Two face masks in front of some text about the COVID-19 virus

When Language Goes Viral

How do innocuous words become insidious in the face of a public health emergency?
A Reading from Homer by Lawrence Alma Tadema, 1885

How Do We Know That Epic Poems Were Recited from Memory?

Scholars once doubted that pre-literate peoples could ever have composed and recited poems as long as the Odyssey. Milman Parry changed that.
3 boys hanging out outside laughing

Black English Matters

People who criticize African American Vernacular English don't see that it shares grammatical structures with more "prestigious" languages.
Pop art style comics panel angry woman grinding teeth with speech bubble and swear words symbols

The Theory of Cuss Word Relativity

Which words are considered taboo varies by place and time, scholars find.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Saint_John_the_Baptist_C2RMF_retouched.jpg

Where Do Finger Names Come From?

Our names for our fingers show a surprising depth of cultural variation—and similarity.
An angry mob in front of a computer screen

Cancel Culture Is Chaotic Good

Cancel culture may prove to be the most memorable linguistic trend of the past decade.
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.