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.
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, the Radical
There is a long history of leftist thinkers embracing Satan, usually just as a way to shake up political rhetoric.
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.
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?
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.
What Ever Happened to the Beetheads?
A lighthearted look at Americans' nicknames of yore, from master humorist H. L. Mencken.
Are We Being Framed?
How the linguistic trick of framing shapes meaning--and can lead to deception.
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.