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.
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!
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?
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.
The Sorry State of Apologies
"Sorry" can be more than a mere word when it has real-world consequences.
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.
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.
When Language Goes Viral
How do innocuous words become insidious in the face of a public health emergency?
Black English Matters
People who criticize African American Vernacular English don't see that it shares grammatical structures with more "prestigious" languages.