Rednecks: A Brief History

What is a "redneck" exactly? Kelli Marshall explores a brief history of the word.

More on Internet Neologisms: Rage Quitting is a Thing

More on internet neologisms: pairing together a (negative) mood word with a verb to produce a semi-productive compound.
Ghostbusters (1984)
 Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis
Credit: Columbia/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

How “Ghostbusters” Changed the Way We Speak

A controversial and little-known aspect of Ghostbusters cultural influence can be found in a seemingly simple suffix, “-busters.”
Table Flip

All the Feels: the Morphology of Reaction Gifs

From visual emojis depicting simple emotional states, it's a short step to emotion or reaction gifs, used to respond in playful ways to online discussions.

Word to your Mother (Tongue): Can Hip Hop Save Endangered Languages?

Hip hop is not only linguistically innovative, it helps preserve indigenous languages via oral tradition.
brand names

What’s in a Brand Name: the Sounds of Persuasion

The mere letters and sounds used in a brand name can have a curious impact on its reception by the public.

Are Bilingual People Smarter Than People Who Speak One Language?

Is the bilingual advantage real? Are bilingual people smarter than people who speak one language?
Lingua Obscura

Lingua Obscura: Young Women’s Language Patterns at the Forefront of Linguistic Change

Linguists observe that young women's language patterns invite negative reactions, comments, and suggestions to change.
picture of a woman's mouth

Lingua Obscura: A New Linguistics Column

A linguistics column that will uncover curious stories of language use from all around the world--written by a linguist.

J.R.R. Tolkien the Philologist

Before The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien was a philologist, a specialist in historical texts.