A manz

How Linguists Are Using Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary continues a long history of recording low-brow language. It’s also a repository of a specific kind of internet immaturity.

The Tweety Bird Test

How a classic Tweety Bird cartoon became a mainstay in linguistics research.
Robin Williams In 'Dead Poets Society'

How “Carpe Diem” Got Lost in Translation

"Carpe Diem" doesn't actually mean "seize the day." The fact that we understand it that way suggests we are more traditional than we like to admit.
Satan's fall from heaven, into the logo for Chapo Trap House.

Satan, the Radical

There is a long history of leftist thinkers embracing Satan, usually just as a way to shake up political rhetoric.
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.
Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch, 1877

Understanding a Misunderstood Bible Verse

“Judge not, lest ye be judged” comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7 of the King James Bible. How has it become a harmless aphorism?
A dad laughing at his own joke.

The Dubious Art of the Dad Joke

Is it really only dads who can tell dad jokes? And is this corny humor universal? Our linguist takes a deep dive.
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.