A woman writing a letter at a table

The Ladylike Language of Letters

Letters reveal how language changes. They also offer a peek into the way people--especially women--have always constructed their private and public selves.
A Polynesian rat

Down the Research Rat Hole

While writing her forthcoming book about Polynesia, the author discovered the work of Teuira Henry, a scholar and folklorist who studied ancient Tahiti.
Yaxchilán, Maya ancient city

Why Civilizations End

Scientists studying fallen civilizations suggest that the culprit is overshoot in combination with climate change. What does this mean for our current era?
Cousin marriage Queen Victoria

The Genetics of Cousin Marriage

It's conventional wisdom that procreation between first cousins is unhealthy. But what are the actual genetic risks?
drag queen

The Unspeakable Linguistics of Camp

When gay and lesbian people had to invent their own languages with which to talk with each other, camp led the way.
Kingdom of Kush

The Lost Kingdom of Kush

A handful of archaeological sites and the written language Meroitic are all that remains of the Kingdom of Kush, located in what is now Sudan.
Murió la Verdad (The Death of Truth)

The Collapse of Meaning in a Post-Truth World

2016 was certainly an unstable time in history. Even the way we use language to convey our collective fears about the state of society seems fractured.
Copenhagen

The Cozy Linguistics of Hygge and Other “Untranslatable” Words

Why English speakers love "hygge" and other "untranslatable" words about emotional states.

Embracing Your Inner Cyborg

Cyborgs might be closer in the future than you think.

Migrants, Refugees, and Expats: How Humanity Comes in Waves

The language we use for people fleeing their home nations may define them as less than human.