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 ...
Mrs Miss Ms

From the Mixed-Up History of Mrs., Miss, and Ms.

Language can reveal power dynamics, as in the terms of address, or honorifics, are used to refer to a woman's social status: Mrs., Miss, and Ms.
Pixel Buds Google

Why You Still Should Learn a Language in the Age of Pixel Buds

Google's Pixel Buds aim to translate from language to language in real time. Will this eliminate the need for human translators?
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.
Origins of speech crow

The Origins of Human Speech: More Like a Raven or a Writing Desk?

Language is the cognitive faculty that separates humans from other animals, but interjections have often been equated with the primitive cries of animals.
Derek Bentley

Sentenced to Death (and Other Tales from the Dark Side of Language)

One cold morning in 1953, Derek Bentley, a nineteen-year-old youth in the wrong place with the wrong words, was hanged for a murder he did not commit.

Wittgenstein on Whether Speech Is Violence

When is speech violence? Sometimes. It depends. That’s a complicated question.
Unabomber words

Fighting Words With the Unabomber

Some of the world's most baffling criminal cases were solved thanks to some seemingly harmless point about language. Take the Unabomber, for example.
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.