Origins of speech crow

The Origins of Human Speech: More Like a Raven or a Writing Desk?

Language is the cognitive faculty that separates humans from other animals, but interjections have often been equated with the primitive cries of animals.
Derek Bentley

Sentenced to Death (and Other Tales from the Dark Side of Language)

One cold morning in 1953, Derek Bentley, a nineteen-year-old youth in the wrong place with the wrong words, was hanged for a murder he did not commit.
Unabomber words

Fighting Words With the Unabomber

Some of the world's most baffling criminal cases were solved thanks to some seemingly harmless point about language. Take the Unabomber, for example.
Declaration drafting

When Did Colonial America Gain Linguistic Independence?

By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, did colonial Americans still sound like their British counterparts?
Woman thinking

The Science of Thingummyjigs (and Other Words on the Tip of Your Tongue)

What is actually happening when you can't think of the word you mean? It's called Tip of the Tongue syndrome and yes, it's been studied.
gift or poison

Friend or Faux? The Linguistic Trickery of False Friends

"False friends" appear or sound like words in their own language, but have different meanings in others. They give us insight into how language changes.
young women talking

The Totally “Destructive” (Yet Oddly Instructive) Speech Patterns of… Young Women?

Two years ago, this column sprang into life by enthusiastically wading into the absurdly long-running debate about some ...
talk therapy

When Language Can Cure What Ails You

Healthy talk is often promoted as the way for us to become even better humans. But is talking about our health always a key to actual better health?
Trump mouth

The Language Wars

As a society becomes increasingly unstable, linguistic innovation happens more rapidly.
Dr. Evil

Very British Villains (and Other Anglo-Saxon Attitudes to Accents)

What do peoples' accents really reveal about them? The villainous British accent crystallizes the love-hate special relationship between the US and the UK.