A person holding a newspaper on fire

How Language and Climate Connect

While we’re losing biological diversity, we’re also losing linguistic and cultural diversity at the same time. This is no coincidence.
The Copper Coast Geopark, County Waterford, Ireland.

When Language Started a Political Revolution

Will Brexit fracture the UK? Ireland, for example, has its own cultural identity and language, which are perhaps more linked to Europe than to England.
Robert Redford, The Great Gatsby (1974)

When Very Bad Words Are the Sh*t (Linguistically Speaking)

The fact that people can use “literally” about things that can’t possibly be factual may literally make your blood boil.
compliments

The Uncertain Art of the American Compliment

The way Americans compliment is maximalist and enthusiastic, but it may not always be sincere. Our resident linguist unpacks the language of politeness.
Marbles Reflecting a Rainbow Background

Losing Our Marbles

For decades kids across the world played with marbles, creating their own games and slang. So why did such a popular game go suddenly extinct?
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.
Australian kids

Small Poppy Syndrome: Why are Australians so Obsessed With Nicknaming Things?

What's behind the Australian habit of nicknaming and abbreviating everything? Nicknames may just reveal how Australians see themselves and relate to each other.
Mrs Miss Ms

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.
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?