Rock Linguistics of Cottagecore

So you want to borrow a concept from another culture but don’t know what to call it? Try a morpheme!
Demonstrators march near the White House in protest following a Kentucky grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case on September 23, 2020

The Ethical Life of Euphemisms

Euphemisms can hide facts that need to be confronted. How do they work from a linguist's point of view?
Taylor Swift at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards

The Linguistic Evolution of Taylor Swift

If Taylor Swift shifts her accent in her transition from country to pop, does she lose the personal authenticity important to country music?

How to Meme What You Say

The linguistic theories behind what we're trying to say when we adapt and share internet memes.
George Floyd's image is projected on the Robert E. Lee Monument as people gather around on June 18, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia.

The Sorry State of Apologies

"Sorry" can be more than a mere word when it has real-world consequences.
Electric Fan

The Linguistic Case for Sh*t Hitting the Fan

Idioms have a special power to draw people together in a way that plain speech doesn't.
Children playing ring around the rosie

The Linguistics of Cooties (and Other Weird Things Kids Say)

The game of cooties lets children learn about the idea of contagion, but kid culture and wordplay aren't meant for adults.
Two face masks in front of some text about the COVID-19 virus

When Language Goes Viral

How do innocuous words become insidious in the face of a public health emergency?
3 boys hanging out outside laughing

Black English Matters

People who criticize African American Vernacular English don't see that it shares grammatical structures with more "prestigious" languages.