paragraph book

What a Paragraph Is

On the controversial directive that a paragraph must contain a topic sentence, an idea that theorists, writers, and students have questioned for decades.
Loggers slang

The Lost Language of American Loggers

Logger slang may have coined terms like "punk," "haywire," and "pie in the sky." One lexicographer attempted to catalogue the industry's slang in 1942.
Second Amendment language

Revisiting the Messy Language of the Second Amendment

The debate over the Second Amendment is not just about guns—it's also about grammar.
Censorship bubble

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?
Scrabble game

Codifying What Counts as a Word in Scrabble

When Alfred M. Butts first created a game called Lexico (or Lexiko) for his family in 1931, he ...
speech bubbles me too

Finding the Words We Need to Talk About Sexual Assault and Harassment

"Me too." As the conversation around sexual assault has spread, it's become clear that not everybody is prepared to talk about such a difficult issue.

Wittgenstein on Whether Speech Is Violence

When is speech violence? Sometimes. It depends. That’s a complicated question.
Declaration drafting

When Did Colonial America Gain Linguistic Independence?

By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, did colonial Americans still sound like their British counterparts?
Woman thinking

The Science of Thingummyjigs (and Other Words on the Tip of Your Tongue)

What is actually happening when you can't think of the word you mean? It's called Tip of the Tongue syndrome and yes, it's been studied.
Oxford spires

Old English Has a Serious Image Problem

Although studying the language known as “Anglo-Saxon” helped women advance in the academy, the subject is fraught with racist associations.