Filler Words and Floor Holders: The Sounds Our Thoughts Make
So, well, okay, um, like, you know, right?
Words on the Way In: A Retrospective
The first installment of a new column on living language: talking about COVID (talk)
How Not to Teach Grammar
When people with opinions and a platform rant about bad grammar, they're not helping, write two English professors.
Vulgarity: An Alternative Language of the People
Was Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue the font of all popular culture studies?
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.
When Did the Verb “To Be” Enter the English Language?
A Curious Reader asks: To be or naught to be?
The Tangled Language of Jargon
What our emotional reaction to jargon reveals about the evolution of the English language, and how the use of specialized terms can manipulate meaning.
The Legendary Language of the Appalachian “Holler”
Is the unique Appalachian dialect the preserved language of Elizabethan England? Left over from Scots-Irish immigrants? Or something else altogether?
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.
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.