Map of the United States showing the state nicknames as hogs, 1884

What Ever Happened to the Beetheads?

A lighthearted look at Americans' nicknames of yore, from master humorist H. L. Mencken.
Fifteen redacted pages of the Mueller Report

Are We Being Framed?

How the linguistic trick of framing shapes meaning--and can lead to deception.
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.
From a poster for Charles Frohman’s dramatic production, The Hand of Destiny by Pierre Decourcelle, 1896

Why Did “Thieves’ Cant” Carry an Unshakeable Allure?

If thieves’ cant—a language known only to criminals—was the Devil’s cabinet, bourgeois society couldn’t help but peep inside.
A couple expressing affection

The Language of Your Love Life

Pet names and baby talk between lovers can be cringe-worthy and even incriminating. So why do couples use such lovey-dovey language?
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 chocolate orange meant to symbolize Brexit.

The Many Metaphors of Brexit

How do metaphors shape political perceptions? And what do they mean for the future of Europe?
A woman's face lit up in a dark room

People with Depression Use Language Differently

New research shows that people with depression use absolute words, such as "always," "nothing," or "completely," more often than others.
Mr. Knightley and Emma Woodhouse, from Jane Austen's Emma

Jane Austen’s Subtly Subversive Linguistics

Why are Jane Austen books still so beloved? A linguist argues it has more to do with Austen's masterful use of language than with plot.