Portrait of William Shakespeare

Linguistic Anarchy! It’s all Pun and Games Until Somebody Loses a Sign

The pun is in an interesting bind: it is both ubiquitous and reviled. We try to understand why.

More Hipster Than Thou: Is Vintage Language Back in Vogue?

A look at the recent boon in archaic terms and its relationship to "hipster" culture.
circa 1955:  American humorist and author John Henry Faulk (1913 - 1990), narrates the history of early America in a still from the television program,'They Call It Folk Music.'  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Hearing Harriet Smith

In the University of Texas library, our writer found a previously unknown audiotape of an interview with a woman who'd been born into slavery.

Yas Queen! It’s the Spelling Reform School for Wayward Words

Debates over English spelling reform have existed for centuries.

Dear Pedants: Your Fave Grammar Rule is Probably Fake

What constitutes ‘correct’ grammar in English seems to have a cyclical life, aided and abetted by new generations of enthusiastic grammarians.

All About That Taboo: When Good Words Go Bad

The phenomenon of sacres, or taboo words that start from fairly innocuous beginnings.

Fanf–kingtastic and Edumacational: The Case of English Infixation

From shiznit to wel-diddly-elcome, the evolution of infixation in English language.
A group of friends laughing happily as they spend time outdoors in the sun

All the Young Dudes: Generic Gender Terms Among Young Women

The linguistics behind gender neutral terms among young women.