Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Words?
Censorship isn't just redacted text and banned words. What happens when censorship is furtive, flying under the radar as much as possible?
In Celebration of Lost Words
At some point in their lexical histories, lost words' original meanings died and have been revived into a mere semblance of their former selves.
Codifying What Counts as a Word in Scrabble
Alfred M. Butts first created a word game called Lexico (or Lexiko) for his family in 1931. His business partner renamed it Scrabble.
From the Mixed-Up History of Mrs., Miss, and Ms.
Language can reveal power dynamics, as in the terms of address, or honorifics, are used to refer to a woman's social status: Mrs., Miss, and Ms.
The Language Wars
As a society becomes increasingly unstable, linguistic innovation happens more rapidly.
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.
The Genealogy of the Jewish Deli
The Jewish deli is a New York City tradition that has spread far beyond the city's limits. It's a tradition worthy of its own history.
Bad Language for Nasty Women (and Other Gendered Insults)
Is it true that "nasty" is more likely to be applied to describe women than men?
What the Folk? The Charming Yet Totally Malappropriate Story of Folk Etymology
Etymology is a funny thing. Even if you're not a word nerd, you might have wondered why so many English idioms we use are Just. So. Weird.
The Monstrous Words Lurking in Your Language
“You have hissed all my mystery lectures. I saw you fight a liar in the back quad; in ...